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

I never knew he had high blood pressure I don't think he did too. He's a stubborn and young guy who knew he could have high blood pressure at this age till Monday Dec. 19 this year at 6:30 pm whenhe woke up from a nap stretch his neck and all of a sudden he felt  a sharp pain in the back of his head and all of a sudden down his spine every symptom associated with the disease came following after we rush to the er and that's what they diagnose him with but they weren't sure because his kidneys was failing too but they had no choice and took him in for a MRI fir sure it was something really serious they took him in for an emergency surgery with 30 percent survival rate for him 11 hours later he finally came out of surgery now it's just a waiting period. It's been 2 weeks and 2 days since he's been here they said he's still critical but not crucial so does that mean he is doing better? I just don't understand what they mean will he survive or not ? 

Tags: AAortic, Dissecton

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Hello Judy,

How young is young? I was 43 when i had my attack & I have heard of younger. I was also resting, but that was after a very hectic weekend & the BP shot through the roof & I wasn't taking any med control.

I think you need to find out what parts of his body/organs are effected, generally speaking organ failure is down to loss of blood supply with this condition. Two weeks is along time, in the UK your generally in & out within 10 days or so, but that depends on your recovery & condition. If he is still in Hospital there must be a good reason for it. Again you need to dig deeper with the consultant to find out the core issues.

All I can say is he is in the right place & being cared for. If he can recover enough to get out of intensive care then he has a very good chance. That said another member just lost her husband & he was due to go home, so it’s all in the lap of the Gods.

I wish you both well, keep us informed as to how he is getting along & if we can help just let us know.



He's still in ICU they finally took the breathing tube out yesterday @ 2:30 pm he's breathing on his own they said his kidneys are looking good he won't dialysis so that's good news before it was failing. He's breathing fine on his own but not responding much but he still needs time. It's nice to know that they're are younger cases his doctor said he was the youngest he's operated on . Thank You much for all the info.

Judy - if possible you should consider scheduling a conference with his cardiologist, nurses, etc. so you understand exactly what is happening and what the expectations are for recovery.  My experience was the ER docs and ICU nurses were more involved with the immediate aftermath of surgery and less so with long range planning - their goal is to get the patient out of ICU.

I know this is a scary and awful time for you - please let me know if you need help.



from experience it will take a few days for his body to get through the trauma/shock & then get his thoughts together. I was pretty confused myself. But once the reality of the situation hits thats when you need the most support. Take each day as it comes & he will regain his strength over time.

Plan alittle ahead & get as much advice as you can from the nurses/Doctors. God willing he/you will get through it & you can rebuild your lives!




I think the waiting and uncertainty is felt even more acutely by those close to a patient in this situation than it is by them. If you're the one in the bed, you tend to be coping with the moment.  Advice from others about talking to his medical team about your concerns is good.

I was in hospital for three weeks, and certainly the first two were difficult, much of the time spent in ICU.  Critical but not crucial is better than critical. In the first few weeks, with each day, statistically at least, your chance of survival increases.  

Recovery and the speed of it is highly individual. I'm now 57, and had my emergency surgery in March 2011.  I'm still getting better, and it's taken time, but life is pretty much normal again, apart from the fact that I swallow more pills and am obsessed with my blood pressure. However, that's now apparently at the level of a healthy 17 year old (if only the rest of me

I hope the news is better now we've hit 2012!

Is it normal for him to call me useless and a nuisance he's never done it before I'm getting so impatient with it I'm ready to just leave him by himself and take a couple of days off from him. I think I just need a moment to breathe maybe. Can you tell me if it's part of what he's going through ??? He is getting better therapy has started already his legs are still weak but he just so stubborn he wont't let anyone help him and taking his meds that's another story

Judy - my husband was a bit like that as well.  I don't think behavioral changes are uncommon, your husband been through incredibly tough surgery and weeks in ICU plus being on heart/lung bypass may have an impact too.  My husband was non compliant at first with breathing exercises and how meds were given but my guess is you will see all that change when your husband realizes the enormity of the situation.  Give him time, there is a lot for him to adjust to and he is just starting out.  My husband''s attitude improved quite a bit  once he was able to do more for himself.  It's a frustrating time I know but hang in.



With some of the medication you're taking in the first few weeks after surgery, you can be half out of your head. And as the enormity of what's happened to you dawns, along with discovering how weak and dysfunctional your body is, depression, anger and frustration follow each other in waves.

So it may well be that his outbursts are due to that.  The meds are essential, but again, this sudden dependency on them and on people is hard to deal with.

There's a bumpy road ahead, but you'll see that a good many of us here seem to be doing more than ok as time goes by.

Thanks for helping me understand what my husband is going through , now I can relieve some of the stress off my chest the next thing is rehab the doctors we're saying. That's another story I'll keep you guys updated. Thank You so much for this site and everyone here it has help me alot 

Hi Judy,  Harry gives sound advice.  When my husband was being prepped to leave cardiac  icu for pulmonary icu they were talking about physical therapy and rehab - suggesting in patient rehab.  My husband would not even entertain the idea of in patient, he was going home and that was it.  My suggestion is to have a conference (I am big on that so you can stay in the loop and provide input about what works best in your situation) to find out what rehab actually means for your husband.  A consideration could be home health or out patient if he is up to it - there are so many things to consider so take your time and ask questions!


Your right my husband is doing the same thing must be a phase, but there's always a sitter here to watch him 24 hrs. and I think it's starting to bother him he's always asking when they're leaving. Another question is eating wise it's been 4 days now they said if he doesn't start eating his organs and muscle will get weaker and organs shutting down? Is this part of recovering process loss of appetite and how long will it last?

It's hard to know whether there's some physical reason why he's not eating, or whether it's about how he's feeling emotionally.  But I didn't have a real problem with loss of appetite, although I didn't like the hospital food much; nonetheless, the need for food was stressed to me by clinical staff.

One thing your husband needs to realise - and it probably needs to be someone from the medical team who tells him rather than you - is that, even though he may not feel that way at the moment, he has a big role to play in his own recovery, and that getting well isn't a passive process.  And one thing he can do actively, to support healing, is eat. It may take a couple of days, but he will feel better for it; if he wants to get control of his life back, he needs to do this.



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