What to do about panic due to aortic aneurysm? My poor sister has a 5.2cm aortic aneurysm. It hasn't grown in a year, but she's really overweight and panics every time she experiences an odd sensation because she thinks she's going to die. Should she be
Aortic aneurysm. Without a strong family history of aortic aneurysm disease a 5.2 cm aneurysm can be safely observed. She needs reassurance not a psychiatrist. The rupture risk of a 5.2 cm aneurysm is very, very small but not absolutely zero, so encourage her to discuss with a board certified vascular surgeon. Standard risk patients are offered repairs of abdominal aneurysms at 5.5 cm and at 6 cm for thoracic.
See a psychiatrist. Your sister needs to be evaluated and treated by a psychiatrist. She may need medications as well as therapy and needs to be treated in consultations with pcp/cardiologist.
Her. Her aneurysm is close to the size where it should be considered for surgical repair, typically 5.5 cm for either a thoracic aortic aneurysm or an abdominal aortic aneurysm. It sounds like she has it evaluated annually, which is the recommendation. It is also crucial that she controls her blood pressure and cholesterol and that she not smoke. Weight loss would be beneficial, but should be done with the guidance of her physician in order to avoid too much stress on the aneurysm. It is important to monitor symptoms, because chest or abdominal pain can herald a potential aortic catastrophe; but, in some people this vigilance leads to anxiety. It is important that she focus on the correct symptoms and not attribute all symptoms to a possible aneurysm. The symptoms she should look for depends on whether the aneurysm is in her thorax or abdomen, and could be explained to her by her physician. If she experiences anxiety as a result of her medical condition, she may be an appropriate candidate for anxiety medication.