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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/8/2015 9:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed with a 4.4 cm TAA of the ascending aorta in early November, 2014 afteran echo to investigate an abnormal EKG.

Shortly thereafter, I started having high blood pressure readings and I ended up on two BP meds.

This thing has never been far from my mind since it was diagnosed. I'm sure all of you can relate to that!

Fast forward to now:

After having some chest pain last Wednesday, I drive myself to the ER.

I had a CT angiogram and my aneurysm is now measuring 4.9cm at the level of the sinuses of Valsalva in the aortic root. The ascending aorta was 4.2. sad

Due to my familial history, I have now reached the surgical threshold and my cardiologist, whom I love, had referred me to a cardiothoracic surgeon.

Unfortunately, I can't get in until the 30th and I'm pretty frightened. At the same time, I'm sick of living with this time bomb and I'm ready to be rid of it.

I'm a 49 year old woman, overweight but otherwise healthy, never smoked, cut out caffeine completely a few months ago.

Some questions...

My angiogram also showed cardiomegaly. Is this common with an aneurysm of the ascending aorta? It seems like it would be since the heart is is trying to push blood thru an inflated balloon. Will it get better after repair?

Sneeze and chest pain. This developed several months before I was diagnosed. I sneezed tonight and the pain was intense for about 20 to 30 seconds. I'm already frightened.....things like this don't help.

Are there any forums out there on this subject? I'm trying to educate myself and I've devoured everything pertinent on Google, which is not your friend. I seem to remember reading a forum with more detailed histories and surgical experiences, but I don't remember where.

Does anyone have experience with Baylor Heart Hospital in Plano, TX?

What goes into scheduling such a major procedure? I saw another post that said they had to have cardiac cath before scheduling surgery. What is that and why?

How long should I plan on being out of work when I have surgery? I have a sedentary job without lifting.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 1157
   Posted 3/9/2015 10:00 AM (GMT -6)   
I can't answer all of your questions, but I'll try to answer some. I have congenital disease, and it sounds like you may have acquired disease, so we will be a little different.

My guess is they may want to do a heart cath to look for any other signs of coronary disease prior to surgery. They inserted a long tube called a catheter in an artery or vein in your groin, neck or arm and threaded through your blood vessels to your heart. I haven't had a heart cath since I was 5 years old, I'm now 39. They have come a long way. They use sedation and it's generally outpatient.

I had open heart surgery 3 years ago, aortic valve replacement. I also have an AA, but they couldn't repair it at that time, due to other complications. I was in the ICU for 16 hours, then went to cardiac stepdown and went home on day 4. I was out off work for 5 weeks, as that was when I was able to drive again. I ran a mile at 7 weeks. I was also healthy going into surgery.

Best of luck!

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/9/2015 10:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi JDiane,

Thanks for the info!

My issue is hereditary. My uncle, grandmother, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather have all had aortic aneurysm issues.

I had a stress echo in October, which looked really good, so my cardiologist was pretty confident that my arteries are pretty plaque-free.

Have a great day!

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