June Meyer – Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Success Story

Why you shouldn't let an aneurysm go undetected – June Meyer, abdominal aortic aneurysm success story

undefinedFrom the spring 2012 edition of Shine magazine

For 13 years, June Meyer of Mansfield lived with a potentially life-threatening condition. Gallbladder surgery in 1998 revealed that she had an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) – a ballooning in the aorta, the large blood vessel supplying blood to the bottom half of the body.

If the aneurysm grew, it would require surgery. If left unchecked, it could take her life.

"I knew it was serious," says the retired U.S. Air Force nurse, who has always been active, walking every day and traveling at every opportunity. "We started watching my blood pressure and cholesterol, and I had a CT scan every six months to closely monitor the size and stability of the aneurysm."

In March 2011, the CT (computed tomography) scan revealed that her aneurysm had grown and could rupture if not repaired. Meyer's doctor referred her to Joseph Caruso, MD, an independently practicing vascular surgeon on the medical staff at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, to perform the surgery.

There are a variety of surgeries used to repair an aneurysm. In Meyer's case, Dr. Caruso placed a stent, a covered wire-mesh tube, in the artery to restore blood flow. Meyer is now back to her active routine and able to travel again with no concerns.

"I'm very fortunate to have found out about the aneurysm so that my doctor and I could keep a very close eye on it," Meyer says. "I'm grateful to be here today."

"AAA is a silent killer because there are no symptoms associated with it," Dr. Caruso says.

Several conditions, including atherosclerosis or high blood pressure, can put you at greater risk for an AAA. If you have one of these conditions, talk to your doctor about scheduling a simple ultrasound screening.