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Your Healthy Family: What is aortic dissection and why you never want to have it

As we come to the end of Heart Health Month, we’re talking about aortic dissection with Dr. Peter Walinsky, the senior medical director of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery at UCHealth Memorial.

Dr. Walinsky explains, “Aortic dissection is where the AORTA actually cracks.  There are three layers of the aorta and the blood will travel in between the layers.  The danger when that happens is that other vessels or other branch vessels can be sheared off, and so no blood gets to those branch vessels.”

Aortic tears kill about 2,000 Americans every year and strike with little warning.  Dr. Walinsky says,

“About 50 percent of patients who present with Type A aortic dissection, will not make it to the hospital.  Depending on which medical center the patients go to (who do make it there) it can be anywhere from a 10 to 30 percent operative mortality.”

Terry Douglass is one of the lucky ones who survived an aortic tear and nearly a year later, has almost no deficits.  Terry is a retired pastor in Colorado Springs who feels he is a living miracle.  

Aortic Dissection - Bookshelf


Recent Advances in Acute Type A Aortic Dissection
362 pages
Recent Advances in Acute Type A Aortic Dissection

Cardiac surgeons can benefit from this volume by learning about current medical opinions and consensuses on risk factors (including genetic predisposition), diagnostic modalities, intraoperative management, surgical options, cerebral ...

Surgical treatment of aortic dissection
357 pages
Surgical treatment of aortic dissection

This essential book is the perfect stand-alone reference for all aspects of aortic dissection--ranging from basic science and pathogenesis to complete patient management, including pre- and post-operative care.

Aortic Dissection and Related Syndromes
364 pages
Aortic Dissection and Related Syndromes

This state-of-the-art publication is a result of the combined efforts of participants from the International Registry of Aortic Dissection (IRAD). The book has been divided into sections.

Controversies in Aortic Dissection and Aneurysmal Disease
457 pages
Controversies in Aortic Dissection and Aneurysmal Disease

In this book the authors review the surgical management of patients with aortic disease. This often controversial area of management reveals many options open to cardiovascular specialist.

Aortic dissection
258 pages
Aortic dissection


Aortic Dissection - News


Open repair of chronic thoracic, thoracoabdominal aortic dissection with deep hypothermia ups 10-year survival
Open repair of chronic thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic dissection using hypothermia offers many advantages in suitable patients with this complex pathology and continues to represent the gold standard, according to new research. The procedure has 

Widow files $10 million wrongful-death lawsuit against Springfield hospital, doctors
According to the Mayo Clinic's website, aortic dissection is somewhat rare. It results from a tear in the aorta, a large blood vessel branching off the heart. If blood from the tear ruptures the outside aortic wall, the condition often is fatal

Stamford man survives cardiac emergency to attend daughter's ...
Stamford man survives cardiac emergency to attend daughter's ... John Bonora dances with his daughter, Ashley Glaude, at her wedding 10 days after he suffered an aortic dissection. Photo: Contributed Photo. Image 2 of 8.

Conference to discuss ways to learn from medical misadventures
Conference to discuss ways to learn from medical misadventures Fowler is trying to raise greater awareness of the condition, aortic dissection, but she is also campaigning for positive changes in the way investigations are handled when medical errors are made. The absence of a framework for ensuring

'The bottom of our world fell apart' - daughter of man who died while on visit to Dublin
'The bottom of our world fell apart' - daughter of man who died while on visit to Dublin "To date Tallaght Hospital has implemented two key recommendations: rare occurrences such as aortic dissection are now included as a regular agenda item for education sessions attended by medical professionals of all levels within our Emergency