Patient Comments: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm - Experience

Please describe your experience with an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Comment from: Verardi, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: March 11

I am 80 years old in fairly good shape. My brother died of cancer at pancreas. I was told siblings can have the same problem. I asked for a CT scan and the results: pancreas was ok but they found an abdominal aorta aneurism and other 2 aneurisms at the iliac (right and left). Now the abdominal aorta aneurysm has reached 4cm 6 mm.

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Comment from: AAA wife, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 24

My husband, a 40-year-old smoker with close family history of abdominal aortic aneurysm, went for his yearly physical this spring. Because he is thin, the doctor felt what he thought might have abdominal aortic aneurysm and referred him to a vascular surgeon. Sure enough, CT scan revealed a 6 cm aneurysm too close to the renal arteries to allow a stent. He was scheduled for open chest surgery, but two days before that, we got a call from his surgeon saying that my husband was a good candidate for a fenestrated stent that had recently been approved by the FDA. The surgeon set up an appointment with a university teaching hospital physician and my husband had the surgery 5 weeks later. The surgery couldn't have gone better (out of the hospital in 2 days), but he is experiencing fluctuating blood pressure and extreme tiredness. I guess that's to be expected after a 6-hour surgery.

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Comment from: Kavitha, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 02

Two days ago, my dad complained of stomach and abdominal pain. He thought it was just some gas problem and went to bed. By morning, the pain developed rapidly and he had fits. We rushed him to the hospital, and they did a CT scan. He was diagnosed with an abdominal aorta aneurysm rupture. He went through an operation immediately. The doctor broke our heart saying that he had 10% chance of because he had a cardiac arrest during the operation. We were devastated. My dad is only 56, and he was just playing with my 2-year-old son before the pain started. It has been two days since then. He is smiling at us and says he will make it.

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Comment from: Lynn , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 17

I am a 46 year old female with a long history of heart problems. I have had a double valve replacement and have a 'variant' form of Marfans. I am under the watchful eye of a fantastic team of vascular specialists. For a good while now, my aneurysm measured 5.1cm. Yesterday it was measured at 5.4. My surgeon has previously told me that because of my medical history, he'd prefer to wait until it reaches 6cm. But quite honestly the stress is absolutely awful. The thought of it just 'popping' is horrendous given the fact that I'd probably not even make it to the hospital! I have a 14 year old son and to say I'm worried is an understatement.

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Comment from: virginia, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 17

I just turned 40 and have a congenital heart disorder - a bicuspid aortic valve. I am being followed by a cardiologist. On my last visit they decided to do an ultrasound of the abdomen and that is when it was determined that I had an AAA measuring 3.0cm. The cardiologist stated that he was not overly concerned. I too suffer from lower back pain but I thought the condition was related to exercise or work. I will keep monitoring both conditions carefully.

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Comment from: 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I am a 65-year-old woman in excellent health except for a problem with my lower spine. It was during an MRI for that condition that my abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) was discovered by accident. It was only 3.4 cm, so I was put on a six-month watch. Two very nervous years later, the aneurysm passed the 5 cm mark and successful surgery was performed. I am writing because I just read about the risk of AAA in siblings of AAA patients. I wasn't told of this, and I'm very sure my two sisters are not aware of it either. Of course, I'm in the process of notifying them, but I wanted to let others know of this as well. If you have a sibling who has had an AAA, then you should be screened, especially if you're over the age of 60. This is a very frightening condition, and I'm glad to be over it!

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Comment from: 65-74 Male Published: August 12

My husband died this year due to a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. During the night, he complained of a pain in his lower abdomen. At about midnight, he collapsed and turned yellow. I called 911, and he was transported to our local hospital where I was told his condition was very grave. The staff was very good to me and worked tirelessly on him, kept his heart pumping, and tried to ease his pain with morphine. Our local hospital did not have a vascular surgeon on hand so we were flown to the city by helicopter. The paramedics on the helicopter were giving him CPR practically the whole way down, about 25 minutes. He died very shortly after arriving, at 4:40 am. It was a total shock as he did not have any prior symptoms. However, he was being monitored for high blood pressure and was taking cholesterol medications. He was always fighting an overweight problem. He was 68. If you are over 65, have yourself screened, it may save your life. I still can't believe it happened so quickly.

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Patient Comments

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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with your abdominal aortic aneurysm?
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm - Surgery Experience Question: Did you or a relative have surgery for an abdominal aortic aneurysm? What was the outcome?
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm - Rupture Question: Do you have a friend or relative who had a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm? Please share your experience.

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