Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Anatomy of a dissection

Sometimes it can be difficult to explain to people what a spontaneous coronary artery dissection really is. This is an animation of a dissection. See how the inner layer of the artery separates, and creates a false channel (lumen) for the blood, and the blood pools in there and eventually blocks the artery? That's what happened to me. Heart attacks are caused when blood flow to the heart is blocked.

Mine happened in the Right Coronary Artery, which you can see on this image:

The six stents I have are pushing the torn inner layer back up against the outside wall of the artery, where it should be. I have six because they had to repair almost the entire thing. I do remember hearing the doctors discussing placing a seventh stent, but they were worried that it would poke out into the aorta. Looking at the image above, I can see more clearly what they meant by that.

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