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Swollen Aorta
ModernHippie posted:
My friends father has been slowly getting worse and worse due to a few different types of cancer and a general decline in his health overall. Just today he tells me that his father told him that he has an enlarged aorta and that the doctors will not be able to fit him in to have the necessary surgery for 2 weeks.

The question he has is - Is that time scale right ? If this man has something wrong with his main aorta shouldn't they rush him in for surgery sooner than that ?
CardiostarUSA1 responded:

"Is that time scale right? If this man has something wrong with his main aorta shouldn't they rush him in for surgery sooner than that?"

Assuming that he has an aortic aneurysm (a swelling or ballooning out of an area of the aorta), this would be mainly dependent on the size (cm) and severity of symptoms present.

The very best of luck to your friend's father.

Take care,


WebMD member (since 8/99)



Be well-informed

As applicable

Aortic aneurysms

The normal aorta (largest artery in the human body, shaped somewhat like a cane) is reported as being about 1" in diameter. Identifiable parts or sections of the aorta include the aortic root, ascending (goes upward) aorta, aortic arch (curved portion at the top of the aorta), descending aorta (going downward), thoracic aorta (chest area) and the abdominal aorta (stomach area).

Diseased aortic tissue is characterized by degeneration of the cells composing the aortic wall. This diseased tissue is weak, lacking sufficient elastic components to stretch and contract well.

The first indication of this abnormality may be a localized enlargement/dilation in the area of weakness. When it reaches a certain size, this enlarged/dilated area is referred to as an aneurysm.


L@@K Back in the Media

A report back in 2000 said that the risk of rupture of aortic aneurysms (typically occurring in the abdomen, AAA) that measure 5 to 5.9 cm was low but escalates sharply for those aneurysms that measure 6 cm or more in diameter.

Back in mid-2002 a study by the Department of Veterans Affairs reported that surgical correction is not recommended unless the aneurysm exceeds a certain size.

The researchers said that the hazards/complications of surgery can be the greater threat unless the aneurysm is larger than 5.5 cm in diameter and that most of smaller aneurysms wouldn't rupture so the ultimate goal is to repair the AAAs/TAAs that will burst.


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Mayo Clinic

High Blood Pressure, Fatty Deposits Are "bit players" in Bulging Arteries - Age, gender, body size are better predictors of aortic aneurysm; genetics likely important - 9/16/03


Study: Practice makes perfect: Death risk from tricky aortic aneurysm repair far lower if vascular surgeon does the job - 10/16/03

Aneurysm & AVM Support site

Aortic Aneurysms and Dissection Narratives 1995 to current


Good to know, for the primary and secondary prevention of heart attack and brain attack/stroke

Epidemiologic studies (EDS) have revealed risk factors for atherosclerosis (typically affecting the coronary, carotid, and peripheral arteries), which includes age, gender, genetics (gene deletion, malfunction, or mutation), diabetes (considered as being the highest risk factor), smoking (includes secondhand), inactivity, obesity (a global epidemic, "globesity"), high blood pressure (hypertension), diet high in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, high LDL, high Lp(a), high ApoB, high Lp-PLA2, high triglycerides, LOW HDL (less than 40 mg/dL, an HDL level of 60/65 mg/dL or more is considered protective against coronary artery disease), high homocysteine, and high C-reactive protein (CRP/hs-CRP).


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