FitOldDog’s Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Stent Graft Extension Has Survived Ironman Training And The Aneurysm Is Shrinking Again! Good News!

CT scan of FitOldDog's aneurysm, showing shrinkage, which is good.

FitOldDog’s abdominal aortic aneurysm stent graft repair has resulted in initial shrinkage of his aneurysm, meaning all is well thanks to Tara’s team at the Cleveland Clinic. Photo set up by Tara Mastracci, FitOldDog’s great surgeon.

Hi folks, welcome!

Greg finishing the 2014 Eagleman Half Ironman

Greg had a great first Half Ironman race – FitOldDog was seriously impressed. He sure earned that Crab dinner bet from FitOldDog.

After completing (not wonderfully, but finishing anyway, though I lost my bet of a crab dinner to Greg who had a great race) the Eagleman Half Ironman last weekend, I went to the Cleveland Clinic for my 6 month checkup. All is well, in spite of concerns about cycling adversely affecting the stent graft extension that was installed about 6 months ago – so now to prepare for the 2014 Mont-Tremblant Ironman, in August, to see how Rupert handles that.

FitOldDog's results at the 2014 Eagleman Half Ironman

As you can see, a slow swim (first out of the water in my age-group, and second over the mat – that’s another story), OK bike considering state of training, and slow run due to continued calf problems, which I’m fixing right now.

Life is good as I’m back in training!

FitOldDog with Alan.

Deb and I stayed with Alan, and his wife, Deb, on the way back from Cleveland. Alan has a 4.2 cm ascending aortic aneurysm and is living in waiting limbo – but he has a great attitude. I met him through this blog, and he has been a great supporter ever since. Thanks Alan.

This blog exists as a result of my self-diagnosed abdominal aortic aneurysm, and associated Cook Zenith stent graft, Rupert. This is an update on how well Rupert is performing.

After displacing the left arm of my stent graft in the 2013 Worlds Half Ironman Championships in Las Vegas (we saw the Cirque du Soleil show, ‘O’ that was literally amazing), I faced a necessary repair. This took some time to set up, resulting in my being enrolled in a clinical trial at the Cleveland Clinic. A successful surgery fixed my stent in December, 2013. However the necessary extension of the stent raised concerns about the safety of cycling – the extension comes closer to my hip joint, so excessive hip flexion and motion could cause trouble.

FitOldDog's first paperback, Aortic Disease From The Patient's Perspective,' and the stent graft that permitted it.

FitOldDog’s first paperback, ‘Aortic Disease From The Patient’s Perspective,’ and the stent graft that kept him alive to write it. Lucky SOB!

I sought advice from many sources, including the SlowTwitch Triathlon Forum site, receiving some valuable feedback from all over the world. I finally elected to (1) ride my Guru, which was designed by Victor of Bicycle Lab, to minimize hip flexion, (2) to avoid using aerobars, and (3) to ‘hope for the best,’ as I got on with my training.

The best appears to have happened, and thanks to so many people I’m back in my favorite sport, Ironman Triathlons. Not fast, but back out there.

Oh! Yes! And my first paperback book came in while I was off on the trip, entitled, ‘Aortic Disease From The Patient’s Perspective,’ so if you are interested in a purchase,

Click here smallerSo interesting to hold your own book in your hands for the first time. I’m hoping that it will be helpful to patients, their family and friends, and medical professionals alike. We’ll see!

I’m giving away 10 free copies to the first people to send me their mailing address – #1 earmarked for Michelle, now there is only 1. Or you can buy a copy via this website.


Kevin aka FitOldDog



  1. Alan Martins says

    It was great seeing you!
    The scan came in at 4.1cm, no growth at 6 years:)
    The Doc is not calling it an anuerysm because of my height, weight, etc but a slight enlargement and I’m able to do everything but lift really heavy weights.

    • Hi Alan!
      Makes you wonder if you had it all your life, and you are just built that way. I’d still have the checkups, but I’d care less and less as time went by if it stay the same. Good news, my friend, and much less dangerous and/or stressful than open heart surgery.
      Cheers, Kevin

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.