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Aneurysm
Old 07-20-2016, 11:25 AM   #1
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Aneurysm

The results from my recent MRI for sciatica, as well as pointing out that there's arthritis throughout my back & hips, also mentions:

Fusiform aortic aneurysmal dilatation at the arch measuring 42 mm in diameter.

Since our new doctor is about to depart for vacation, the earliest appointment I could get is August 08.........in the interim we have, of course, done online research......"no magic bullet, hope it doesn't grow" kinda thing.

Anyone in a similar situation?
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Old 07-20-2016, 12:32 PM   #2
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Nemo2, I don't know the slightest thing about this but it sounds scary as, um, (? insert favorite four letter word). That's about an inch and two thirds and it doesn't sound like anything good.

If I was in your shoes, I'd be calling all over town for another well qualified doctor to take a look at this immediately and tell me what it means for me.

You only get one body and have to make it last, but then you know that.

Best of luck, whatever you decide to do. I sure hope it is nothing to worry about.
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Old 07-20-2016, 12:41 PM   #3
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An Aneurysm was found on my DM maybe 10 years ago. Her sister died of an undiagnosed brain aneurysm in her 40s. As such DM was quite concerned. Once the Doctors found it they now monitor the size. When it reaches a certain size I believe they go in and "shore it up". DM is coming up on 85 next year FWIW.

My take on all this, as a lay person, is that the aneurysms that are not found until after they burst are the ones that probably cause the most damage.

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Old 07-20-2016, 01:06 PM   #4
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If I was in your shoes, I'd be calling all over town for another well qualified doctor to take a look at this immediately and tell me what it means for me.
Two words: Ontario.
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Old 07-20-2016, 01:09 PM   #5
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My take on all this, as a lay person, is that the aneurysms that are not found until after they burst are the ones that probably cause the most damage.
That's what our investigations uncovered.......and they're the ones that are generally found at the autopsy.
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Old 07-20-2016, 01:11 PM   #6
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Two words: Ontario.
They have good, qualified doctors there! I am just sure they do.
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Old 07-20-2016, 01:21 PM   #7
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They have good, qualified doctors there! I am just sure they do.
Yes we do........we also have a stifling bureaucracy......you don't just walk into a doctor's office.............."Can you say Kafkaesque, Boys & Girls?"
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Old 07-20-2016, 01:24 PM   #8
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Yes we do........we also have a stifling bureaucracy......you don't just walk into a doctor's office.............."Can you say Kafkaesque, Boys & Girls?"
I (mistakenly) thought maybe they'd see you for a modest fee, instead of through the system. Argh. Hope somebody here knows more about this medical stuff than I do.
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Old 07-20-2016, 01:38 PM   #9
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I (mistakenly) thought maybe they'd see you for a modest fee
I believe there might be clinics that will do that, (although it depends upon your definition of 'modest'), but perhaps in Toronto...certainly not around here.......and one would likely be cycled back into the 'system' (cough, cough), anyway after the diagnosis is made.
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Old 07-20-2016, 02:06 PM   #10
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I don't think that size if you are asymptomatic will mean immediate surgery. I think they will monitor very closely and aggressively try to decrease risk factors. How is your blood pressure?
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Old 07-20-2016, 02:11 PM   #11
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I don't think that size if you are asymptomatic will mean immediate surgery. I think they will monitor very closely and aggressively try to decrease risk factors. How is your blood pressure?
BP. Somewhat elevated, I'm on a mild diuretic - I 'suspect' my BP is genetic...even in my 30's, when I was running 70 miles a week, it was higher than 'expected'.
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Old 07-20-2016, 02:15 PM   #12
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Try to get it well controlled. Don't skip doses and be vigilant with your diet
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Old 07-20-2016, 02:26 PM   #13
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Try to get it well controlled. Don't skip doses and be vigilant with your diet
Diet is heavy in veggies/fruit/fibre......rarely eat red meat, (eat chicken/turkey/pork)......but about half the week we eat no meat at all.

Almost zero processed foods.
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Old 07-20-2016, 02:39 PM   #14
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Great!
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Old 07-20-2016, 03:25 PM   #15
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No need to panic . You were lucky they found this during a routine x Ray and now it can be monitored .A lot of people have aneurysms they just do not know about it .You have an appointment in a few weeks so try to chill out till then .I do not know about Canada but in the USA if an x Ray showed something that needed immediate care you would be contacted.
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Old 07-20-2016, 03:49 PM   #16
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Timing is great...
Twenty minutes ago I returned from a follow up CT scan from last November. That was for a follow-up diagnosis for AFIB, a check to see if there was anything more than an irregular heartbeat. At that time, the aortic enlargement was something less than what might be a reason for surgical repair, but what the doctor said would require watchful waiting. I have nor symptoms of a problem, the most common of which is breathlessness and being tired. Also, maybe because of my age (80) and any risk factor this may bring.
I asked for and received a CD which showed the size of the enlargement. As I recall, the size was in the range under 5 CM.

I'll find the results of the current scan (a less than 2 minute process, which didn't doesn't even require changing into a hospital gown) tomorrow, when I pick up the new CD... and the new measurement.

You might want to download this .pdf file which explains (in more or less medical terms) an overview of the subject.

https://my.americanheart.org/idc/gro...ucm_423806.pdf

Another website with a discussion of size and risk.
http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/123/8/924

Perhaps a call to the place where the CT scan was made, could help with an overview of whether the size of the dilation might be a matter for concern.

BTW...with BP medicine lisinopril, current BP is usually in the range of 110/65. Some years ago, I had been taken off lipitor, which was causing muscle problems. My current MD (heart doctor) now has me on a light dose of simvastatin, which has caused no problems.

Stuff you don't need usually need to know, but for me, some comfort in understanding how the body works...
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Old 07-20-2016, 04:10 PM   #17
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Perhaps a call to the place where the CT scan was made, could help with an overview of whether the size of the dilation might be a matter for concern.
Again, Ontario.....that's not how it 'works' here.....couple days ago called the hospital where the MRI was done to ask just that.....response was "Come to Emergency (and likely sit for 8 hours or so waiting to see an anonymous doctor), we can't talk over the phone, or let you talk to anyone else...(and we'll probably tell you to see your family doctor (whom we haven't even met yet, because our previous Dr. relocated to British Columbia))".


Appreciate the file......we've seen part of it before, but not the whole thing. Thanks.
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Old 07-20-2016, 04:19 PM   #18
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Two years ago I went in for a a scan to see how advanced my lymphoma was and low and behold they found I had an 48mm aneurysm of my ascending aorta (just between the valve and the arch). I have very low blood pressure but was a bike racer. Because high effort exercise dramatically raises blood pressure, as a precaution, they told me no more racing. I can still ride but I need to keep my HR below 150 bpm (max was around 170). Lifting heavy weights is also a big risk factor but I was never into lifting anyway. Initially they put me on a beta blocker which lowers BP and max HR but I hated it when exercising so now not taking anything.

We are in wait and watch mode as the recommendation for someone like me with few risk factors is 55mm so I have a way to go before the open heart surgery/replacement endeavor.

Since I don't have a genetic marker for Marfans syndrome, they have no idea why or when it occurred but are encouraged that it hasn't grown since detected.

Good luck.


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Old 07-20-2016, 04:20 PM   #19
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Interesting discussion. My late wife had a subarachnoid aneurysm, which was surgically repaired. She survived before succumbing to cancer 12 years later.
My present wife has both AFIB and an aortic aneurysm. The AFIB is being controlled by medication, and she goes every 6 months to check on the aneurysm.
As Bette Davis said, "Getting old is not for sissies"
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Old 07-20-2016, 04:42 PM   #20
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but was a bike racer.
I figured, approaching 74, that (until I developed the sciatica that I had the MRI for), I was in pretty good shape, regularly doing thousands of steps while stair climbing. Your case, and the excerpt posted below, (sorry, don't have a link), indicates that physical fitness and otherwise good health are immaterial vis-a-vis these aneurysms:

"A Time Bomb Near My Heart
Discovering you have an aortic aneurysm could save your life. But first you have to figure out what to do with the information.

By KEVIN HELLIKER Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal
Updated April 22, 2003 10:23 a.m. ET

In September I learned I have an aneurysm in my aortic artery just above the heart. This stunned me, in part because I felt great. At 43, I was thin and fit, and ate well. Not a drink since age 22, or a smoke since 28. Only two weeks before getting this diagnosis I set a personal record in the Olympic-distance triathlon (two hours, 28 minutes), finishing ahead of most competitors half my age."
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