Patient Comments: Aortic Dissection - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your aortic dissection?

Comment from: Catherine D., 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 18

I was getting dressed to go to work. I felt big pressure in my chest, and laid across the bed. I broke into a cold sweat, and thought, 'this is bad'. I went to the bathroom to get an aspirin, and then to the kitchen to get water to wash the aspirin down. But I couldn't lift my arms. I decided it was best to get really close to the floor before I fell. I crawled to the phone to call 911. I don't remember if I was still feeling pressure at that point.

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Comment from: Tim27407, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: January 14

Late September 2013 I had just finished my lunch after outdoor chores. Rising from my couch with a muffled burp, I felt something "give" in my chest with an unusual vibration feeling from the burp. It was unmistakable, something had happened. Not much pain, just immediate and persistent heartburn radiating upward from the left-center area of my chest. I took two aspirin and drove to the local fire department, still unsure if my condition warranted an ambulance call. My blood pressure was high, 200 over 95 or so. They took me to the emergency room, 8 hours later I was diagnosed with ascending aortic dissection by CT scan. I am 235 lb 5'8" ex-smoker (quit in '95) with history of hypertension, controlled with beta blockers. Ten hours of emergency surgery, followed by pulmonary embolism 3 days later, tamponade caused pulseless EKG, more surgery, played golf with all my dead relatives, woke up another 3 days later with a whole new outlook on life. I am making good progress, walking or riding exercise bike most days, doing well with home rehab and light office work.

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Comment from: Rejoice247, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

I had strange pressure in my neck a week previous to the dissection. Then I felt like a toothache might be starting. The day of dissection I had no symptoms. I was having lunch at a restaurant just waiting for the food when I keeled over! I had a type A ascending dissection at the top end. The surgeon gave me a 50/50 chance! Seven hour surgery went well.

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Comment from: diggingupward, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: January 06

I had no symptoms prior to being rushed to the hospital due to an aortic dissection. I was/am a healthy 29 year old who exercised daily, ate properly with occasional treats and had no other medical ailments. I had a normal day at work, came home played with my kids and then proceeded to mow the lawn, a task which I had performed hundreds of times previously. Since I had blood loss to my brain for an unknown amount of time I don't recall everything that transpired while mowing the lawn but roughly 30 minutes into mowing the lawn I came inside my house and passed out in the bathroom. I was unresponsive and was rushed to the emergency room where I was stabilized but required emergency surgery. My aortic arch had swelled to 9+ cm and a tear developed. Another interesting medical issue I have is that I have tissue running the length of my aorta down to my femoral artery that splits my aorta in half.

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Comment from: mbrown0567, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 21

On November 8, 2013, I woke up with a sharp pain in the middle of my chest at 5:20AM. I thought at first that maybe it might be carbon monoxide poisoning. I walked outside to take a few deep breaths and couldn't. Around 6:45AM, I took my shower and got ready for work. I walk to and from work, which is a 30 minute walk one way. Yes, I am a smoker and do drink every day. Well, walking to work, the pain was still there and a neighbor offered to ride me down the hill. He noticed my reaction and told me to take an aspirin. I stopped by a store and got an aspirin and by the time I got to work, (8:00am), my co-workers were concerned and one of them took me to the emergency room. Thank goodness he did as I was zoomed off to surgery without consent. I ended up with a tear in my artery and had a double by-pass surgery. I didn't wake up until Sunday, November 10, 2013 after The Bengals lost their football game. I am now at home recovering and happy to say I am a non-smoker and am trying to get my niche on my eating habits. I go to the doctor's on November 25 for my 2 week check-up. I will admit that this is all scary for me to take in.

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