Aortic dissection & aortic aneurysm information support group

Aortic dissection, aortic aneurysm - The aorta - Life after an aortic dissection

When my AD happened I also experienced my left leg going completely cold - no blood supply was getting to it due to the location of the dissection.   For numerous reasons the surgeons ended up performing a right to left femoral bypass to resupply the lower left side of my body with blood ( along with their repair of the actual AD and valve ).  I am wondering if anyone else out there has a simiilar situation and, if so, how has it been affecting their life.   I find it to be maybe the most invasive part of my post AD exisitence...  Thanks to everyone for being here and best wished to you all.

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I don't share your experience, how is your leg doing now days?

Hi Kimberlee -

Thanks for your note.   The leg is OK - still mostly numb and not 100% useable but better than it was at the beginning and certainly better than some of the alternatives would have made it.   

I am not sure how common this type of thing is among AD people - I hadn't read on this site anything about others experiencing it.

I hope that you are doing well - your posts are always positive and uplifting,




I'm not sure how common, but I know you're not alone.  Is your doctor sending you to physical therapy or some sort of rehab for the leg?  The only issue I have, I do have a scar in the right side groin area, I think this had to do with bypass(Not sure, I had a new baby so most of my questions centered around her, while I forgot all about but since the surger my right thigh is extremely sensitive, shaving or just lightly grazing causes pain/discomfort. Which from experience, having a tumor removed from my spinal cord 5yrs prior to dissection, I can say feels like nerve damage.  But talk not only to your cardio doc but family doc, they may be able to help get your leg even better.



I have the same problem with the left leg, but still have not had surgery.  I am taking neurotin for circulation, and it has helped a lot.  I still get severe numbness in the leg and also burning if I walk too far, but I do have use of the leg.  The issue with my leg is now more of a hindrance and more painful than the dissection, but I consider myself lucky to be here.... so I will deal with it with a positive attitude!

Thank you for your reply Sonya.  I hope that you are doing well.  I had not seen anyone else talking about this issue.   I wasn't even aware that there had been any permanent effects with my leg until a few days after the surgery.   I can relate to the numbness and burning.   You are so right about the positive attitude.

In my situation, there was immediate numbness of the leg when the dissection happened.  When returning from the hospital, I could not walk from the bedroom to the kitchen and back without the leg burning severely.  It burned like I had done 100 squats on that one leg, and it was an aggravation on top of the pain I suffered from the dissection.  I have run across several people with this problem due to the dissection blocking the flow of blood.  I pray for all of us fighting this disease, and I have been pushing to get people educated!  So few people know the symptoms... even Dr's, but knowledge is power!  I hope you are doing well in your fight and live to see many years of advancement and knowledge concerning AD!

Jeff  I  didn't  have a Femoral bipass  however  My secondary  anuerysm was  IN  My Popilteal Artery which is the next one  down  from the femoral (behind The Knee),  I suffered an undiagnosed  Ascending Dissection in  2009  while  I was in the hospital (31 days)  I'd  a rough  time of it  to say the least, including  pneumonia...My surgery was  done AT Yale New Haven Hospital which  has  one of the top 10  aortic  Specialties  Cardiac  and  transplant  surgeon,  once  they figured  I was going to survive, the  Vascular surgeon suggested  They're  Have  done the Popilteal Had they though I could  have handled  the extra 4 or 5 hours  of  surgery..  as it was I cam  home  after a month  recovered and even  began  riding a Bike , Ultimatley I had the  2nd  Surgery in November 2010 ,,,,,, its  2/2014 I  have  Numbness I have  swelling  (although I've  come a long way)  I  have  cold limbs/blood flow  issues  still   and   with this winter  being a bad as its been... its been tough..  They  wanted  me to use a walker  when i first  got out , NOT  enough room in my apartment  to bother, I was given  a cane,  which  I barely used  it at all.. when the  weather   is  bad   We  Have a nice indoor mall a mile  away..

In good  weather, A walk along  our   boardwalk is  nice or  a ride on the bike  (first time since 2010  when I had the leg  cut)   My foot  has  been  DIagnosed  as  having Plantars Faciatus  as well which  might or might not be  as a result...

I would  ask 2 things    1)  are  you taking  any thinners?  I didn't have a valve so NOT  taking  warfarin But they   put me on   246 mg  of  aspirin  he  just  decided to add  PLavix ...

below  is  a Picture  that  shows The  lower Leg  with 87 Staples  above  and 29 in the  lower calf its not  pretty  but its  better then the alternative...amputation....     


Hi Jim - 

Thanks for your reply.   116 staples... Whoa.    The femoral artery thing opened my eyes to the true interconnectedness of everything.    I am on Warfarin, but mostly because I got an artificial valve as part of the deal.  My left leg is virtually always numb but the blood flow is good.  They say that the numbness is a result of damage that happened before everything got figured out. Hopefully you'll be back on your bike when the weather finally improves.

The  thing  is, Not many years  ago,  diabetis was said to be the  cause of  Limb Amputations, when  froma  vascular aspect  They  are   realizing  the Diabetis causes  Blood Vessel issues, as does SMOKING, Plaque build up Arthiosclrosis My spelling might be  off ITS early   here... As  Sonya mentioned , My Outter  calf/shin  a) swells still (it will be  5 years in November  '14)  At  times  My  Feet swell and  feel  LIKE  someone took  the  cartoon  wooden  Hammer used  to hit  the thing  that  rings  The  bell when you've  hit is Hard enough at a  Carnival.... across The Insteps  Usually  Its  from More  sitting  too long at the  Computer but  if I stand  all day   they seem to grow   in size  as well..  Here in  southern    Connecticut  Its been  cold  enough  that when  Blood  stops  I   leg   get s   quite  cold, which often  warms Up Only When I lay in the  (water)  bed ON  my  right  side, to be sure the  foots  Lower then My  heart   sometimes  Even ON  the left or  Back  IT  seems  as IF  anything  toughing  it  "could get Ugly"   support  style   hose    works   quite  well....  these   come   various   Ways  I Like  toeless  because they  are  easy to  put on then  I wear a  white sock over... The  sock  makes me  FEEL   confiident It  sometimes  seems If I ever  Hit it on the  bed..  I might   have brokked  something quite sensative  at least in my  mind .....  it  happens  my   Bathroom  is  quite  tight , Often while  I am  doing  Official  Posts  (in my  mind)  I often  realize  That  sitting resting  MY leg  leaning   agaisnt the  edge of the tub  which  often  leave  a Depression  in my outter   calve.... :)   swelling and   water  retention... I still  Take  Lasix 

Secondary  Anuerysms to the "main"  one(s) are More  common  then we  are  lead  to believe... in  some of us,  there is a direct connection between  Periferal Artery Disease (PAD) and this info  comes  from  My  Vascular surgeon  Bart Muhs who  took  direct  part in MY Aortic  Dissection emergency  surgury as well as My Popilteal Bipass...  I  have American and Canadian  friends who have  secondary  anuerysms in the  Arteries  that  specificly feed  they're  Kidneys and  liver aand other  various  vital  organs.. ( one  has to think which  would  be more  significant  a  Femoral or Popilteal  (loosing  a leg or foot,  or..... Point  is  this is  why   followups and  CT   scans etc...   

I've  added  a couple  of  Graphics that  show  the  Aorta  and branches,  and also  a couple of the arteries...  As  I said  Two of  my freinds  Had  secondary  anuerysms in these  areas..


Hey Jim - Cool post.   You don't hear too much about secondary occurrences any where around the net - probably a good thing to keep in mind - especially given the complexity of the whole interconnected system that your graphics illustrate.

Yes  Jeff,   Let Me  explain,  I had  My  Aortic Dissection 10/8/09....I'ysmd  been told  something was  Fishy BUT  Never told  what so  In a sense They tryed to  hide  it?  if  That  is even True when  It  dissected  I had  never  been told /Diagnosed with an  Anueryousm...  when I came home  a month  after, I quickly  learned   of  Numerous  OHS   type  groups  existed  on line .... and  Upon  doing  searches   found  either  IN depth  Medical  community   discussions or  2  "simple  groups"  one  In  the UK (this one) and  another in  The   western  US, by  a  fellow  who not  unlike  our  Forum owner here,  Brian  Tinsley  began and  even his  site  is  Quite In depth in psuedo   Doctorese....  Type I and II  and   ascending   descending  and  subsection beep boop  boop... collectively  I  know  about the Popilteal   Because  That was Mine,  I have  2  fellows  I met  early  who  after  2 or 3 years  Mentioned  OH   yeah  MIne was the  Hepatic  or Celiac   arteries,  you  are  the first  Person  Who  has  mentioned   Actually   having    the  femoral,  (  so  I  chose  to  search  Those  and  found  ( over time )  Lots  of  CRappy  graphics  which  show  what  they  happen to show,  and  Overtime, I've  saved and  documented and  saved  em,  collectivlly  Highlighting  the  "better"   ones and  even  adding  my  own   extra  Info or easier to  understand  graphics.  While  I would  Enjoy  being a full  Paying member,  MY  income is Limited  so  My  ability to  partake and  share  here  Is  Limited  Right  Back....I am sorry  I havent been   back since   May,  but  its  a waste  of  My time to  even try  to suggest   things  when  I  am  Not allowed To Post  posts... only  answer... yours  it seems... I get  frustrated, I've  tryed  to share   LOTS  of  GOOD    information,  My Thoracic  doctor was  again  on the  Top ten   physicians list in  his   field...  I've   enjoyed  To  very deep  conversations   about  My  condition and "all of us  In general" ....   I recently  attended  a  memorial  for a former  co  worker, and  learned  Of another  former  co worker of Mine who  is  monitoring  an  Anuerysm of the  Ascending Aorta  ( as was  Mine) and  I tryed  My best to  suggest  we spend  a little  time discussing the  potential,  ( his   BP  is LOW, his  size is  small//atheltic, diet  fairly  good (thinks  is  better)  and is a non  SMoker  But  is a Firefighter  Like I  was ( stress)   and  possibly  genetics....  its  scary  HE  has the issue at all..  

I explained  I know of  7  people  Including Myself,  8 including  him now  That  shared career  firefighter jobs, and  I told him   that  I was  talking  to  the only one  OF the  8  That I could  about it...  he said Oh  yeah?  who's  That?  and I told him  You  dummy ...  a bit  twisted But  true....  I went  to say  the good  news Is  I know  Lots   of  survivoirs  who  were  not    career  firefighters  I guess I was  "lucky"  I was  in hospital  (33 days) and  gettin  close  to  the  4th week  when  Our  Envoy to  Afganistan  Richard  Holebrooks   died   while  waiting  for his   to  get  an  ioda   bigger when it  dissected  In  Washington  DC  ( Lightbulb!!)

I learned  what I know   By  looking  reading and  talking about them...  :)   





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