Doctor insights on:
Medicine For Dissecting Aortic Aneurysm
Serious condition: An aortic dissection is when a tear develops in the inner layer of the aorta [which is a large blood vessel that branches from the heart] and blood enters between the inner and middle layers, causing them to separate. If the wall ruptures, then it is often fatal. If detected and treated early on, your chances of survival improves. With appropriate treatment your risk of death is 10%. ...Read more
"Aneurysm" has scary implications for many people. It just means an enlargement of an artery. The problem is that when arteries (including the aorta) get too large, their walls become weak and prone to tear (dissection) or rupture. If this happens in the aorta it can be a catastrophe. Management of aortic aneurysms depends on where it is, how big, whether it's growing, ...Read more
Tear of the aorta: The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body running from the heart to the top of the pelvis. It has a smooth lining and a muscular wall. A dissection of the aorta is a tear of the lining of the aorta allowing blood to pass between the lining and the wall which can cause problems in blood flow and in some cases can be life-threatening. Acute aortic dissection typically produces sharp sever. ...Read more
No: About 2000 new cases/yr in the US. Very high mortality. Hard to estimate actual occurrence, 1-3%of all autopsies or 1/350 cadavers. Very high mortality if ascending aorta involved. High index of suspicion, symptoms not consistent. If ascending aorta involved, emergency surgery needed. Most of descending aorta dissections can be managed medically into chronic. Periodic cat scans to monitor needed. ...Read more
Pain: Severe pain of chest, back, and abdomen. ...Read more
Most: Most patients with a dissection aortic aneurysm have a sensation of tearing in their chest that is painful and distressing. However, between 5-15% of patients with aortic dissection have a painless dissection, making detection more difficult. Unexplained hypotension with dyspnea and heart failure usually lead to a diagnostic echocardiogram... But missed diagnosis are common in this group. ...Read more
Hospitalization: Acute dissection of an aortic aneurysm in the chest requires emergency care. There are different types, but dissection of an ascending aortic aneurysm will fatal over 90% of the time in hours to days unless treated with emergency surgery. Acute dissection of the descending aorta may be treated with surgery or medical care depending on the circumstances, but always requires hospitalization. ...Read more
TO THE O.R.!: Aortic dissection may be treated with medical management or emergent surgery. With the improvement of endovascular grafts, surgical repair seems more common. A vascular surgeon will advise based on anatomy and location of dissection, vessels/organs involved. I've seen a few interventional radiologists do things also. Most important is immediate evaluation! ...Read more
No: An aortic dissection is a tear in the lining of the aorta, causing blood to leak into the aortic wall, causing pain and possibly hemodynamic issues. An aneurysm is an enlargement of the vessel to more than 2 times its normal size. Dissections may occur in aneurysms, and may become aneurysmal, but can occur independent of each other. ...Read more
Aneurysm/Dissection: An aneurysm is an area where the aorta has ballooned out compared to the aorta below and above. The more expanded the greater the risk of rupture. Dissection is when there is a disruption of the inner layer of the aorta and blood can flow between the layers. This often will cause blockages of aortic branch vessels resulting in stroke, heart attack, and bowel/kidney infarction, etc. ...Read more
No: Aneurysm is the dilation of your artery that can rupture if it gets too big overtime. A dissection is when the layers of your artery separate - generally associated with traumatic injuries (blunt or sharp), it is usually an acute event. Sometimes you can see dissection when the aneurysm starts to leak. Make friend with a vascular surgeon. ...Read more
I had an aortic aneurysm with dissection and had a pace maker put in. Would it be alright for me to have alcoholic drinks?
You've already had 2 near death experiences and if your taking all the meds prescribed for you i'd stop drinking and smoking now.
Good luck! ...Read more
I had an aortic aneurysm with dissection, and had a pace maker put in. Can I still drink alcohol?
I have an ascending aortic aneurysm and a descending aortic aneurysm, aortic dissection through the thoracic and abdominal aorta into the top of my ri?
This is an: Unfortunate situation but you haven't asked a question. What would you like us to help you with. Formulate a question and try asking it again. ...Read more
Can aortic aneurysm symptoms be mistaken for anything else? Even more so after use of drugs? Mostly about the symptom of a mass underneath the
Can aortic aneurysm symptoms be mistaken for anything else? Even more so after use of "upper" drugs?
Yes--can be mistaken: Aortic aneurysm is highly unlikely in someone your age. The only people I've ever known to have aortic aneurysm have been long-term (more than 20-30 years) smokers. Aortic aneurysms are characterized by a "tearing pain, " that moves as the tear expands. Some have compared it to pain of a kidney stone. More likely you're having tachycardia and anxiety from the "uppers." ...Read more
Can I exercise with aortic aneurysm? My father is in his 70's and had a slight aortic aneurysm. He wants to start exercising in the gym, but I'm concerned it may be dangerous. Are there any particular machines or exercises he should avoid?
Your: Your father should avoid activities that raise the blood pressure excessively. Heavy weight lifting should be avoided at all costs, and he should focus on light aerobic activity such as briskly walking on a treadmill. A good rule of thumb is to exercise just enough to break a light sweat while maintaining the ability to carry on a conversation. I would recommend that he have an exercise stress test with a cardiologist to assess his blood pressure response to exercise and to help develop an exercise prescription. Any chest, back or abdominal pain or pressure with exercise should be taken very seriously and prompt immediate medical attention. ...Read more
No but its not rare: Abdominal aortic aneurysms are more common than thoracic. An aneurysm is defined as an enlargement of the aorta 1.5 x the normal diameter. The incidence is around 37 per 100, 000 patient yrs. There is a 3% prevalence in those over 50 yrs old. Male to female ratio of 9 to 1. Risk factors hypertension, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, family history and age. ...Read more
Heavy lifting: We tell people with aortic aneurysms to avoid activities that will increase intraabdominal pressure. This would include lifting anything so heavy it makes you grunt, doing sit-ups or crunches, or forceful straining on the toilet. ...Read more
Arteriosclerosis: Most arteriosclerotic aneurysms result in cystic medial necrosis of the aorta resulting in dilatation of the artery secodary to the internal pressure and weakness of the arterial wall. Any part of the aorta and its branches may be affected. Infections with bacteria, fungus, syphillis may also produce aneurysms in the aorta. ...Read more
Rare: Most are caused by long-standing high BP and smoking. However, there are connective-tissue diseases and congenital defects that can show up. These are often thoracic (in chest) and may involve the aortic valve. In patients at risk -with marfan's or the like- echocardiogram or other imaging may be indicated. ...Read more
Yes: With the exception of deep abdominal massage or forceful back massage when the person is lying on his stomach. In general, we advise patients with abdominal aneurysms control blood pressure, refrain from smoking, and stay away from activities that increase intraabdominal pressure (like sit-ups or crunches or heavy lifting). ...Read more