Aortic Dissection

Aortic dissection is an uncommon problem when there are internal tears with the blood vessel. The aorta is the main blood vessel carrying blood out of the heart. It gives off branches that supply every part of the body. Due to the high pressures within the aorta, or damage from smoking and cholesterol the inside lining can develop tears. These tears mean the blood has two channels to flow down. Unfortunately two is not better than one in this case. This diseased artery can block vital blood supply to organs or become aneurysmal over time.

This condition is generally managed without an operation by controlling blood pressure and other risk factors. Occasionally endoluminal stents and open surgical repair is needed is the blood supply to organ is impaired or the aorta becomes dilated and weak. Repair using stents or surgery for aortic dissections remains one of the most complex vascular surgery and usually multiple teams or surgeons are involved in the decision making.

Next: Thorocoabdominal aneurysms.