More AAA Stories

Carolyn M.
Carolyn M.

I am a Retired Registered Nurse and I found the AAA myself. While lying in bed one night I felt a pulsation in the middle of my abdomen. At my next doctor appointment, I asked my doctor to check it out. He ordered an ultrasound and found an aneurysm measuring 3.6 cm. Following the diagnosis, I was checked every 6 months and after a few years its size jumped to 5 cm. At that point, I had it repaired through surgery. It has now been 2 years and I am back to normal living since I was restricted prior to the surgery. I now can tell others to have the area checked for an AAA. It is a silent condition and may be deadly if not caught in time.

Frank C.
Frank C.

My brother just returned from aneurysm surgery when I heard about a Find the AAAnswers free screening event – great timing! I made the appointment, went in nervously, but was delighted by 1) the way I was treated with respect, 2) that I saw a doctor immediately and got "on the spot" results, 3) my test was negative, and  4) they even gave me great treats and valet parking! A very happy week for my family – my brother has successful surgery and I get a clean test result!

Jason G.
Jason G.

An incidental finding during my angiogram for my heart valve repair surgery revealed that I have an abdominal aortic aneurysm measuring 4.2 cm. I was shocked. I have done quite a lot of reading about my heart surgery but knew nothing about AAA. I searched the internet regarding AAA immediately. When I realized how dangerous it was, I felt lucky that I knew I have it. Finding this out early may have saved my life. 4.2 cm is not a small size but it may not warrant surgery at this time. I am referred by my family doctor to a vascular surgeon. I will discuss this with the vascular surgeon and keep up with a regular check up.

Dwight E.

I had a complete physical recently and was told that I have AAA. I didn’t know anything about the disease up until now. They told me that for now they would just watch it, I feel fine and wasn't put on any restrictions for now. The most surprising thing I learned about AAA is how serious it can be. With that in mind I will have it checked at least every six months.

Michael S.
Michael S.

My father passed away June 9, 2009 of this disease. He was a banker for 32 years and he also worked for the New York Mets for 47 years as an usher/director and went to work that day as usual. He was found by security in the parking lot and was rushed to a local hospital. We were lucky to have some time with him before he succumbed to AAA. My Dad didn't believe in doctors or hospitals, and for all the years I remember he was rarely if ever ill. In the emergency room, the conversations with the doctor were difficult, as my Dad had no prior medical history. When the doctors came out to tell us what had happened and that he had passed, we were shocked. I'm surprised at the number of people I have crossed paths with recently that have also been touched by AAA.

Gary P.
Gary P.

My 59-year-old brother experienced a painful death when his AAA ruptured. Even though he was admitted to the hospital within minutes of his attack, it was too late. Since heredity is strongly linked to AAA, I began getting an ultrasound screening at age 55. My AAA appeared at age 58 and my doctor and I opted to monitor the bulge for awhile. When the bulge began to increase, I decided to have an endograft put in place.

John W.

I had an AAA in March of 2001. My AAA hit with no warning and was so painful that I immediately passed out. Fortunately my brother was persistent to call 911; my AAA ruptured at the back toward my spine, which  gave me a couple of hours for the ER doctors to diagnose the problem. I lost seven pints of blood and the procedure took five hours to repair the damage. I would like to help this cause in any way that I can.

Kenneth G.

I am a 52 year old man.  A year ago I had an AAA.  I had to be airlifted to a large hospital and later was told that I was 30 minutes from death when I arrived.  I was in the hospital for two months, lost five feet of my intestines and was in a coma for two weeks after surgery.  I have all kinds of problems from the AAA.  I would really advise everyone to be screened.  AAA is a horrible ordeal to go through, but I do thank God daily for my life.

Margaret R.

There is heart disease in my family that I was aware of but never thought that AAA was a factor. I am a 32-year-old woman that survived a dissected AAA by the grace of God. After surgery to repair it, I plan to live happy with my family. There is always a worry of “what if”, but by working with my doctors and getting screened, I feel safer.

Sherm S.

I am a 65-year-old in good health. This year my family physician told me that part of the Welcome to Medicare free exam was a screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm. Not only did they find an AAA but it was large enough to warrant surgery (about 5 and a half cm). My family doctor was surprised; I was not because my father passed away after emergency surgery for a ruptured AAA in 1985 at the age of 69. I have had an aortic endograft installed and was out of the hospital for 3 days with very little pain and only a few restrictions. I was lucky and I can testify that if you have a family history of AAA, don’t wait too long for a screening exam that could save your life.

Shirley T.

A CAT scan of my abdomen and pelvis was performed by my gastroenterologist to see if my diverticulitis had gotten worse. Through this examination, my AAA was discovered. I would have much preferred not having this AAA, but I am so grateful that it was discovered. It's only 2.6 centimeters and the doctors will keep a very close eye to monitor the growth. Being aware and watching this condition is the key. So many of us are presenting each and every day with this condition and are not even aware of it. So I am one of the lucky ones who has found out early.

Brad O.

My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer in July of 2009. As a result, he underwent a CAT scan to see if the prostate cancer had spread. When I talked to my mom the next day she said she had some bad news. I thought, “Here we go, the cancer has spread somewhere,” but instead she said that the CAT scan revealed that the cancer had not spread but that they had found a 5 cm AAA that they needed to fix right away. It may sound odd, but we were very lucky he was diagnosed with the cancer because without it he would never have had the screening test. The doctor said within 3 years it would have ruptured and chances are we would have lost him. I would strongly recommend the screening, even if you feel you are in generally good health. It could save your life.