An aortic dissection occurs when there is a tear in the inner layer of the aorta. This is the major artery that carries blood from the heart to other areas of the body. Aortic dissection is considered a life-threatening medical emergency. They can happen following a car accident or another incident that results in a traumatic blow to the chest. Patients with Marfan's syndrome are at a higher risk of aortic dissection, as are individuals with high blood pressure. Aortic dissections occur more frequently in patients in their sixties and eighties than in other age groups. This condition occurs twice as much in males as does in females. Patients who perform high-intensity weightlifting and similar strength training exercises have an increased risk of this type of dissection. Doctors perform specialized heart tests, including a computerized tomography scan, a transesophageal echocardiogram, and a magnetic resonance angiogram to diagnose this condition.
Patients need aortic dissection treatment as soon as possible. In some cases, they will receive medication for aortic dissections. A common option is a beta-blocker for aortic dissections. The goal is to gain blood pressure control before surgery. Surgery for an aortic dissection often includes removing the damaged portions and repairing what remains or replacing the valve entirely. Of course, patients must understand the symptoms of an aortic dissection first.
Chest Or Back Pain
An aortic dissection generally causes sudden, severe chest or back pain. Most patients describe the pain as a tearing, shearing, or ripping sensation. It may feel similar to the pain experienced during a heart attack. Beginning under the breastbone, it changes position and can radiate up to the neck or down the patient's back. Many patients with back pain caused by an aortic dissection feel the pain in their upper back at first. Patients experiencing these pains should alert those around them so an ambulance can be called. Paramedics can start life-saving measures on the way to the hospital, and the patient will be seen immediately on arrival.
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