Aortic dissection, aortic aneurysm - The aorta - Life after an aortic dissection
It is now 12 months since my arch replacement, so time to meet with my consultant at Southampton General yesterday for a check up. Having had my MRI scan taken 5 weeks ago I was somewhat nervous as to what it would show, not only of the arch graft itself but also that rest of my aorta was OK. I was so relieved to be told and shown on the scans that everything was really fine! The Dacron graft was looking very good and had now been covered in my own tissue; he suspected that a new, smooth, tissue lining had also been grown internal to the graft too. The MRI scan clearly showed that aorta from the graft, descending, was all well with no signs of any aneurysms and with all dimensions just as they should be.
This really was the first chance we to talk about my operation, and what he was able to confirm was that he was 100% sure that he was able to remove all of the damaged, dissected aorta during the operation. The Dacron graft he was confident was attached to good, strong aorta walls and that there were no signs of further tissue problems in the aorta. He explained that the location of my tear was in an unusual location in the lower wall of the arch section and they would have expected it to dissect not only in the ascending direction but also in the descending direction too from that location. The fact it did not extend into the descending aorta and the dissection grew quite slowly in the ascending direction (16 days from event to surgery) it seems my aortic tissue is relatively robust. It is his opinion that there was some small, local weakness at the tear point in the arch that was exposed by my hypertension, but although he cannot totally rule some sort of connective tissue problem he does not think this is my root cause. We discussed the issues that follow on from the operation and it was reassuring to be told that I experienced no more and no less than what he would expect after this type of major surgery.
In terms now of follow up, so long as I keep my blood pressure under control, visit my GP on a regular basis, don’t take up weight lifting and take plenty of exercise he is happy to go 5 years to my next review! Yep, this had been a good day.
Add a Comment