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when does an aneurysm become an emergency

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Old 09-01-2006, 09:09 AM   #1
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when does an aneurysm become an emergency

My name is vanessa and my husband is Richard. We have recently discovered that my husband has an ascending aorta aneurysm. Richard was born with a deformed heart vaulve and as he hadn't had it checked since he was 18. At the grand old age of 33 he thought it was time for a check up, so it was pure chance and luck that they found his aneurysm. The echo doppler thingy showed that his artery was 5.9 in diameter, a couple of days later a CT scan showed that his artery was 6.2. Our doctor told us (before the CT scan) that over 6 was an emergency but the surgeon doesn't seem to be to bothered. Richards surgery has been sceduled for 4-6 weeks and the waiting is just awful. We are so scared that the aneurysm might rupture, Is this to long to wait or are we worrying for nothing.

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Old 09-01-2006, 01:50 PM   #2
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Re: when does an aneurysm become an emergency

Hi Vanessa,

"Normal" size is 3.3 to 4.4. A larger size may be "normal" for a specific individual. The numbers a merely a reference and a guide. However, it may be wise not do any heavy lifting as that could cause a surge of pressure to a vulnerable aneurysm site.

At 33 one still has vessel flexibility that can easily absorb some of the pressure and evenly distribute to compensate. Much more dangerous for an older person who has some hardening of the arteries.

Old 09-03-2006, 04:56 AM   #3
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Re: when does an aneurysm become an emergency


It is important to dig out those records of 15 years ago and see if there has been much of a change since then. With that deformed heart valve, I'm SURE they checked the size of his aorta when he was 18 and they did a heart workup. An expanding aneurism is a far greater emergency than one that is static, even if enlarged.

If there is no difference over the 15 years, then there will be less to worry about. But while awaiting surgery, make sure he takes BP meds to keep pressure low and have him do a lot of heavy lifting, excitement etc.

I am surprised they would wait so long to do something your cardio deems an "emergency."

Anyhoo, that 6.0 isn't HORRIBLY big just at the cusp of needing surgery.

(Consider that 5.9 and 6.2 as doctor has eyes that good.)

I presume he'll have the valve replaced at the same time?

Last edited by Lenin; 09-03-2006 at 04:57 AM.

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