Help aortic aneurism

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Nikki, May 7, 2006.

  1. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    My DH (age 60) had emergency gallbladder surgery on 4/27. The surgery seemed to go well, and we came home the next day.
    Also, fatty liver from diet (not alcohol) - was put on low fat diet. The liver will repair itself

    One week later, DH had the same severe pain. Went back to hospital to have liver function test. It revealed bile was not being released from liver into stomach. DH was very jaundice. Drs. believed a stone was left blocking a bile duct.

    Another procedure was done the next day (an ERCP). This went well, too. Was released from hospital yesterday.

    A 4.5cm aortic aneurism was revealed on his ultrasound. My paternal grandfather died from a ruptured aneurism and when my father died, he also had an aneurism. So you can see my concern - not only for my husband but also for my two grown sons.

    Does anyone have any personal info you can share. Would be greatly appreciated.

    Drs. will monitor every 3 mos. - surgery is necessary at 5cm.

    This is way long, but he is the love of my life and my best friend. We've been married 40 yrs. We started dating at 16.

  2. sixtyslady

    sixtyslady Member

    I really don"t know about med problem your D.H. is having but maybe you can find something on the web. Just want to say my heart and prayers go out for both of you. keep us posted. hugs Sixtyslady
  3. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    I have done research on the web. Didn't like what I saw. Just wondering about anyone's personal experience.

    Thanks for your prayers.

    Will keep you posted.

  4. ulala

    ulala New Member

    I'm sorry to hear about the aortic aneurysm. Are you talking about abdominal? If so I am very familiar with this.

    My uncle who lives in Geneva, Switzerland had this. He is a high risk patient so we found a doctor at the Cleveland Clinic who was doing a clinical triai on a new procedure that he had pioneered for this procedure. They make a small incision on each side of the groin and do the procedure as mninimally invasive as possible.

    My uncle had a very good outcome.

    Let me know f I can give you more info!

    Best wishes!
  5. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    Don't have too much info. The dr. came in late after ERCP. My husband and I were sleeping - he was on the good drugs; I was exhausted. It was almost an Oh, by the way, we found a 4.5 cm aortic anuresym on your sonogram.

    Y'all go ahead and go to Puerto Vallarta as scheduled, and we'll talk about this when y'all return. Huh?!? We both went right back to sleep. The next a.m., I freaked out (at home when I left to go shower).

    Of course, the dr. is off this weekend. We have to wait until Mon. My cousin is a retired GYN and has filled me in somewhat - but, we still don't know where on the aortic the anuerysm is located.

    Oh, and as far as Puerto Vallarta goes . . . (5/13-20). We are just not meant to go there. This will be the 4th trip to PV that has had to be canceled. Dad had to have mitral valve replacement; SF was dx'd w/lung cancer - he died shortly thereafter; 9/11; now this.

    Anyway, if it hadn't been for the original gallbladder problem, we wouldn't have found out about DH's fatty liver or the anuresym. God has blessed us . . . plus, I have not had a flare this whole time and have been able to take care of DH. I'm very tired, but no flare. Praise God.


    (I "talk" a lot when I'm nervous. You guys are great. Thanks for "listening."
  6. rockyjs

    rockyjs Member


    You might want to do a search on a condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or EDS. It's a genetic connective tissue disorder and aortic aneurisms are very common.

    It's usually diagnosed by a rheumatologist but I would think a cardiologist would also know the symptoms. People with EDS have a very high rate of fibromyalgia, so if you father and grandfather had aneurisms and you have fibromyalgia, you might want to ask about it, too, just so your sons can have it checked out.

    I hope you get to take your trip!


  7. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    Mine is quite large for a woman. I have to have it remeasured in February to see if it grew. I want to tell you I totally FREAKED when they told me, as I thought I was about to die.

    I tried to read it on the web but they all were saying measurements that were a lot less than mine for sure and those for memn who have larger aortas.

    This is what they do, they really tend not to operate until it reaches 5cm, whilst I am thinking why wait??? Apparently so my good heart doc says, they do not consider dilation to actually BE aneuristic until it is 5cm.

    With men, if he is big too, then normal top end can be close to 4.5cm, there is a varience.

    I am over(just) the very top of varience for women. The web is scary and so are some doctors as they say aneurism on paper or when they speak, when really it is dilated.

    If it is under 5cm I would just make sure to have an echo when the heart doc says to, at least once a year, or 6mths whatever they say.

    Is it abdominal or ascending aorta? Mine is the latter.

    I hope this helps as I was very scared and found info re sizes hard to find that made sense.

    Also, if he has ever been on cortosteroids like Prednisone, then this could have caused it as could being athletic or lifting heavy weights, all three in my case!!!(LOL)

    After three weeks of going nuts I have just about accepted that I am safe, that the dilations are very slow growing, and I am just trusting in my heart doctor. I am 59, femals but I have a not quite 12 year old special needs son, so I was truly scared.

    I had a myoview stress test last week or so and did really top notch on that. Also, the heart doc may wat to get a TEE measurement (look from inside using a scope down thoat as they tend to be more accurate than MRI's or even an echo cardiogram is more accurate than MRI BTW. Was it echo ultrasound?If not get one of the above tests as regular ultrasound can be iffy on measurements.

    Love Anne C

    [This Message was Edited on 05/07/2006]
  8. ulala

    ulala New Member

    abdominal aortic aneurysms can be very dangerous. If it gets to be a certain size it can burst and the person can bleed to death very quickly. The person has to get to the hospital IMMEDIATELY, as in five minutes.

    My unclce had it for about one year before they decided that it was time to fix it. Do a google search on abdominal aortic aneurysm. You will find out what it is and at what size it becomes a risk for bursting.

    A lot of young people also get this. It is the aorta that carries blood from the stomach to the heart and if it bursts it is a diaster. Thank God you know about it now!

    I don't want to scare you but you have to be aware of this. Your doctor will tell you what the risks of bursting are and hopefully do some more testing.

    If your husband is a high risk patient I would look into going to the Cleveland Clinic for the surgery. The recovery is quick and they are very specialized there.

    Good luck!
  9. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    Ulala - I talked to my cousin who is a retired GYN Dr and is very knowledgable in other fields. He also suggested going to the Cleveland Clinic for surgery.

    We are definitely going to get a 2nd opinion. I know 1st hand that there is a very good vascular surgeon here in Baton Rouge. Our Dr. may be tops too, but the surgery was emergency and our PCP called in someone with his group Drs. I really liked him - but, he kinda did leave us hanging . . . guess he didn't know I had some knowledge about anuerysms b/c of family history.

    It's the not knowing that is the hardest, of course. But, tomorrow I'm calling 1st thing in the a.m. to set up appt and get the low-down on this anuerysm thing.

    Prayers are welcome. I thank you all for the responses. I feel better just being able to share with you all.

    We are canceling the vacation - just not quite up to it.
    But, we are planning to keep some plans we made w/good friends in Seattle for Aug. We will meet up in Seattle and drive down the Oregon Coast. A good 2 week break.

    Hugs to All,
  10. lighthouselady

    lighthouselady New Member

    Hi Sharon,

    My husband just went through the "stent procedure" at the Cleveland Clinic on February 17th of this year. He was home in about 36 hours and it took about 2 weeks to feel up to par. Our doctor was just fabulous, Dr. Greenberg. My hubby had 3 bypasses and a valve replaced also at Cleveland Clinic on Nov. 21, 2005. His aneurysm was at 6.0 when he had surgery. He had to go through the heart surgery first before they would do the surgery, he had 4 blocked arteries. They watched his for 7 years, going from 4.5 to 6.0. He is just fine now and had very little pain with it. Just have a good surgeon on hand before you actually need him.

    I neglected to tell you he is almost 75 years old and did that well so your's should do great.

    Good Luck, Judy
    [This Message was Edited on 05/07/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 05/07/2006]
  11. Countrymom

    Countrymom New Member


    My dad had this years ago about 8 maybe. His was very large and encompassed both of the arteries to his kidneys and to the legs.

    He was real mess. He went to the CC as referred by his doctor. The doc there was FABULOUS, my dad was in surgery for about 10 hours because his case was so complex.

    They did a great job with him although I did think the staff was kinda rude. But then again personality doesn't really matter.

    He had some serious complications(also rare) but in the end was back to his normal and he only complained about his NOSE hurting where they had a feeding tube!!

    Good luck,
  12. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    This is all so very encouraging. Looks like the Cleveland Clinic comes highly recommended.

    Thanks so very much for all the responses.

    Y'all are the best ever.

  13. ulala

    ulala New Member

    my uncle's doctor at the Cleveland Clinic was also Roy Greenberg. My unlce flew from Geneva, Switzerland to have him do the surgery. My uncle is not easy to please but he was extremely pleased with Dr. Greenburg, and his outcome. He is the best.

    I also flew out there, from Los Angeles and stayed for a week in the Intercontinental Hotel with his wife. Nice place!

    [This Message was Edited on 05/07/2006]
  14. lighthouselady

    lighthouselady New Member

    I'm really impressed that he flew in from Switzerland for Dr. Greenberg. I knew he was great but that really reinforces it. He's so nice too. I agree about the staff, they could use some improving.

  15. mme_curie68

    mme_curie68 New Member

    First thing is to find out exactly where the aneurysm is located on the aorta.

    Its location will give you information on what your surgical options are.

    Some can be repaired more easily than others.

    It's a higher-risk surgery, which is why a cardio-thoracic surgeon won't do it until it has reached a certain size. The break point is where a person's chances of dying from the aneurysm are greater than the risk of death or serious complications from the surgery itself.

    From what I remember, I believe that an aneurysm on the aortic arch (as it comes out of the heart)is the most difficult to repair, the ascending aorta (the part that heads up to the brain)second most difficult and the descending aorta (heads down towards the kidneys) is the "easiest" relatively speaking and also the most common.

    I don't mean to scare you, I just want you to be aware that the surgery itself is no walk in the park. Second opinions are definitely warranted and additional imaging studies as well.

    My husband's grandfather (considerably older than your DH at 90!!!) was hospitalized following a fall and they found his when they were imaging his back and neck. He has Parkinson's disease and decided he does not want to even be evaluated for a repair.

    How fortunate for DH that they did find it. Now they can keep an eye on it and attack when necessary.

    Madame Curie

  16. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    I wondered if you read my post earlier to you? I wanted to tell you not to get in a flap about this as I already went through this myself. It is too eraly to be worrying about surgeons etc. as they may redo his measurements with a more accurate technology and discover it is not as dilated.

    As I am in exactly the same position myself, I just wanted to let you know that although doctors use the word aneurism, the real word they should be using is dilation, until it gets to 5cm for a man and about 4.5cm for a woman.

    Mine is in the ascending aorta, which is a difficult place, the abdominal ones are a little easier for operating on.

    I can see you are going through this tremendous worry that I did when the doctor casually made the comment to me (in much the same way). I am certain that they will offer to run another test, and as I said, a TEE or echo cardio is the best accuracy, and then they will take the wait and see approach. I asked my heart doctor if I should restrict myself in any way and she said just not to lift heavy stuff... she also said that some people have dilations like this for many many years, that something makes them grow, then they stop.

    As I tend to always see the very worse in a dx, I was very persistent with questions, and she absolutely reassured me that she had absolutely no fear that I was about to drop dead, that in fact we were very lucky to have discovered it by chance, as now we could monitor it, and not be in some big surprise. She also said that there was a slight chance the ize was normal varience for me, and as your Dh is a man, then it could be for him.

    I am sorry to beloabor the point but I alreday went through this worry and wanted to save you from it all.

    Love Anne C

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