Aortic dissection & aortic aneurysm information support group

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

I am still finding my way around this site so excuse mistakes.
My husband Peter suffered from an Aortic Dissection type A last october. He was taken ill at work suddenly dispite being fit never smoking and eating healthily, he was just 49. In hospital they nearly cost him his life by diagnosing pulmonary embolism and treating him with Heparin. It was 5 days before someone decided to do a ct scan. Within hours he was transferred to a specialist hospital and endured almost 14 hours of surgery because they could not stabilize him. The surgeon (God Bless him) fitted a mechanical valve and did a ducron graft, he told me Peter would have not been here if the scan had been delayed any longer. Peter stayed in intensive care for 7 days and endured another 3 hours of surgery during this time as they did not close his chest for 3 days because he was not stable enough. It has been a long road to recovery but he is feeling well now, taking lots of medication blood pressure and INR seems stable at moment as he had trouble getting the right warfarin dose, still tires easily and still gets painful cramps down his arms and vision disturbance now and then. The results of his scan last month show his remaining dissection is still stable but we see the vascular consultant in Jan. Unfortunately his employers discontinued his employment as it was too physical, he was a HGV driver for a mail company so it involved a lot of heavy lifting. We had never heard of this conditon before and as it is so rare even our GP is on a learning curve. It is very hard to get advice and support as even all the heart booklets never mention this condition I asked the nurses why and they say it is because not many cases happen and if they do a lot don't survive. We have 3 sons 18, 21, & 22 they have all been scanned to make sure all is well, it is thankfully.
As a family this has made us stronger and we do not take things for granted anymore but it can still be a very scary position to be in. It is comforting to know there are other people in the same position to give advice and support.
Happy New Year to every body.

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Comment by Patrick Gethin on January 8, 2010 at 20:31
Hi. I was 49 when I had my dissection. I did t need a valve. But in 2009 I had a stroke so now need to take warfarin for that
Comment by Richard Deal on January 7, 2010 at 19:39
hey judy,
welcome to the site! it was nice to read your story, and good to see that despite the obstacles thrown in his way initially your husband is recovering well.
interesting link for you here, maybe...
was this dissection specifically caused by a hereditary condition?
marfan's, bicuspid valve, ...?


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