Patient Comments: Aortic Dissection - Diagnosis

How was your aortic dissection diagnosed?

Comment from: Kathy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

My pain started in my back at my waist. It radiated up my back in a rolling motion till it reached my armpits on both sides, then radiating to the front of the chest. The pain increased as it rose to the front. I could not speak nor breathe. Paramedics arrived and quickly gave me an aspirin which helped a little with the pain. Also I was given 2 nitroglycerines and they helped with the pain. I had a CT of the heart and it showed I had an aortic dissection. I spent 5 days in ICU and 2 days on monitoring floor before going home. I'm still having frequent back pain but not as severe. I'm scared this might happen again. The doctors lowered my blood pressure dramatically, changed my diet, and I have quit smoking. But the fear is still there.

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Comment from: Tom, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 25

On 11/24/14, I was at work when I felt an intense tearing sensation/chest pain with near syncope. It somewhat resolved but I did not feel very good and continued working for about 3 more hours before I collapsed. I work in a cardiovascular clinic in one of the best heart hospitals and was evaluated by our staff and transferred to the emergency room. I had a CTA and was diagnosed with a Stanford type A, DeBakey type 1 aortic dissection. I was immediately taken to the operation room for an aneurysmal ascending aortic repair. I have a long history of hypertension. I am recovering well and monitoring my blood pressure closely.

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Comment from: Oregon 2580, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 18

My dissection was type b which extended the full length from thorax to pelvic split. It was caused by an aneurysm that split internally. I felt nothing prior to the dissection but felt an intense ripping pain downward through my chest when it occurred. The pain was so intense I could not stand and I fell. After about fifteen minutes, I was able to get up off the floor but I had considerable back pain in the vicinity of my left kidney and lung. My dissection went undiagnosed and untreated for 48 hours. I finally drove myself to the emergency room because I was having problems breathing. An X-ray and CT scan determined that my left lung sac was partially filled with blood leakage and I was admitted to the ICU. I know I beat the odds by not rushing to immediate treatment and I was very fortunate to survive. The ICU doctors placed me among about ten percent of victims of this type dissection who survive. I'm three and a half years as a survivor and continue to have issues. The Aorta has healed nicely but it remains ballooned. Blood Pressure control is my biggest issue.

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Comment from: Rocki, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 18

I had abdominal pain where I can feel a pulse.

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Aortic Dissection - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with aortic dissection.
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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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