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Can I scuba dive with abdominal aeortic aneurysm?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 1979
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Can I scuba dive with a 2.2cm abdominal aeortic aneurysm.
In user selected catagory it says Abdominal pain, I have no pain. Also would there be a difference if I kept to one atmosphere, two atmospheres or can I go to three atmospheres?
Posted Tue, 13 Aug 2013 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. M Y Shareef 28 minutes later

I am Dr Shareef, a general surgeon answering to your query.

A few more informations on the following will be more helpful in answering to your query :
1) Do you have any other associated problems like Diabetes and Hypertension for which you are under treatment ?
2) Do you smoke ?
3) Due to what medical problem you had to go for an ultrasound/CT in which the aortic aneurysm was diagnosed, or was it simply a routine investigation ?
4) What other physical activities you go for in your routine life ?
5) Please let me have the reports of all and any of the investigations you had in relation to this problem.

Even though the size of your aortic aneurysm is small, any maneuver which is likely to decrease the oxygen supply or increase the intra abdominal pressure should be avoided. So if you were to be my patient, I would encourage you to scuba dive.

I would also suggest you to stop smoking immediately if in case you do, and go for a high roughage diet with fresh vegetables and fruits with enough fluids.

Your reply is awaited for opining further on the condition.

Thanks and good luck.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Can I scuba dive with abdominal aeortic aneurysm? 12 hours later
In your note above you said any maneuver which is likely to decrease the oxygen supply or increase the intro abdoninal pressure should be avoided, Then you proceed to say if I were your patient you would encourage me to dive. I assume you meant discourage me.

I have no other medical conditions, very low blood pressure, the only medication I take is synthroid for a hypothyroid, due to the removal of a benign tumor I had removed 50 years ago, which at that time they did a partial thyroidectomy. Have been stable since then. No diabeties, The reason for the sono of the abdomin was due to a routine set of screening tests which showed mild blockage in the right carotid artery which upon seeing a cardiologist was found to be not the case. The reason he ordered the sono of the abdomial area was due to a family history (father) of an AAA

Diving is my passion, I am a master diver and dive every other month for 10 days, diving three dives a day, within the accepted limit of 130 feet.

Is there anything I can do to continue with my greatest passion.

Answered by Dr. M Y Shareef 1 hour later
Hi XXXXXXX ! It is nice to listen about your passion for diving. Although I have never done it, I think it is a great sports that you were indulged in till now.

And you are right in pointing out the typing mistake which left the word "not" before the word "encourage". So it has to be read as "not encourage" you to scuba dive. My apologies for the same.

I think that your hypothyroid status may be associated also with an increased lipid level in your blood which you can get tested in due course. Occurrence of aneurysm signifies that the arterial wall is not healthy, and similar un-diagnosed arterial wall abnormality with possible atherosclerosis may be present in the vessels of other organs of the body as well.This subjects the organs of the body as a whole to respond poorly to effects of a decompression sickness if it to occur.

As you will agree, prevention is always better than cure and nothing else can precede your well being. My advice for not going for a scuba diving holds more so after knowing your family history of abdominal aortic aneurysm.

In case you are still insistent on continuing with your hobby, then I will advise you to take a clearance from a vascular surgeon in your area for such sports.

I hope I have answered your query, though it may disappoint you for not recommending you for scuba diving keeping in view your well being as a priority than anything else. Wishing you good luck.
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