I honestly didn't recognize the symptoms as heart related thinking that being a former smoker carrying 50+ pounds of extra weight were to blame for my shortness of breath and muscle exhaustion. My wife and I walked regularly, even walked the entire 12 miles of Cades Cove Loop in the Great Smoky Mountains. But I never seemed to improve in shape or endurance.
As part of my annual physical last fall (2016), my regular doctor put me up for a Low Dose CT Scan since I had bladder cancer and melanoma on the skin (both treated surgically) in the recent 5 years. I got the dreaded call to come in to discuss the scans findings. You could imagine my shock and surprise when instead of cancer, the very first scan discovered an Ascending Aortic Aneurysm that was first measured at 5.5cm.
We were able to get an appointment with the first referral surgeon within a week. We actually went shopping that weekend to get stuff for me to have at the hospital thinking surgery would be immediate. Surprisingly, he wanted to wait 4 months and re-scan as the LDCT wasn't that clear at the Aorta and he said that I was in the 4%or lower risk of rupture or dissection. My wife and I decided to go ahead and seek a second opinion. The second surgeon ordered a contrast CT, Echo-cardiogram, and aorta ultrasound.
The next appointment was also a shocker. The good news was that the Aneurysm was only 4.9cm, the bad news was that my Aortic Valve showed Moderate/Severe Regurgitation. Dr. Dieter informed me that OHS was in my future. I was told that at 56, a mechanical valve/coumadin would be the way to treat this. The Aneurysm and valve to be replaced at the same time.
I was then directed to find a Cardiologist and get a Heart Cath performed and then we will set the date for the surgery. The appointment to meet Dr. Tjuan L. Overly, is set for July 5th.
More Info About Me & My Heart
More About Me
I am from:
My surgery date is:
August 22, 2017
I was diagnosed with:
My surgery was:
Aortic Valve Replacement
Aortic Aneurysm Replacement