Friday, January 31, 2014

My Distal Aortic Dissection, NIH Treatment Discussion

I added a photo of my existing dissected distal aorta to the upper right hand corner of my Marfan blog here, to remind me everyday is an important day in the battle against hypertension.
My dissected distal aorta - existing unrepaired
If you look closely at the above photo you will see two ovals in the center of the echocardiography.  There should only be one oval.

The top oval is the false lumen, or dead end ripped out channel.  The bottom oval is the true lumen or open channel in the aorta.

The line between the two channels is the intima tear - of inner lining of my aorta, ripped out from the aorta wall and 'floating' in the middle of the aorta.  This phenomena is know as a 'dissected aorta'.

The vessel walls are much weaker than a normal, non-torn aorta and are subject to rupture or aneurysm.  As stated in the article published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine's National Institutes of Health, aggressive hypertension treatment is about the only non-surgical treatment option for this condition.

Surgical replacement of the distal aorta is highly risky.  Stents are not accepted as a treatment option at this time.  My cardiologist says 'we don't want to open a can of worms', and one of my Facebook Marfan Syndrome friends recently did not make it through her descending dissection repair in Denver this last month.

I am placing this photo here to remind me of not stressing, of remaining calm, not worrying, not picking up anything over two or so pounds as my doctor recommends.

Our body is amazing.  And it continues to function sometimes even when the 'experts' shake their head and wonder how.


  1. Thanks for sharing and educating.

  2. I've read that music (therapy) helps with hypertension and heart rate. I know I feel better after playing some Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier / Heart, much more than my day job of web programming. I hope it has the same effect on my dad too. Wish you the best in continuing keeping calm and carrying on!