Aortic dissection, aortic aneurysm - The aorta - Life after an aortic dissection
Hello everybody. Great to find this site. Here’s my story:
In May 2008 I had a CT Scan at a general medical screening which revealed a functioning bicuspid valve and a dilated ascending aorta measuring 4.4cm. I'm under the care of Dr Bunce at St George's Hospital Tooting. He describes the aneurysm as "mildly dilated". Not sure how this differs from other aneurysms but when I have been surfing the internet I read that surgery is usually advised around 5.0 so feel that 4.4 is not so far away. Regular scans and an MRI in Feb this year led Dr Bunce to the conclusion that he wouldn’t need to see me for 2 years. He saw no signs of dissection or change in size.
I was really quite scared at first and for the first year spent hours terrifying myself on the internet! However now I often forget that it is there. I have just returned from a 6 month backpacking / volunteering trip around Central America. Climbed volcanos and did some trekking. Didn't actually carry a rucksack (just a little one). I took a large holdall on wheels. Dr Bunce wrote me a letter for my insurers to the effect that I was ok to fly and to work at altitude.
I feel fine except that I sometimes feel that I have indigestion even when I haven't eaten. Nothing too
painfully just a kind of dull ache. I have to admit that I am not very fit. Struggled quite a bit up the mountains but I am sure that was due more to lack of proper exercise than the condition. I Generally suffer from the aches and pains associated with age. Need to get some yoga started! Problem for continuity with classes when you are travelling so much. (lame excuse!)
I would appreciate it if anyone could help me with the description “mildly dilated” and also to see if anyone has had the problem of hair thinning which I am suffering? I think it is due to the beta-blockers. Also am I worrying unnecessarily about the indigestion feeling?
I am seeing my GP tomorrow morning. Thought it would be a good idea to get an appointment with Dr Bunce to ask him these questions. I will come back and let you all know how I get on. Sorry that many of you have gone through so much. I feel very lucky that mine was found before any serious problems have arisen and that it is being monitored. The information I have learned from the site has really made me feel a lot better about it all.
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