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Should I Worry About Aortic Dissection?


What is an Aortic Dissection?

Aortic dissection (when a rip or tear occurs in a layer of the aorta) is a heart problem that can have serious consequences. A small tear in the inner layer of the aorta (the large blood vessel leading from the heart) can cause the aorta walls to separate. If not diagnosed and treated properly, this small inner tear can lead to the rupture of the outer aortic wall (aortic dissection). This has serious medical consequences, including death in some cases. While you cannot prevent risk for a dissection of the aorta completely, factors such as age and sex play a role.

Keeping Blood Pressure Under Control Helps Prevent Tears

Untreated high blood pressure, especially over long periods of time, increases the risk of aortic dissection. The aorta wall may become weakened by years of stress, forming spots that may swell and bulge out (aneurysms) and leave the aorta walls susceptible to tears.

Prevent Atherosclerosis and Help Prevent Aortic Dissections

Atherosclerosis (“hardening of the arteries”) means the arteries are narrowed by deposits of cholesterol, plaque and general waste that travels in the blood stream. As the arteries narrow, the artery walls are continuously subjected to higher pressures over time. Your doctor can advise you on ways to prevent atherosclerosis. This might include giving up smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, monitoring cholesterol and making sure you are getting fiber in your diet.

Don’t Ignore Chest Pain — and Other Symptoms of Aortic Dissection

Severe chest and/or upper back pain is one of the major symptoms of aortic dissection. Aortic dissection in the early stages can also cause shortness of breath, weakness on one side, disorientation and loss of consciousness. Severe and sudden onset chest pain is an indicator that something is wrong, and you should see a doctor or go to an emergency room for expert advice.

I’m Not Sure if I’m at High Risk for a Dissected Aorta or Aneurysm?

No matter the state of your general health, it’s a good idea to establish a relationship with a doctor who can address your health questions, including keeping an eye on possible symptoms that could help prevent a deadly separation with the aortic wall. A doctor can also keep on eye on health issues such as blood pressure that creeps higher, weight gain, smoking habits and other factors that affect your overall health.

Talk to an Aortic Dissection Lawyer in San Francisco For Free.

If you’ve been injured due to an aortic dissection or a failure to diagnose, our San Francisco attorneys are here to assist you. Our attorneys are experienced in handling complex aortic dissection cases. Request a free consultation now.

Aortic Dissection FAQs

The Callaway & Wolf law firm offers specialized legal services in cases of aortic aneurysms and aortic dissections. Please visit our Aortic Dissections FAQ page to learn more now.

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