Name: Vadim M
Age at time of Dissection: 32
Type of Dissection: Descending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 3 April 2007

Tell Us Your Story:

I had a traumatic AD after a skiing accident – high speed tree collision after losing control and flying off a drop. The accompanying injuries included ruptured diaphragm, collapsed lungs, descending colon tear, fractured ribs, kidney damage and muscle/ligament damage. I was able to slowly roll to a visible place where someone noticed me and reported to patrol.

After being evacuated from the mountain I was sent to the closest hospital where they put a stent in my kidney and forwarded me to the regional trauma hospital (Harbor View in Seattle), where I got the lungs and diaphragm repaired and descending colon ressected. Then my condition deteriorated; I was not responsive for a few days and was transferred to another hospital (UWMC) for thoracic heart surgery. Dr. Aldea (countless thanks!) installed a Dacron graft.

I was able to get up (oh misery) in two weeks and next day I had staples removed and discharged 45lb lighter than pre-surgery. Getting off the morphine and then off oxycodone was a bitch with the amount of pain I was having. Partial recovery and learning to walk again took another three weeks, and then I was back to work. I then took part in a guided cardio rehab program for a month, which mostly returned me back to a decent shape. A few months later I stopped taking metoprolol and was cleared for all physical activity.

I have not taken BP medication since, but when I was getting back into physical activities, I was monitoring heart rate and blood pressure, letting it go when the numbers didn’t look right. In 9 months from the surgery I recovered enough to start skiing and snowboarding again, although now the fun is partially spoiled by the fear of falling; I certainly am much more careful now. I completely stopped kite surfing, again for the fear of falling, and I stopped commuting on a motorcycle although I am still riding recreationally.

I am also cautious, although not uncomfortable, when lifting heavy stuff (>3 0% of my own weight). One thing I never got comfortable with is jumping, especially on the trampoline. After just seconds of jumping my heart rate jumps drastically, not sure whether this is related to blood flow or to anxiety about the effect of extra acceleration on the graft. After 3½ years, the repaired dissection practically does not affect my life, for which I am extremely thankful.


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