Dr. Maciej Malinski is on the medical staff at Sherman Hospital. He has been kind enough to answer some frequently asked questions related to maintaining a healthy heart in his Ask the Cardiologist series. To see all posts Dr. Malinski has written, just type “Ask the Cardiologist” into the search bar on the right.
Jeff Green of the Boston Celtics, a 25-year-old in peak physical condition, was recently sidelined for this NBA season after being diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm. Dr. Malinski knows more about the condition than we can even comprehend, so we asked him a few questions about what Green and others with AAs go through.
How common are aortic aneurysms?
Aortic abdominal aneurysm (AAA) is fairly common in the elderly, reaching a prevalence of 5.9% in men 80-85 years old. In general, prevalence ranges from 1.3% in men 50 years old up to 12.5% in men 75 to 84 years old. For women these percentages are 0% and 5.2%, respectively. Obviously, it’s quite rare for a person as young as Green to have the condition.
The prevalence of AAA varies with a number of demographic factors, including advancing age, family history, male gender, and tobacco use.
What is the typical recovery time for non-athletes who have surgery to repair it?
The recovery time after surgical repair of an aortic aneurysm varies depending on the patient’s condition before the surgery (age, kidney function, lung function, etc). Usually, the average patient should be able to resume all daily activities and be able to return to work after 6-8 weeks.
Is AAA as serious for athletes as this article makes them out to be?
AAA is a very serious condition for a professional athlete if he wants to continue his career, likewise for any other patients who have jobs that require regular heavy lifting. After surgery, patients usually have restrictions placed on the amount of weight they can lift. Lifting heavy objects increases stress tension on the wall of the artery (aorta) and potentially can cause recurrence of the aneurysm, even after the surgery.
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This post is published by Sherman Health to provide general health information. It is not intended to provide personal medical advice, which should be obtained directly from your physician.