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Note: All hospitals have Emergency Rooms unless otherwise noted.
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Go immediately to the emergency room if you experience sudden, tearing chest pains that radiate through the shoulders and into the back, and sometimes are accompanied with a cold sweat.
Acute aortic dissection is an uncommon and often lethal cause of chest pain, the mortality rate is 35 percent at 24 hours, 50 percent at 48 hours and 80 percent within 2 weeks.
* Diagnosis & Treatment of Diseases of the Aorta, Hurst’s The Heart, 10th Edition

Aortic Dissection Treatment

An aortic dissection is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention and requires hospitalization. Treatment may involve medications or surgery, depending on the severity and location of the condition. Medications, such as intravenous beta blockers and sodium nitroprusside, reduce the heart rate and blood pressure. After treatment, many patients require blood pressure medication for the rest of their lives and often require follow-up CT or MRA scans every six to 12 months to monitor their condition.

In every case, your WellStar physician will help you weigh the benefits of each treatment approach and make an experienced recommendation for the best outcome. You can feel confident your decision will be based on both your input and the expertise and recommendations of your experienced physician.

Taking Care of Type A Aortic Dissection

Type A aortic dissections are the more common and dangerous types of dissection because they involve a tear near the heart. Immediate surgery is the preferred treatment. During surgery, the WellStar cardiothoracic or vascular surgeon removes as much of the dissected aorta as possible and then reconstructs the vessel with a graft. Often, people with a Type A aortic dissection will need to have their aortic valve replaced as well.

Taking Care of Type B Aortic Dissection

This type of dissection involves a tear in the descending aorta and may be treated with either medication or surgery. Some surgical options are similar to those for Type A aortic dissections, but sometimes stents – small mesh tubes that act as a sort of scaffolding – can repair Type B aortic dissections.