Quick Facts:

  • The aorta is the main blood vessel carrying blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
  • An aortic aneurysm is a widening, bulge, or ballooning of a portion of the aorta.
  • An aortic dissection is a tear between the layers of the aorta, which can cause an aneurysm or rupture.
  • Approximately 10,000 people experience aortic dissections annually.
  • Fast, accurate diagnosis of dissection is imperative: 50% of patients with undiagnosed aortic dissection die within 48 hours, a death rate of approximately 1% per hour.

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What you can do


There are many things that you can do on a day-to-day basis to care for your heart and blood vessels if you are at risk for, or have been diagnosed with, thoracic aortic disease.

In addition, although you might not want to think about the emergencies that can occur, understanding your condition and preparing in advance to handle emergencies can put you and your family more at ease in case something serious happens.

These pages can tell you more…