A type A aortic dissection involves the first part of the aorta, the ascending aorta, as it comes off the heart. It is a surgical emergency and is therefore repaired in the operating room. The surgery entails replacement of the dissected portion of the aorta with a Dacron tube. Even with successful repair, however, there are often portions of the aorta in other parts of the body that remain dissected or torn and require lifelong surveillance.
Nicholas DiDomenico, MD
Specialty: Internal Medicine
- internal medicine
Location and Office HoursValley Internal Medicine
Van Nuys, CA 91405
- Anthem BlueCross BlueShield
- Blue Shield of California
- Great-West Healthcare Cigna
- Health Net
- Seaside Health Plan
- Encino Hospital Medical Center
- Tarzana Regional Medical Center
- Valley Presbyterian Hospital
- What is a type A aortic dissection?
Can a mast cell activation disorder make heart disease worse?
Brigham and Women's Hospital answeredA spate of recent laboratory studies supports the participation of mast cells in atherosclerosis and in arterial aneurysm formation. Most of these studies derived from observations in mice and using biomarkers of mast cell activation in humans. But direct evidence that mast cells aggravate human cardiovascular disease remains scant. General advice is to heed current guidelines regarding cardiovascular prevention assiduously to minimize any excess risk you might have from an underlying mast cell activation disorder.
How is cardiovascular disease different in men and women?
Eric Olsen, Fitness, answeredWe typically think of cardiovascular disease (CVD), particularly heart attack, as almost unique to middle-aged or older men, but heart disease is also the number one cause of death among women. It's a woman's disease as well.
Where men and women do differ is in the age at which they tend to show up in their doctors' offices with symptoms of CVD. Whereas men typically begin appearing with symptoms of CVD in their fifties, women generally don't begin showing similar symptoms until their sixties.
Women seem to be somewhat protected from CVD by estrogen, one of the hormones essential to reproduction. Estrogen acts as a vasodilator; that is, it tends to relax blood vessels, opening them up. Thus, even when decades of poor health habits have led to a build-up of plaque in a woman's coronary arteries, thanks to estrogen, the arteries are more likely to remain open, reducing the risk of blockages that shut off blood flow to the heart and cause chest pain or heart attack. Estrogen may also have some beneficial effects on blood cholesterol levels.
Until menopause, that is. Once a woman reaches menopause and her estrogen levels begin to fall, she also begins to lose the protective effects of the hormone. Very quickly, her risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases rises sharply to equal that of men. Because women tend to be older than men when the first symptoms of CVD appear, the disease is also often complicated by other health problems such as diabetes, making effective treatment more difficult. Thus the mortality rate from CVD among women very quickly catches up with that for men.
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