First, I'll give you a little background info: I'm and 33 y.o. mom of two and I've known of my BAV since I was about 12 or so. I've never had any restrictions on activity or anything and I've had two easy pregnancies. My BAV was always in the back of my mind, just as something that I'd probably have to have replaced when I was much older. I've lived a normal life and have somewhat kept up with my cardio visits, which were always routine. However, after not going to the cardio since, oh, 2008 (I'd had a baby in 09- guess I've had other things on my mind!), I made an appointment and finally went back in Feb or March of this year. My cardio at that time had mentioned that since it had been a while since I had last had an echo, he wanted me to do that asap and also schedule an MRA to have a better look at my aorta. Not because I'd been having problems, but because he wanted a baseline measurement. So I did all of that and then a few weeks ago, not expecting anything wrong, I went back to see him to discuss the results.
Turns out that I have a 4cm dilation/aneurysm on my ascending aorta, which, since I'm only 5'1" and fairly small is pretty big, I guess. He now wants me to have a scan every 6 months (echo alternating with MRA) to watch and see how it's growing. Unfortunately at my last echo in 2008 they didn't measure the ascending aorta. He also started me on a low dose of a beta blocker (metoprolol). Fortunately, however, my valve function is good- only very mild thickening and stenosis.
Since that appointment, which was a lot to absorb, I've had plenty of time to think, research and read. Probably too much! (no, definitely too much). One of the things that my doc said was that he was going to consult with some other docs about my aorta size in relation to my height/body size. So I've researched that too, online and through a friend who's a nurse practitioner. And what I've come up with is that my value for the Aortic Size Index is 2.5 (there's a cool calculator here:http://valleyheartandvascular.com/Th...rtic-Size.aspx) and I've found that one of the indications for surgery to repair the aneurysm for a BAV patient is to do it before the ASI reaches 2.75, which, for me, is 4.4cm(!).
Is this something that any of you have heard of? I'm not eager to go under the knife at all, but feeling like I've got a ticking time bomb in my chest isn't pleasant either, as I'm sure many of you can relate! Also, would they do surgery if my valve is still operating well? Also, symptoms seem to be a tricky thing, especially since BAV is something that you're born with it's difficult to know what's normal or not. I can say that while I've always been active, I've never had great endurance. Sometimes I think that I'm experiencing shortness of breath, but I've always attributed it to stress or not working out enough. I've also in the last six months started to get migraine auras (no headache), but my cardio doesn't think that this is related (I'm not so sure). I have a follow up appt. in 2 weeks to see how my beta blocker is doing. I also plan on asking him lots of questions!
Anyways, sorry for the long post! Reading through your stories has been really helpful for me- best wishes to all of you! Any insight any of you have is most appreciated!