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Hello everyone. My son is 26 years old and he is playing sports. He was at some tournament and he got really sick. He was almost about to faint. Thanks God the ambulance was already there so they took him to the hospital just to see what is going on. They believed that this state was caused by a sunstroke. They did analyses on him and the results are here - he has aortic dissection. What is this? Is this dangerous? What are the causes of aortic dissection and how to treat it? Please, let me know because I am worried. 

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Hey there Darling.

It is not definitely caused by a sunstroke. It must be something that is present for a long time. I am wondering how he never had any symptoms.

I am sorry because I need to tell you but exact cause of aortic dissection is still unknown. Doctors do believe that high blood pressure is a contributing factor because it causes strain on the walls of your arteries.

The best treatment options will be determined by his doctor. But usually it include medications and the surgery as well.

Also, it depends is it type A aortic dissection or type B aortic dissection.

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Hello there.

Aortic dissection occurs when a tear occurs in the inner muscle wall lining of the aorta. In that case it allows your blood to split apart the muscle layers of the aortic wall. Symptoms of this include ripping pain in the chest and even the sweating. Also, you may experience shortness of breath, weakness or fainting. Abdominal aortic dissection can be present together with abdominal pain. Like you already know, it is very important to understand is it type A or type B, because type A is treated surgically and type B is treated with medical management, with some drugs that are prescribed by your doctor.

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Good day there. Thank you so much, I didn't expect to get any of those answers that quick. We went to a routine control today and my son got scared because doctor told him that maybe he won't be allowed to play sports anymore and now he is scared. He told me that he doesn't want to hear this at all because he wants to play his favorite sport. I don't know what to do. I told him that he needs to calm down because everything is going to be ok, that doctors are going to find the best treatment for him and that he is going to play sports, but I don't know that. I am not sure...Is there a chance for it? Tnx!

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Hello Darling,

I'm afraid that this is a very serious condition. The inner layer of your son's aorta, the large blood vessel branching off his heart is tearing. Blood is surging through the tear, causing the inner and middle layers of the aorta to separate (to dissect, that's where the name of this condition came from). If the blood filled channel ruptures through the outside aortic wall, aortic dissection is often fatal.

It's strange that your son has this, I mean, not strange, but it mostly occurs in men in their 60's and 70's. If your son's condition is found out on time, his chances of survival will greatly improve.

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Hey everyone,

I'm afraid that Bee has a point here, Darling, this is a really serious condition and it is often fatal. The two types that they talked about above differ from each other. Type A is more common and more dangerous type and it involves a tear in the part of the aorta where it exits the heart or a tear in the upper aorta which may extend into the abdomen. Type B involves a tear in the lower aorta only, which may also extend into the abdomen.

He won't be allowed to do sports anymore, that's for sure, so don't give him false hope.

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Hello guys,

It is indeed a very serious condition like they told you, Darling.

The aortic dissection is a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment. Therapy may include surgery or medications, depending on the area of the aorta involved.

Treatment options differ for Type A and Type B aortic dissection and I'll tell you more about Type A treatment, I don't know what are the treatment options for Type B.

There are two treatment options, surgery and medications. During the surgery, the surgeon will remove as much of the dissected aorta as possible and reconstruct the aorta with a synthetic tube called a graft. Medications which can help are beta blockers and nitroprusside. 

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Hello everyone again,

I know something about the Type B aortic dissection treatment, I forgot to write it above.

It actually doesn't differ a lot from the treatment of Type A aortic dissection. The surgery is very similar to the one that is done to people with Type A aortic dissection, sometimes stents, small wire mesh tubes that act as a sort of scaffolding may be placed in the aorta to repair complicated Type B aortic dissections.

The same medications that are used to treat Type A aortic dissection may be used without surgery in order to treat Type B aortic dissection.

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