AF could have possibly saved my life - AF Association

AF Association
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AF could have possibly saved my life


Please excuse the journalistic licence in the post title. I have had Persistant AF for nearly two years and in Jan this year underwent a CT scan routinely to check my heart function and any possible re-modeling. I met my EP to discuss the results of the scan. He started by stating in relation to my AF everything was fine.......then came a big BUT the CT scan revealed a dilated ascending Aorta. The Arota measured 5cm which due to the possible rupture of the Aorta which in itself is usually fatal it is at the point at which open heart surgery is required to repair the Aorta BEFORE it actually ruptures or dissects. I was immediately seen by a Thoratic surgeon to discuss the way forward. The actual dilation is in the Root of the ascending Aorta and this is the bit thats causing the concern. He felt the Aortic valve can be saved. Apparently this condition is the 3rd biggest cause of death in the UK and in most cases the person doesn't know they have the condition. The surgeon also stated while he is 'In there he will carry out a maze procedure and a left appendage thingy". To say i am nervous is an understatement but there really is no decision to make. So without AF i wouldn't have had a scan and they wouldn't have found the dilated Aorta. I wouldn't have known until i found myself on the wrong side of the grass. I go for surgery on the 4th May. Thanks for reading, just wanted to let my fellow AF's know and at your next CT ask the question. Cheers Roy

13 Replies

Hello there yes it is a shock to find that out I myself had this 22 yrs ago had a 10 cm dilated aorta they replaced 7 inches of mine with a dackron one plus 32 mm aortic valve it all happened so fast after that I had loads of heart rhythm faults no pain and not a lot of discomfort the metal valve takes a hell of a lot of getting used to no maze offered then, but took up long distance Cycling have had Af ,flutter,Svt at 283 bpm ,ablations done in the last 7 yrs to correct them at the spire hospital likewise the valve in spire I am still riding bike good luck with it you will be fine don’t hesitate to ask me any other questions

What good fortune this was picked up. Usual practice is to monitor the dimension of the aorta with regular scans if it has been picked up on Chest X-ray, routine or otherwise.

Rupture of the thoracic aorta seems to be rare, I found one Swedish study which put the incidence at

5 cases per 100,000 population or 0.005 %

Best of luck for your operation


Fortunate indeed Roy to discover this.A few years back a family member was found dead with a ruptured Aorta and he was a very fit and healthy young man of 40.

Let us know how you get on. With all thst you are having done I'm sure you will be very well cared for.

Best wishes


Good luck for the procedure, it sounds as though you are in really good hands. Best wishes.

Sorry to hear all that's going on for you right now. You certainly were fortunate to have had your dilated aorta discovered. Best wishes for a successful procedure in May and please let us know how you get on.


Good luck for the big day and a speedy recovery,will be thinking of you on the 4th May Roy.

My husband and I leave on the 10th May for Tranatlantic Cruise on the Queen Mary 2,not boasting!!

The point is,my husband, now 85yrs old had his Aorta and Aortic route replaced 10yrs ago,was discharged last month from Cardiology after 10yrs of check ups and scans.Last visit Cardiologist delighted with him and is getting in touch with Surgeon who did this,10yrs ago to let him know,the good job he did.This was also found by chance,by a Rheumatologist,when he looked at my husbands hands and said,something not right with your heart,going to refer you right away,so in fact he saved his life,so you are both very fortunate indeed.

Please keep in touch Roy,our thoughts are with you all the way and a speedy recovery,Euan was up and about in a couple of days and home within the week.

Best Wishes.

Eleanor and Euan.X


Great result Roy. I knew a chap who went that way many years ago so several times over the years when offered by private companies who tour the country have had echocardiograms to check for aortic aneurysms. Informed is to be protected.

Fortunate indeed, Roy.

Very best wishes for your procedures in May and let us know how you get on.

Best wishes, you certainly have been lucky! My husband discovered his 7.5cm Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm himself, about 17 years ago. It was touch and go when he had the op (modern methods not in use then) but he is now 82 and very fit and healthy. What with the BOGTF you should be a new man 😀

Wow what a blessing although the shock must have been awful. Not what you want but your life has been saved. Sorry you are having to go through all of this and I appreciate your nervousness but as you say you will have a life to live. All the very best. X

Best of luck for May 4th, as you say you just have to go for it, so no difficult decision to make. But the point you make is a good one that contrary to popular belief AF does deliver positives. I am most grateful to AF for better health, lifestyle and QOL - there is no way i would have seen these improvements unless like you I was forced' to do it by AF.

Blimey! You must be shocked but also relieved it has been picked up.Good luck with the surgery it sounds as if they know exactly what to do....

Thank you to everyone for your kind and encouraging words. Obviously, both myself and my wife are anxious for what the future holds. We can only trust the surgeons and our wonderful NHS to look after us. Thanks to everyone once again. Roy

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