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Vascular Surgery

Aortic aneurysm

12/20/2007

Question:

I am a male 76 years of age and have been diagnosed by a CT scan as having an "Aortic Aneurysm", the size of which is 2.7cm. Since I have only recently found out,I do not yet know the rate of growth. I am told that when it reaches 5cm, surgery is the only option. Can the Aneurism burst sooner than the 5cm in size. Also, how frequently should this be checked for growth. I am very concerned, since my Doctor suggests a check once a year and it could grow rapidly in that time. Are there any options other than surgery and "wait and see". What are Beta Blockers and can they help reduce the growth rate. Please advise. Thank you.

Answer:

As a 76 year-old male, an aorta would not be considered to be an aneurysm until it is greater than 3cm. These take decades to develop, so it would be very unlikely for you to develop an aneurysm that would need repair. If it has not grown over 4cm by the time you are 80, in all likelihood, annual scanning would no longer be necessary. I would recommend you discuss this with a vascular surgeon. Best of luck!

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Response by:

Amy B Reed, MD Amy B Reed, MD
No longer associated