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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm


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My friend has an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm which he has had for about 3 years. It was initially diagnosed when it had ruptured and he went to the A&E but it had clotted itself so they did not do surgery on him then.


It has been regularly monitored and has slowly been getting larger. Yesterday he went to see his specialist who has now told him it has reached 5.5cms. The NHS website says that


Usually, the recommended treatment options are:

  • A policy of watchful waiting, if the size of the aneurysm is less than 5cm (see below for more details).
  • Preventative surgery, if the size of the aneurysm is from 5 to 5.5cm (2 to 2.2 inches), and you have one of the risk factors mentioned above,.
  • Surgery, if the aneurysm is larger than 5.5cm regardless of whether or not you have any associated risk factors.


The specialist he saw still will not to surgery to fix the aneurysm.


I have told him to see his GP and point out the instructions on the NHS website and get referred to another specialist for a second opinion.


He was working as a lorry driver and so immediately on being told his aneurysm has reached 5.5cms he has had to give up his job. If the aneurysm reaches 6cm then he will have to give up driving totally.


He wants the surgery to get this fixed.


Any ideas on what I can tell him to do.




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The NHS website can only give very general information; every case is different.


The surgeon who saw your friend will have had access to his medical history, the results of all the diagnostic tests, and will have examined him. What explanation did he give for not wanting to do the surgery?

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thay told me i got to wait for it to get to 6.5 before it can be done as i drive a truck in the uk i now have losted my job as can not drive now its 5.5 i told them this and all i got was you have to try to get new job and we will still not do it till its 6.5

my mom passed away with the same thing 3 years ago so i am not happy at this time hers burst and she blead to death

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He has called the PALS but only got an answering machine. Just hoping they will call back soon. He called the GP but could not get in umtil next week.


He is already seeing the head vascular surgeon so I have explained that he is allowed to go to a different PCT into a different hospital to get a second opinion.


He just seems so fed up and it is diffocult for me to push him to do something. He lives in Birmingham and I live in Swindon

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It seems the West Midlands NHS is in crisis. I am hearing fob off stories like these all the time, with damning consquences.


Are there any other parts of the country where people are having difficulty getting a diagnosis and medical treatment for their illnesses?

Just a thought - have you checked NICE for guidelines on your condition?


Please keep us updated, so others might learn from your experiences.



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Patient UK are i suppose you would say the website of the NHS and NICE They show all the official investigations NHS and NICE have done into conditions and at least you can find information-not like NICE's website, their website is a mess!!. Patient UK says surgery if over 500mms.

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