Minimally Invasive Surgery for Aortic Aneurysms | Q&A

Assistant Professor of Surgery Christopher Abularrage discusses minimally invasive surgery for abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms, including the procedure and recovery.

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  1. I waited for 4 years for my aneurysm to get to 5.0cm. Finally it did and i was scheduled for the minimally invasive surgery on July 10th 2015, The entire waiting time for the operation the surgeon will confirm the procedure specifically holding his pointer finger and thumb about 3/4 " apart while he talked about the incisions in my thighs. I had requested that they keep an eye on me as I wake up before anesthesia had worn off and be ready to hit the iv with something to calm me down,. Back in recovery room and can finally check out the surgery. Both those 3/4" incisions were 4 to 5" long, I remember asking about them and never did get an answer. Well they didn't listen I woke up violently while they kept telling me to calm down. My life in no way returned to normal. 1 week i think from release from hospital, i called the surgeon and told him i was having pain in my right side, he said he really wasn't concerned as it was no where near the surgery. if it got worse to go to Er. I finished working that week and told myself i was going to lay down and if it still hurt i would go. Now at ER, because of the operation I had just had, they got me in pretty quick. They ordered an ultrasound, they got the result from that , then shot me in for a catscan? I question that move now because they were not supposed to be using a dye at all. The ultrasound itself showed a problem. My right kidney was dead. I asked how did that happen, my surgeon shrugged his shoulder and said he's never seen that before. I asked if they were going to remove it and he replied No. Back home I go. Pain has sort of gone down in a week. the second week I felt really weird one morning and back to ER. my blood pressure is through the roof and i get rushed to a step down unit. Blood pressure is going wacky and way to high. They keep changing medications to try and bring it under control. 5 days I'm in that step down unit then on the 6th i am getting sent home. For the next week I am only back in there once while they make some adjustment to the Blood Pressure medication. . During that week I now spend any time I can on the internet researching AAA. Well apparently my surgeon didn't read medical journals. Hes never seen anything like it was BS. Since 1984 they have been putting information and updates on AAA. And a lot of of information about the kidneys (I was never informed about risk to the kidneys. If I had been told about that risk I would have taken the major surgery. On to the next step. The vein DR had made an appt. for the kidney Dr. Go get an ultrasound. 4 days later go to see kidney specialist. (back up a little bit both of my kidneys spleen appendices, bladder were over 85% functional . Sitting down to here what kidney specialist has to say. First thing he asks is about one of the medication I was given when leaving hospital after being in er for the blood pressure episode was a diuretic. I found out at this time that since they new my blood pressure was whacked, and the ultrasound 3 weeks before was done with a dye that I should be taking that med at all. I also at this time was not only told my right kidney was shot, I also got told that my left kidney was only 50%. Apparently the stent that was put in for whatever reason blocked the illiac arteries enough to shut these down. Since all that happened COPD. has been kicking my ass. If I had been on a machine for them to watch they could probably see it getting worse. So in short I went from going to the gym everyday until July 10th with visions of sugarplums in my head. To trying to work out and breathing so hard I have to go on oxygen. My fantasy about getting back to a normal life got crumbled up and thrown away. I would love to know why the incision size changed (i figured the clamps came loose and they had to hack me open to get hold of the femoral arteries. and in the meantime blood was shut off to the kidneys. This is a year later the surgeon who worked on me is gone and I guess the hospital was afraid to contact me for the appt. to see how it was holding up. I'm 64 now and last year was jogging, lifting weights every day. I don't ever expect to get better, ever since the surgery I feel like dominoes and every time i see another specialist i feel like they knock a dozen more dominoes over. I dont suppose there is anything at this point your facility can do to even come close to fixing what was damaged?? Oh BTW ABout a month or two go I got a letter from the hospital that Dr. Salem (surgeon on the aortic aneurysm has left this one to go elsewhere and he never left me on the schedule for the follow up on his work, I can only guess he assumed i had died or something


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