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I have been diagnosed with an aortic dissection that is extensive. Basically top to bottom. Anyone out there with the same problem and what are you told is the life expectancy. I've heard the max is five years. I monitor my BP and am on medication for it.

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I have been diagnosed with a extensive type b aortic dissection, the dissection had happened 4yrs ago- my Dr's have told me that with aggressive Bp control you have approx: 10yr life span, with living a calm healthy lifestyle.
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My husband had an aortic dissection in June of 2005. The surgery was done at UNC-Chapel Hill NC. We have been told several different time lines of life expentancy, from 1 to 3 years and all times in between. I don't really know what to think except that I know a walking miracle when I see one. During surgery he(Ricky) had a spinal infarction (stroke) and had some mental damage and is losing the use of his legs, which now the doctors say eventually will be amputated. He turned 59 last Tuesday and I pray he will see 60. Alice Frye
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My greatest concern with a type b dissection is what activity limits are there. We are Blessed to be alive with this condition. My experience was not surgery but medication management. I was taking toprol as a bp medication. I had been on this for approx 8 weeks. Prior to the dissection I was a sports official. My doctor never directed my not to be physically active while on this new med. I feel it has to do with the lowering of the heart rate and the body own abiblity to correct conditions by pumping the blood hard within the aortic system. This causes the separation of the lining. I know bp and weight loss are great concerns while on med and living with this condition. Other activities are of a concern to me. Being a Black man much of the material states victims of Type B are between 50 and 55 y of a. I was 51. With a family histor of bp issues. 8 sibilings and we all are on bp management. I am the 2nd oldest and lead the way for preventing others in my family from such a condition. I wish others could share the events of their type b dissection so a common understanding can be documented. The Drs I am sure have some resource out there or is this a hidden issue related to presciption meds.
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Hi. I had an dissection of my descending aorta on July 5, 2007. Started
from my upper left chest area to my upper left thigh. I am currently just
on medication to keep my blood pressure under control. Toprol XL and
an ACE Inhibitor. No limitations on anything except to not do any activity
that is very strenuous. Doctors will continue to monitor the blood flow to
my internal organs and for aneurysm. Main problem I have experienced so
far is that my right leg fatigues quite easily due to less blood flow. I created
a support group on Google Groups to talk with others in this situation:
http://groups.google.com/group/aortic_dissection_support
Derek, Seattle WA
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My husband has a Type B Aortic Dissection from the arch to the pelvis with compromised kidney function. This happened November 21, 2005 at the age of 51. Untreated hypertension is what the Dr.'s say caused this.

He was back in the hospital twice after that in December of 2005 with chest pains, but was send home after 3 days of testing, each time.

He was treated at Ingham Regional Medical Center in Lansing, MI. It has been suggested (by Dr.'s that I work with) that he consult with the Cleveland Clinic but one of his current Dr.'s doesn't think that is necessary.

He sees a cardiac surgeon, a cardiologist, a nephrologist and is general practitioner. I attend his medical appointments, so I am able to advoate on his behalf, should he need it.

I have wanted to ask his physicians about long term prognosis and life expectancy, but have been afraid to in the presence of my husband.

I am grateful that we have more time together and cherish every moment. God is good!
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At 56 yrs. I survived an extensive descending aortic dissection. I am currently on medication management. In all my research on the subject, I have yet to find any consistent prediction on the average lifespan post-dissection. I realize each individual is different, but would like to know if there is any definitive research out there. 2-4-10 years? How much time do I have left?
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My dear husband had a complete aortic dissection at age 40, May 5, 2007, exactly 1 year after my fathers passing, 2 days after our granddaughters 9th birthday. His dissection was not discovered for 5 days. He went into the hospital on Monday, telling the doctors of severe back pain, and unbearable pain in his right leg. For some reason the keep telling me he was having a heart attack, knowing as much as I did about heart attacks, I told them that it was impossible, I knew he was throwing blood clots, as his leg became worse, only to find out that that was because the dissection was finally completing and the blood clots settled in his foot, as well as traveling though out his body, for him to survive 5 days was more than a miricle and everyone knew after the fact. When he went into surgery his had a 1% chance of survival, the surgeon did not pull any bull with me he gave it to me straight, I was lucky enough however to have one of the best cardiac-thoracic surgeons working on him, he also had a team of vascular surgeon with him, as they were sure he was going to need a bypass from his left leg to his right leg as his blood flow was so slight that there was a chance that he would lose his leg.

Due to the fact that his dissection was found so late, after he came out of surgery, they did put him into a induced coma for 5 days to help heal him, with no movement. As my husband is quite strong they needed to give him 3 and a half time of duladin in order to somewhat keep him calm, his BP went up to 250/190 the morning of his surgery, which the thought his aorta was going to blow, they got it back down to a somewhat normal rate, but as those of you know who have had this, the pain is unbearable. His life expectancy was 2 years it has been a little over 2 years, the going time frame from what I understand is 5-10 years. However, ifyou made it through the surgery itself, as I say to my husband, well I guess the good Lord forgot ya and the devel dont wantcha" You are a walking miracle dont waste your time as my husband does, thinking about how long or worry about win, be happy you have the time with the ones you love now. You have already beaten the odds!
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On July 10, 2008, I survived an acute type B aorta dissection . The medical BP-cocktail which the doctors figured out immediately afterwards turned out to be in my case quite strong: nett almost 4 grams of medication per day in 15 pills: 2400mg Labetalol (beta-blocker) plus 1000 mg Methyldopa (sympatholytic), 10mg Amlodipine (Ca-antagonist), 20mg Lisinopril (ACE inhibitor) and 25mg hydrocl.thiazide (H2O-draining). The cocktail resulting in a fairly low daily average BP of 110/75 mmHg, with +- spreadings during periods of activity-rest of +-15 / +-10 mmHg, respectively.

I recently studied intensively some relevant medical articles that had been dealing with survival prognosis of type-B patients (who all are heading to an inevitable aneurism, sooner or later):
see O. Dapunt et al. J.Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 1994;107:1323-1333 and T. Juvonen et al. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 1999;117:776-786

From their data I could estimate through an approximative model how the start and speed of growth of our aneurism relates to our BP.
We assume that right after the dissection there is no aneurism yet. But obviously the downward running dissected aorta has now an increased diameter caused by the weakend aorta wall, getting a diameter size around 3.5 cm at a 70 mmHg Diastolic BP, which is at least 1 cm more than the diameter of a healthy, non-dissected aorta.
Both articles report how at higher diastolic BP-levels the diameter is driven elastically above 4.5cm diameter, where lies about the point of expansion above which the aorta wall gradually starts building an aneurism (being a process taking years). I constructed an approximative model based on data from above articles to link the systolic/diastolic BP's to the elastic diameter expansion and also to the (inelastic) aneurism growth rate.
The latter is of interest in the topic at hand here. The data:
A patient having a BP of only 100/60 mmHg showed no long-term aneurismic growth whatsoever (!), while a patient group having a median BP of 140/80 mmHg showed a diameter growth rate of 0.09cm/yr. Finally, a patient group having a median BP of 170/90 mmHg had a growth rate of 0.16 cm/yr.

Starting from an elasticcally expanded diameter of 3.5 cm at a diastolic BP 70 mmHg, the elastic diameter of 4.5cm is reached at a diastolic BP 80mmHg, or at a syst/diast BP of 90/70 mmHg. So in practice almost every patient will have during each hart-pulse cycle the diameter above 4.5 cm for some part of the time, which causes then a slow inelastic aneurism growth.
And one has roughly about one inelastic cm more to grow until the diameter reaches 4.5 cm at 70 mmHg and aneurism surgery becomes advisable.

My aneurism growth model was closely linked to the data of the article of Juvonen et al., where we applied just interpolation.
Some examples of the outcome:
a. At a daily averaged BP of 110/73 the diameter grows inelastically by 0.04cm/year, so 25 years to go until aneurism surgery.
b. At a daily averaged BP of 130/75 the diameter growth rate gets 0.07 cm/yr, so 14 years to go.
c. At a daily averaged BP of 140/80 the growth rate gets 0.09 cm/yr, so 11 years to go.
d. At a daily averaged BP of 150/83 the growth rate gets 0.11 cm/yr, so 9 years to go.
c. At a daily averaged BP of 170/90 the growth rate gets 0.16cm/yr, so 6 years to go.

Please bear in mind that this is just the statistical story dealing with medians and averages and that the prognosis for any individual patient is dominated greatly by individual features (like the health condition, other deseases, specific aorta weaknesses).

Anyway, even taking in account all inaccuracy of the model, the message is clear: we better try to keep our BP's at any time down to the lowest possible minimum, this both through behaviour plus through medication!!
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hi there...I survived a type a and type b dissection...both extensive ...i was 28 years old...now i am 42 years old!! out survived , out lasted and out witted all of the doctors predicitons!!! I think in the end what i know is it really isn't in anyone's control...I even stopped taking my blood pressure medication for almost a years time -not that anyone should do that but what I am saying is it probably is very important to keep the blood pressure under control but there is obviously alot more to this whole dissection than just blood pressure. I figure if I live 15 years post dissection from heart and down the coronary arteries, down to the femoral arteries and up my renal arteries and up my carotids...I have done pretty good and hopefully that gives hope to all those who have the same or better or worse dissections!! :-D
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Being 47 years of age on 9 april 2005 I went to hospital with terrible chest- and later back pain.
I was diagnosed with Aortic Dissection type B.
My blood pressure wasn't taken for 25 years or so. When they took it it was 180/110 but ofcourse I was in death-fear.
Stayed in hospital for almost 6 weeks. They did not operate me but gave me a lot of bp meds.
I was a chain smoker but stopped smoking once in hospital. I thought: "Now or never"
When I came out of hospital I was kept on medication and that first summer I remember having it always cold despite high temperatures outside.
They did not give me a life expectancy and I read some things that said 8 years but that's because most people get these dissections being older the 70 so 8 years is even normal then.

It's more then 5 years ago now.
I'm still not smoking (also no trouble with it) but I kept being a social drinker. Slowly diminished medication both on doctors advice and my own judgement. Still blood pressure is 120/80 despite little medication.
I must say I feel better then before the dissection occurred !
At this moment I see no reason why my life should be shorter then without dissection.
I get an MRI scan every year and it shows no changes till now so that's OK.
It's unlikely the aorta will expand and rupture unnoticed between scans.

So far my story
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On March 28,2010 at the age of 44 my husband suffered and A and B aortic disection complete ,4 p.m. on Sunday the 28th I recieved a phone call that my husband was having chest pains I instructed our staff to give him 4 asprin because I thought he was having a heart attack(that would have been easy to deal with ha) Mark immediatly started complaining of right leg feeling numb ,ambulance arrived at 4:15 Mark was taken to Strong Hospital by the time we reached the ed rigamortas had started to set in on his right leg at 5:30 a team was called in to do emergance surgery for complete aortic disection the team arrived arround 6:30 room preped Mark went in and was still alet while complaining of sever right leg pain he gave me a kiss as they rolled him into the operating room all night they worked on my husband I was told.surgery was fully underway by 7:30p.m and did not hear anything till 3 am only that they are still working on him .Finally at 10:00 a.m. they came out and told me that he was out and that he was being taken to ICU they had to put him on bypass for 20 min and that this was one of the worst tears they had ever seen but that he did well through out the surgery,(no doubt due to the amount of prayer to God at that time) Mark over the next several weeks was very unstable due to right leg muscle dieing they had to unfortunatly chemicale remove his leg due to the toxins the dead muscle was giving of CK elevation that was causeing him to be extremly unstable ,I had to make the decsion to take his leg in order to save him,the most awful thing I have ever had to do. So they put his leg on dri ice awful due to the fact he was so unstable to even go through surgery ,,after they did this the levels dropped and he stablized somewhat out enough for them to do surgery - over several weeks he had 11 surgerys on his leg till finally the had to do a right hip disarticulation ,they had to go that high due to the muscle and tissue keep dieing ,during this Mark lost kidney function and went on dialysis .Over the next several weeks kidney function begain to return to the doctors amazment
.At this time Mark has right side infarcted kidney with blood clot so half the r kidney is working ,labs are all good so no dialysis.We are now three months in the hospital and leaving Friday Mark is doing well slight concern over having to go back to surgery to repaire b disection ,has anybody else gone through this what is life exspectancy?The million dollar question ! What is common thread for the 40 year olds this has been awful
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My 44 year old husband underwent an emergency Type A aortic dissection along with anneurysm. His aorta had expanded to a whopping 9.8 cms. Doctors claimed that he was a medical miracle as his aorta did not rupture. We weretreated at Sunnybrook hospital in downtown Toronto, Canada using the Bentall procedure. It' been 4 weeks since the urgery and my husband's recovery is slow but steady. I would love to hear from other people who underwent this same procedure.
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I had a descending aortic separation that went down to a AAA just above the illiac arch. I now have three sections of dacron tubing as a aorta replacement. I also underwent surgery for an addtional anerysm at the illiac arch. Now I have a dacron Y where the illiac arch is. Recovery is slow and tiresome. I also, due to the surgery have had three hernia operations that were all incisinal. Meaning because of the weakened tissue across my stomach it caused the hernias.
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My problem was found by accident. This all started with lower back pain. Went to the dr. and he sent me for a MRI of the lower back. I knew something was wrong as the technician came out and asked if I had ever been in a car accident or any type of trauma concerning my back. Not exactly knowing what this was leading to I ask him what the problem was. He said that I had a "bubble". As I started asking more questions he finally said I would have to return to my dr. and he really could'nt really give me any more information. When I went to my dr. he informed me the "bubble" was a abdominal aortic anyerism, (AAA). He then sent me to a specialist who informed me that the AAA was at 5. cm and could easily be fixed with a dacron replacement, he felt this was the best treatment. The only problem was the MRI did not show a complete picture as it was orginally for my lower back. He wanted a complete picture from my neck down to my pelvis. This was scheduled and completed. On my return to the specialist he informed me that a problem had found from the MRI. He said that he wanted me to see his other partners as they were more informed on this than he. It seems that I had a descending aortic dissection. In other words my aorta wall had separated from just below the arch down to the AAA. Now it seemed that they were'nt as anxious to operate. A little later I found out why. They wanted me to monitor the AAA to see if it was enlarging. Every six months it was checked to determine if the AAA was getting any larger. After a year and a half the AAA had enlarged to 5.5 and now the dr. informed me he would'nt wait any longer and if he were me he would undergo the surgery. I not really thinking this was such a big deal agreed and scheduled all the tests he wanted for the surgery. I won't bore you with all the tests as they are'nt really that interesting. The surgery turned out to be a 13 to 14 hour ordeal for my family (Not me, I was sleeping through it!). The incision was started about three inches from my backbone and right under the left shoulder blade, the incision continues between the fourth and fifth rib to the front of my stomach and down to my waist line. They collapsed my left lung to give them more operating room. They put a incision in my groin so I could be connected to a by-pass machine as they shut down different areas as the operation proceeds. To make a long story shorter, they replaced my aorta with three sections of dacron tubing. I was in the ICU for 5 days and then transfered to a regular heart floor room and released 10 days later. Because of the weakness in my abdominal wall and I also have some sort of soft tissue disease I have had three incisinal hernias. These have all been repaired with mesh. I have developed two more hernias now. One is quite small and does'nt bother me that much while one is larger and does cause some discomfort. I have been monitored every six months with a MRI and blood pressure medicine not because I have high bp but to make sure my pressure does'nt spike. On one visit for a MRI they found that the illiac arch was developing a anyerism and the illiac arch was replaced with a dacron Y. This operation was pretty simple and I was released in only four days. I was really surprised to find this web site as I have not heard of this happening to many people.
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