Aortic dissection & aortic aneurysm information support group

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

Good to have found this site.  I have always been a supporter of support groups, and have been connected to a few others over the years.  

I am 66, living in northern England.  A regular runner over many decades, I did the London marathon last April and wonder whether the exertion of doing this at my age is connected to the dissection ?  Any opinions on this ?  I have mentioned this to doctors, but got  completely no-committal replies.   Either way I won't be running marathons again anytime soon.  

I had a sudden pain in my back, with no warning. It was like being stabbed with a knife. An ambulance took me to the hospital in Carlisle (40 miles away). It probably saved my life that the paramedic recognised the symptoms and didn't put it down to a slipped disc or something similar. Fortunately the ambulance service in Cumbria has not yet been privatised.  After a spell in hospital and 3 CT scans the aneurysm remains at 4.5cms.  No surgery needed till it reaches 6cm I am told.

Can you put stents in for a type B Thoracic dissection ?

Can anyone recommend a good surgeon, perhaps in London?  

I get very tired, probably because of the medication.  And have a nagging pain in my back most of the time. Recovery has been slow and after 5 months I am only just starting to get back to normal activities. I avoid lifting anything of any weight, and can only walk slowly.  Of course  I wonder what are the chances of things getting worse, or of having a other dissection ?


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Comment by Alastair Sharp on September 5, 2017 at 15:05

Hi.  I wrote in in January 2017 after an aortic dissection, type B,  that happened  5 months earlier.   I was not feeling optimistic about recovery at that point. After reading around the subject it appeared that  aneurysms generally get worse until surgery is necessary. However, at my last CT scan in March, the diameter of my aortic artery had reduced to near normal. I realise I am very fortunate.  I continue to take very heavy doses of medication and this has kept my BP at 110/85.  It is sometimes much less, at 90/55. I take amlodipine 10mg, ramipril 10mg, 7.5mg of a beta blocker + 2.5mg of a diuretic.  Side effects have been minimal. Getting BP low seems to have made a difference.  I still get a pain in my back,  but maybe I am getting over this, at least for now. 

My very best wishes to everyone who writes in and hope that they are feeling better.  I feel I am getting back to normal.  I used to run marathons, that normal I have decided I won't go back to.

(I have had a 'private' note from Precious Romeo. Sorry but I am too cautious to open private links)

Comment by Kimberlee Jones on February 2, 2017 at 0:55

I am not very familiar with Type B dissections. I do have one, but my initial dissection was Type A and was operation on immediately after and emergency c-section. I developed the type b two months later and so far it has it has just been monitored and that is all. However my daughter is now 11yrs old so it is going very will with the watch and wait and method. (on BP meds to prevent further problems) I am also tired I feel way to much, I think it is the BP meds also and have the nagging pain in my back too. Like I said I am 11 years out and aside from the second dissection 2m after my initial I have had no further problems.

I hope I helped at least a little.



Comment by Alastair Sharp on January 28, 2017 at 17:23

Thanks to Julia & Gregory for your comments.  In answer to Gregory I have both a dissection and an aneurysm.

I am hoping to get a second medical opinion, maybe privately, although I haven't thought about who from yet !  Any suggestions? 

But I have to say I am very happy with the medical attention I have had, and there have been no delays in getting GP appointments.  Sometimes the appointments were just to get reassurance, which I received...

Comment by Gregory Smith on January 26, 2017 at 12:20

Alastair, I'm a little confused. Did you suffer a dissection or an aneurysm or both?

Comment by Julia Holley on January 22, 2017 at 12:42

Hi Alastair,  Glad you found us.  I was 57 when I had my AD and to say it was a shocking experience is a severe understatement.    Everything changed for me including who I am deep inside.  I am six years on now and as time passes I remember more about that experience but do feel at home again in my own body. 

My best advice to you is to accept your new circumstances. Work on practical things like improving your mobility and keeping your  blood pressure down.  Accept the tiredness and don't fight it, get your feet up and have a kip when you feel tired. Its really hard but life will be much easier without the constant stress of worrying about it getting worse  or having another AD.  I found that once I moved on in my head I could start to live again.

Keep in touch with how you are doing and stay positive.



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