Main Article on Aortic Aneurysm (Abdomen and Thorax - Chest) Question: What symptoms did you experience with your aortic aneurysm? Submit Your Comment Comment from: Carlos, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 02 My husband lived with an undetected thoracic aortic aneurysm for 10 years. He had shortness of breath and was diagnosed with chronic bronchitis. For years he did not feel well, it was blamed on a non-existing bronchitis. He had high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and was medicated. In the summer of 2015 he started to get swollen feet and ankles, sweating, shortness of breath, and painful digestion. In November his aorta dissected and he died after 12 hours of open heart surgery. Comment from: Steph , 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: February 28 My gran has an aortic aneurysm (AAA) that is not operable and we've been told to bring her home as it is close to rupture. I have no idea what will happen in the next few days. She's stopped eating and drinking, is rather confused, struggling to swallow, and in and out of sleep. I'd just like to know if these are the symptoms of the AAA. Comment from: dalboysoccerstar, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 13 I began having severe abdominal pain, a crushing pain 9/10. After 3 hours I said this is not an appendix, or ileus, this is infarctive or ischemic. I presented to the emergency room. When I explained to the triage team, my symptoms, and I stated to the attending my opinion, we went straight to CT. My CT Scan was misread by a radiology resident. I was discharged and I went home. Three hours later, my scan was read by a real Radiologist. Diagnosis was thoraco-abdominal Stanford III B aortic dissection. Comment from: Siddhant, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: September 18 When I was back from college, I had unbearable pain in my back and chest. I was taken to the hospital, tested and diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm. Then I was operated on successfully. My father died due to aortic dissection 7 months prior. Doctors said this is genetic. Now I am 23. Comment from: Michele , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 13 My aortic aneurysm was diagnosed at 3.9 mm. After 5 years of watchful waiting it is now 5.1, and surgery seems inevitable. I'm watching my diet and trying to keep fit, preparing for surgery. I suffer with awful back and buttock pain, feel full, and a little breathless at times. Emotionally I'm very sad at times and frightened sometimes but working full time and keeping busy. I want to get the surgery over with and get on with recovery. I would prefer to have my surgery now while I'm still fit and well. Comment from: Tino, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 03 Chest and back pains were my symptoms of aortic aneurysm. Comment from: Lill, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: December 02 My husband had emergency surgery for a type of aortic dissection, and now he has been told he has another dissection. Wonder if anyone else has been through this. Comment from: Jj, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 11 I was driving home from work when I had what I thought was a heart attack, it was a ripping burning pain and I felt winded. The pain went up into my jaw and down my left arm. Somehow I got home where my son phoned for an ambulance, a heart attack was quickly ruled out, and after a CAT scan they discovered my an aortic aneurysm had ruptured from the heart valve to the intestines. I was blue lighted to a specialist hospital where I underwent a 10 hour surgery to fit an artificial aorta. Comment from: Jeni, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 08 I first thought it was my back, then was reclining and saw what looked like heart beats under my skin in both my legs. Then I couldn't stretch, to walk I could barely shuffle my feet and very short leg movements I sat some more, and then lay more. I had the largest aortic aneurysm the hospital had ever seen on a live person. Then 6 months later I had a triple bypass. I was 40 or 41; now 25 years later it is back. My lungs are too bad so I can't have surgery, so I guess I am just watching signs. Comment from: Leighw06, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 26 During a CT scan of my stomach they found a descending thoracic aortic aneurysm. It is a 4.3 x 4.4. I wonder if anyone else has had chest and neck pain, and shortness of breath with their aortic aneurysm. I thought there was no pain with this. Comment from: Sail, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 08 I found out 3 weeks ago that I have an ascending aortic aneurism 4.3 cm in size. What really angers me is that I was hospitalized on 7/18 for severe chest pain. I was told it was acid reflux. I found out a week ago I had a 4 cm size aneurism and I never was told. I'm 57 and now a non-smoker for 2 weeks. I'm still scared stiff and can't think of anything else. What to do! Feel like I have a ticking bomb in my chest. SLIDESHOW Heart Disease: Causes of a Heart Attack See Slideshow Comment from: Biggs, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 25 I was getting ready for work at about 5:30 am. I started getting really bad shooting pains in rear left shoulder. It got so bad I lay down on bed and was writhing in pain. My wife called 911 and they came and took me to the emergency room (ER). A quick EKG and blood pressure were taken and they said I wasn't having a heart attack and I was fine. By around 2:00 the pain had subsided and they sent me home. Long story short, after finally getting approval from insurance for CT scan 4 weeks later, they saw a bad tear, rushed me to the ER for surgery for aortic aneurysm. Comment from: linda, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 18 I had been going to the doctor for 3 weeks now for a bad cold. The 2nd time I was told it was pleurisy and bronchitis. Yesterday I was hurting so bad on my right side in the chest area and been having night sweats and some during the day with nausea and dizziness. Yesterday while doing CT with contrast dye they found a thoracic aortic aneurysm. They wanted me to set up an appointment with a heart surgeon. I had been having headaches and heart palpitations and slight pain but just wrote it off from just being sick. Comment from: Artie, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 19 I had lower back pain for several days that would not go away. On the day I went into hospital I felt sick, was throwing up, and my back pain got worse, and I was diagnosed with aortic aneurysm. Comment from: Marleen, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 28 At age 59, I was diagnosed with a 3.2 cm abdominal aortic aneurysm. It was found incidentally, while performing an ultrasound CAT scan, checking on the degree of arterial disease. The only symptom I had was pain in my calves and slight shortness of breath from walking uphill. Recognizing this as an artery issue, my doctor wanted more of me looked it. I was followed for 6 years before the size of the aneurysm reached 5.2 cm and I had elective surgery. I came through it well although I had some nerve damage which caused almost constant pain in my lower front which wrapped around to my back. It has been easing since. Now at 6 months post surgery, the pain is occasional. I still have a lot less feeling in one leg, from the knee down, but it does not pain or bother me. I feel fortune that the 6 years of nerve-wracking wait is over! Comment from: June, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 13 My husband died from a ruptured aortic aneurysm. He had no symptoms until he fainted one morning. We rushed to the emergency room thinking he had a mild heart attack even though he had no pain. On the way there he began vomiting, sweating and became confused. He passed away during surgery 5 hours later. Comment from: BABYGIRL50, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 29 I was working at home the weekend of 12/8 to 10/2013. I was feeling pretty good. After I went to bed about 11 pm, I started having stomach pains; as if I had to have a bowel movement. The pain progressively worsened and I got scared. I knew this was not normal for me. I called 911, the EMS (Emergency Medical Services) workers came immediately, assessed me and took me to the emergency room. Within 30 minutes of arrival, a CT scan was done and I was rushed into surgery. I was diagnosed with a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. When I work up 5 days later, the medical staff told me, if I had ignored the pain, I would have died in my bed. I had no prior symptoms and since I did not fit the category to be tested for an aneurysm, I simply did not know! Please, for goodness' sake and your wellbeing, do not ignore it when your body starts talking to you. If there is the slightest thing out of the normal, please get it checked out. Better safe than sorry! I am alive and well 2 plus years later. Comment from: Val, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 04 I was told I have thoracic aortic aneurysm stage 4, and was hospitalized. They did give me medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol, baby aspirin and something for my heart. I'm home but I have been getting headache. I don't know what to do. Comment from: Denny, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: June 26 I experienced no symptoms of aortic aneurysm. Comment from: Loganberry, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 02 I went on December 8, 2016 for a CT lung scan. It was a 49 dollar deal. Since I am a smoker I thought it was a good idea. Lungs are fine but they found a descending thoracic aortic aneurysm 4 x 6. Next I had a CT angiogram. A 3.8 to 4.6 aneurysm from the ascending across the arch to descending. I return in 6 months for another CT angiogram. If they hit 5.0 to 5.5 it's surgery. I have a restricted lifestyle and quit smoking. I'm 5 ft. 6, 137 pounds with no other health problems. I take a vitamin and 87 mg of aspirin a day and was active. I am finally getting the anxiety under control; kind of hard when you are walking around with a ticking bomb in your chest. Now I am developing shortness of breath, I don't know if it is a symptom or anxiety. IMAGES See Images Comment from: Caught In Time, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 01 I experienced extreme upper back pain that would not stop. I was rushed to the hospital and had surgery for aortic aneurysm. I thought I was dying, the pain was so excruciating. Comment from: JD, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 18 At 54, I survived a ruptured Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Jan. 18th, 2011, I'm speaking from firsthand experience I thought I had bi annual physicals, had no idea I had an aortic aneurysm! No sign or symptoms until: As I reflect back my symptoms include: I remember my eyes would sometimes blury or act as if they were crossed eyed vision. I recall getting cramps in my lower back area and these lower back cramps began to happen often; I would lay on the floor, ball up/fetal position and raising my legs up in the air the back cramps would release and go away. I fainted/passed out while being interviewed for a transfer request by my employer. Awakened by my employer, he said he would get someone to take me to the hospital, but made me promise that I would go to the emergency room. And we did. I was in the emergency room all day laying in real pain in the lower back area, but this time no matter what I tried, the pain would not release. Late that same afternoon, while lying in the emergency room, the AAA ruptured, and emergency surgery followed. I lost 10 pints of blood from the time they wheeled me from the ER to the Emergency Operating Room. My abdomen was swollen as if I were 9 mos. pregnant as the result of the amount of blood loss within just a few minutes. I'm so lucky to be alive. For me, I was at the right place at the right time thanks to my employer's encouraging word to get this check out right away. Comment from: K, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 13 My brother had an aortic aneurism. His doctor said everyone in the family should be checked for the condition. I was notified by my doctor's office that the technician could not find my aorta. I wonder if I should insist on another test. Comment from: qilaavsuk, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: June 28 My husband was told to quit smoking, he had high blood pressure for years. I fault his doctor who didn't take care of him and watch his abdominal aortic aneurysm more closely. He passed away after his surgery just 6 weeks back and lost blood and they kept a girdle-like thing over his stomach area and said they didn't know what caused the bleeding. Comment from: ronapie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 18 I found out a week ago that I have an aneurism in my aorta in my chest. I was having chest pains for over three weeks then shortness of breath. No doctor is telling me anything about what I should do or what needs to be done. Comment from: lucyrb11, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: May 28 I had 10 days of loose bowels and belly pains. My aneurysm was discovered fortunately as an MRI was taken. It was 9 cm large and close to rupturing. Comment from: tumbleweed, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 30 I am 55 year old female just diganosed with a AAA 3cm. I am at the 'watchful waiting' stage. CT every 6 months till it gets to 5cm. Comment from: Kazza, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 04 I am 56-year-old female and my symptoms were chest pain (left side) through to my left shoulder. Pressure in center of chest. I also tend to get short of breath. My doctor told me I have no markers for heart problems and dismissed my symptoms. Finally I went to another G.P. who sent me to a cardiologist. I had an angiogram and CT scan which showed an aortic aneurysm which is small at the moment. Treatment is blood pressure tablets, healthy diet, moderate exercise and regular checkups. Comment from: Lynzi, 25-34 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 10 My husband recently suddenly died from a heart aneurysm. He was 33 years old, very fit and in fantastic shape. He only had the two symptoms the evening before: pain in left side of chest and excessive sweating. I am totally heartbroken and wanted to tell others of quick it can happen. The coroner told me that he would have died within seconds of falling to the floor. Comment from: Joy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 02 I suffered a ruptured descending aortic aneurysm in 2003. It was discovered six months earlier and was being monitored by my cardiovascular doctor. I had been taking the drug Wellbutrin for smoking cessation on and off for quite a while. Comment from: REMCO, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 24 I was having pain in my lungs. I go to a local clinic and the doctor diagnosed me as having pleurisy. The doctor prescribed medicine for me but after a few months, my lungs are hurting me again. This time I go to my family doctor. He wants to have me do a stress test. In both cases I asked for a chest x-ray, and neither doctor wouldn't order one. I had an appointment with my cardiologist for my yearly check-up scheduled within a month. I told my doctor of my symptoms, and he ordered the x-ray, it came back normal. September rolls around and I'm cutting the grass and my lungs began hurting again. I contact my cardiologist again and he schedules me for and echocardiogram in his office. I get a phone call a few days later from my doctor. They found an aortic aneurysm. My advice: listen to your body it is telling you something is wrong. Comment from: Billieruth, 35-44 Male (Caregiver) Published: December 13 My husband had an aortic dissection that ruptured on the table he is only 37 years old. He has had a hard road to travel and I was told I would never bring him home but he has been home for almost two months now and he is walking and improving every day. Comment from: Hindsight, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 12 Had some back and shoulder pain, just figured from a normal day work. Then I got weird feeling in leg, it just felt heavy. I ignored all thinking just normal stuff with age (just hit 50). My wife insists I have a life-line screening done. They find a 6.2cm AAA bulging on both sides. Sent me directly to Dr. He made referral to Heart Specialist, but they can't get me in for 2 days. For now, I'm just sitting here praying it doesn't rupture before anyone has time to help me. DON'T IGNORE SYMPTOMS - get checked right away, insist on scans! My wife originally had me go 8 months ago for physical because she "felt" something wasn't right. I had no "symptoms" they felt were worthy of a scan, that's why she went the Life Screening route. I sort of laughed her "feeling" off as well. Now here we are. Don't let this happen to you. I was feeling pretty macho and strong until I found out today I have a time bomb waiting to go off, and no one is available to help me with it for 2 days at least. Good Luck to you all. God Bless! Comment from: Marty, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 13 I began to have increasing pain in chest and back after straining hard to pull up some floor boards during a remodeling project. I have never had hypertension, not overweight, do not smoke, drink or use drugs. I went to ER and the only thing that gave some relief was nitroglycerin so they did a ct scan. I had two aneurysms. The one on the descending aorta was dissected at 4.5 cm. I had open surgery with dacron graft. Recovery is much longer and more painful than I expected. After 8 months I still have chest tightness, pain, am extremely tired and short of breath. Found out I have a biscupid aorta and possible genetic vascular disease. I would advise anybody who has surgery to be aware that recovery is a slow process and never lift heavy things or strain yourself if you have an aneurysm. Comment from: missamoo, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 30 Almost 4 years ago, Aug. I got attacked by a cow at work. Yes, a cow! She came at me and was ramming me into the fence until 3 other farmhands got her off me. My left shoulder had a bad tear in the rotator cup; fractured my lower back; had bad bruising, you could see the fence pole marks across my thoracic back which ended up w/bulged disc. Well since this accident I've had to have my appendix out March '08 then my gallbladder. I think about a year later. I've since been checked for stones that may have gotten left but nothing. My pain is just behind my right ribs curling my fingers deep just around the rib bones sometimes I can feel a hard marble sized thing then I rub and pressure it will ease the pain. Comment from: Gigi, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 04 I had this pain between my breast that felt like something was stuck there and I could not really get my breath. After a minute it went away. I had one on April 5th and another one today May 4th.