Long term care
Regular follow up
Once a patient survives the initial event, either with or without surgery, regular follow-ups are critical and should include imaging at regular intervals. People who survive an aortic dissection are prone to developing aneurysms later on.
Over time, the stress of blood flow between aortic layers can cause the weakened area of the aorta to bulge like a balloon, stretching the aorta into what is called an aneurysm – with the risk for late rupture and associated death. Many patients may require future surgeries to repair late developing aneurysms.
Patients will require life-long beta blockers to manage blood pressure. Sometimes more than one blood pressure medication may be needed to reach the goal. If patients do not tolerate these medications, other blood pressure drugs will be used.
While aerobic exercise (walking, biking, and swimming) may be encouraged, you may need to avoid activities, such as weight lifting, that increase blood pressure and put added stress on the aorta.