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.
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 me...lol) 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 ..lol 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...
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 Aorticdissection.com.... 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 ..lol 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... :)