Saturday, May 4, 2013

New Factor that May Affect Travel Plans to Pinas

Today (5/3/13) it was established that my AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm) had grown by 0.8 cm over the last six months to a total of 5.3 cm.  By contrast, it did not change in size during the previous six-month period. This last ultrasound measurement records a sporadic growth following a period of relative dormancy since the condition was first monitored some nine years ago.  More significantly, it has grown to a size which requires or warrants surgical intervention.

I submitted blood for the pre-surgical blood work and made an appointment for a CT Scan.  The scan is scheduled for Wed, 5/8/13 to determine whether or not it’s possible to repair the AAA with a minimally invasive intervention, e.g. stent by catheterization, a.k.a. endovascular repair (EVAR).  Historically this would involve only a one to two days hospitalization.

Else the other option is the old fashioned way more commonly referred to as “open repair”: cut me up and repair the aneurysm, an extensively invasive procedure.  This would entail a ten to fifteen days hospitalization and recovery therefrom would be far dicier as it involves trauma to several internal organs.  It could make my 08/30/2007 open heart surgery like a Sunday picnic at the beach.

Tuesday, 21-May-2013 is the day of reckoning.  The vascular surgeon is scheduled to evaluate the blood work and CT Scan to determine which option to take.  I presume the vascular surgeon would obtain clearance from my cardiologist to share responsibility just in case I don’t wake up from general anesthesia.  This should be standard pre-surgical protocol.

Memo to self: better inform the surgical team of the existence of the cadaver donation document.  Better yet, furnish copy thereof as part of the pre-surgical paperwork.

Whichever option is taken I hope the decision is made long before HHS Secretary Sebelius has a chance to deploy her death panels to pronounce me undeserving to get the Medicare benefits allocation.

One consolation: it would make my cadaver a more intriguing specimen for the Medical Students at Stony Brook University where it has been willed to.

Whoever has been expecting to see me in Pinas sometime this year, stay tuned. As it stands, it would be premature to formulate travel plans anytime soon until this question has been put to rest.