Newly diagnosed TAA

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/8/2015 1:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow, it's been a wild ride these last 5 weeks. I went to ER on NY's Day because I was sick with bronchitis. They saw something troublesome on my chest X-ray and suggested I go see a Cardiologist. I'm a 56 year old woman who is healthy so this hit me out of left field. I eat well, have worked out with weights my whole life, hike, do high intensity interval training. I have stunningly perfect lipid and triglyceride profiles, low BP. If you looked at me you'd think I was a shining example of good health.

Shoot, even the Cardiologist remarked on how healthy I look and am, for the most part. After review of my echocardiogram, my Doctor said I have a very slight congenital defect of my aortic valve (bicuspid) and a teeny heart murmur. He also mentioned that my ascending aorta is slightly enlarged...that at my size and age it should be 3.7 but it's 3.9. Wants me back in a year for another echo.

No mention of concern or limitations on exercise or food or other activity. Just told me to continue enjoying my life (I am!). I'm thinking of making another appointment to ask if I should limit anything but not sure if his advice is normal at this stage of the game.

Anyone in the same situation? I'm perfectly happy to do my own research if someone can point me in the right direction. Thanks!!!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 1157
   Posted 2/9/2015 9:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes! Only difference is I'm 40 and was diagnosed at birth. My first suggestion would be to find an Adult Congenital Heart Disease clinic in your area. If you have a good Children's Hospital near by, there may be a partnership with an adult hospital for cardiac.

Cardiologist that specialize in congenital disease and/or pediatric cardiologist are your friend. They understand the anatomy better of your heart. Also, if the time comes, you will want a pediatric surgeon, that understand s and sees these types of cases everyday.

Unfortunately, I had my valve replaced when I was 37, due to endocarditis. I was getting close to needed to replace the valve but I never expected it to happen that way. We couldn't repair the AA though, because of infection.

The surgery wasn't nearly as bad as you wouldn't thought, and I ran a mile at 7 weeks post-op.

I am also very active, strength training, TRX, Yoga, Pilates, circuit training. I'm careful about the amount of weight I use and straining, not wanting to elevate my blood pressure quickly, and I also take a beta blocker to help ensure I don't have the BP rushes, which can expand the aorta. Of course I didn't have high BP before, so I do have to take salt tablets to keep my pressure normal as it will drop low w/ the BB.

Best of luck and feel free to ask me anything you'd like.
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