Log in
British Heart Foundation
9,551 members5,780 posts

A scary time when your mind is racing

I have Persistant AF which luckily causes me little inconvenience and no symptoms. At a routine scan it was noted i had a dilated Aorta root of 5cm. It was advised and offered for me to have the root repaired/ replaced. I am due for surgery at the Liverpool Heart and Chest hospital on the 4th May...i am very anxious of the recovery....of the outcome...everything. I am seriously thinking of backing out. My mind is running riot, can't sleep, everynight waking at 2am. I am a 70 year old man, relatively fit...and feeling vulnerable and very scared if what the future holds for me right now.

6 Replies

Hi there Roy, morning to you. Doubtless your insomnia is caused by the anxiety the upcoming operation is causing you.

Couple of things, what would your quality of life be like without the operation and would it be better with it?

Yes, its a big operation, but many of these are performed and the surgeons know what they are doing and are good at it. Yes the recovery can be slow and will be painful and interrupt your life.

Many of us on here have undergone open chest surgery, some have ongoing problems most are recovering some have years behind them and years in front of them, pretty mixed bunch. I think we were all terrified at the thought of the op, I know I was, I wrote last letters, emails, notes, was a very emotional time, very stressful and very anxious about during, would I wake, after, how long would I feel so tired, why can't I do things I could have done before.

ok, so 18 months on from my quad CABG I am experiencing some issues, it happens in a few cases, but I don't think I would have had those 18 months. I was lucky.

Honestly, its not all bad, we have a great support group here, fantastic members (don't start talking about statins though!) Very knowledgeable BHF nurses, and wonderful first hand stories, some to make you cry, some to fill you with joy, other to laugh at.

Hopefully this post may help you, others will be along to add, try and give the BHF helpline a call, its not 24 hours 0300 330 3311 lines are open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

The forum is open 24/7, weekends and nights may be a little slower

take care



Hi Roy

I had a dilated Aortic root of 5.7cm and a bicuspid valve which was also replaced. As Mark said this operation is a routine one for the surgeons. Better to have the surgery as a planned procedure where they know you and your history etc. The alternative could possibly be a blue light situation in the middle of the night. Sorry to be so dramatic but I consider myself lucky my dilation was found when it was.

Trust your surgeon and follow their advice. Yes it’s uncomfortable and scary for several weeks but you will feel the benefit months after your surgery. I’m 4 months post op and feeling so much better, back at work and slowly getting back to enjoying life.

As Mark said talk to the BHF cardiac nurses they will help to off load any worries and reassure you.

Take care Lisa

1 like

Thank you Lisa, very reassuring and slap me round the head for being a wimp lol


Hi Roy

We’ve all been on that emotional rollercoaster, it’s scary and makes you feel like running to the hills! You’re not a wimp, you’re only human and fully entitled to feel this way.

Lisa x


The information was interested can you send them threw the post please so I have them for future reference please an d the health pack aswell


I still would like them threw the post as I forget things


You may also like...