I had open heart surgery to repair an aortic root aneurysm in May 2005. My aneurysm was only 4.5 cm but I had unusual circumstances in that my sister died suddenly when her aneurysm dissected in 2003. She was 60. In 2000, a cousin of ours had died. The doctors never said it was an aneurysm to the family, but after my sister's death and finding out I had a 4.5 aneurysm in the same place, I asked my cousin's brother what the autopsy said. He said they told him his brother's aorta burst from the root to the arch. As well an Aunt of ours had a dissection in 1985. She survived the surgery.
So my thoracic surgeon, who trained at the Cleveland Clinic, suggested that they repair mine. He felt I was a good candidate health wise. He consulted with the doctors at Cleveland Clinic and they all agreed. So I had it done, and I recovered well. I was only in the hospital for five days. I actually was able to walk out of the CCU intensive care 24 hours after surgery. Within three weeks I was ablt to walk two miles again.
Because of the familial aspect I enrolled my family in a research program at Cornell University. Many of my cousins have gone up and been tested. There are a lot of us and many of them have been found to have dilations....that is, under 4 cm. Over 4 cm is considered and aneurysm. Most don't recommend surgery until 5 cm or unless they see a rapid increase over a six month period.
Anyway, it is good to be watched, and to be knowledgeable. In the end, if you have to have surgery, then do it.
In my opinion, it was not all that bad.
diagnosed with UC in 1962
Asulfadine (500mg tablets, 6 daily)
Zantac as needed
open heart surgery in 2005 for removal of aortic root aneurysm