Aortic dissection, aortic aneurysm - The aorta - Life after an aortic dissection
Last Sunday I did not feel very well. After having dinner, I began to have abdominal and lower back pain. It was similar to the original dissection pain. But since I had some pain before, I figured it will go away in a few minutes. I presumed it was related to the dinner. I took a couple of Tylenol and wen to bed. Around 1:30 AM, I woke up with more pain. I took my blood pressure and it was 129/85. It was high because my doctor wants to keep it under 120/70. At that time, I decided to go to the hospital.
After explaining my condition, immediately they took me to CT scan machine. About 45 minutes later they came back with the news that my left kidney had infarcted and I have to be admitted. Several tests were done trying to figure out the origin of the thrombosis to the kidney. I was in the hospital for 4 full days and had to go back yesterday for the final results:
There are complications with my abdominal dissection. Therefore a second surgery is needed. This is the descending aorta, which was not fixed during my ascending aorta surgery. My dissection goes all the way down to the illiac area. The concern is the possibility of another embolism to the kidneys or the intestines which, could be fatal.
When the thoracic surgeon gave us the news before leaving the hospital, I was devastated. The idea of another surgery was inconceivable. However, by yesterday, when he confirmed the news and presented my options, I was feeling stronger. A tiny hole in my heart (Arterial Septal Defect) was also found during the testing. Apparently I was born like that. But, in comparison to the aortic complications, this is the last thing the doctors are worried about.
The options presented to me yesterday were as follow:
1-Endograft, which will be inserted through the groin area. The graft serves as a lining to the aorta. The hospital stay and the recuperation is minimun in comparison to a traditional surgery and repair.
2- A traditional surgery and repair of the aorta with the need to cut an incision from the abdomen to the back including the ribs.
3- Medical management with blood thinners and the high risk of rupture of the aorta and the tremendous side effects of the drugs.
I hope you can help me decide what my best option is. Perhaps someone in the group has had similar surgeries and would like to share their experiences. I have a few days to think about it. The doctor wants me to make an informed decision, but I cannot afford to wait too long. Every option brings its own risks. I am leaning for the Endograft, but since it is a fairly new procedure, according to the doctor, I do not want to just take the easiest way out..
I hope to hear from you soon..
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