Patient Comments: Aortic Dissection - Experience

Please describe your experience with aortic dissection.

Comment from: CapeJag, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: April 22

The aortic dissection (AD) occurred in 2000. I lost 70 lb. in 2.5 months. It was not diagnosed as AD until 2005. I went through agony in the interim including chronic fatigue, major back pain, diarrhea, and kidney stones. One major clinic diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome/Crohn's (not either), and another said tropical infection (not). Finally, body shut down entirely and was hours away from expiring. I was flown to Boston, had emergency surgery to insert 6 stents at top of aorta to allow some blood flow. Two more surgical sessions to place a total of 17 stents along aorta and femoral arteries. I was on pain medicines for several years after, and now just blood pressure medicines. Now almost 10 years later, I can function quite normally for a 71 year old. I have residual leg pain and low energy but happy to be able to enjoy family, friends and hobbies.

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Comment from: Golfer, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: March 03

I was playing golf and teeing off on the 7th when I felt a very strong cramp in my abdominal area. I was perspiring profusely and nauseous. I was driven to the emergency room, and there they gave me oxygen, IV, etc., then a CT scan showing aorta dissection. In one step down ICU I was given medicines to lower my blood pressure. Surgery was not required, self-healing for at least 6 months, no twisting, torqueing, etc. I will have an ultrasound eventually to assess.

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Comment from: CMM, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 11

My father was feeling pain in his side for about 2 weeks, believing that he was having kidney problems. When he did the blood work with his doctor they had found something wrong and told him to go seek emergency medical care right away. He was admitted to the hospital and 2 days passed before they found that he was experiencing a tear in his main artery flowing blood to his heart that resulted in blood to surround his heart. They said it was a miracle that he even got to the hospital. He went through a 6 hour open heart surgery finding out when they opened him that his whore aorta was destroyed. Although the chance was small we are lucky enough to have my father with us still. He has just been moved out of ICU to a recovery ward and we are so grateful that he has progressed this much. One thing you must keep in mind is that usually (not always) this is because the person is under immense stress so in recovery we must keep his stress as minimal as possible and monitor his blood pressure and kidneys for a speedy recovery. Recovery usually takes 4 to 8 weeks depending on severity. For anyone who is going through or have experienced this I wish you great luck with your health and hope for a long and full life.

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Comment from: Marty, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 22

I had an acute dissection of my descending aorta. It presented with severe back pain and some chest pain. I was seen in emergency room (ER) and given nitroglycerin which provided more relief than the morphine. A CT scan revealed a dissection. The aneurysm was only 4 cm. However, due to the severe pain which continued a week while in CCU, an open repair was done with a Dacron graft. I was 54 years old at the time. I worked out several times per week, was not over weight, did not smoke and did not have high blood pressure, prior to the dissection. It is presumed that I have some type of hereditary connective tissue disease.

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Comment from: wendy4sonny, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 03

My pain hit my chest like a telephone pole thrusting through me. I was driving down the road. Thank goodness I didn't crash! I had descending aortic dissection. Blood pressure was 200/90. I have a stent and had kidney artery surgery as the arteries were fibrous and wouldn't allow all those hormones to control blood pressure to get through. They said that I am extraordinarily young to have this and I'm a female. Lisinopril twice a day and my life is back to normal.

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Aortic Dissection - Diagnosis Question: How was your aortic dissection diagnosed?
Aortic Dissection - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your aortic dissection?
Aortic Dissection - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, surgery, or medications did you or a relative receive for an aortic dissection?

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