GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Dr. Eanas Yassa, MD, Section Chief Vascular Surgery, Spectrum Health helps explain aortic dissection and a new treatment for patients who experience aortic dissection.

Aortic dissection is a tear in the largest artery in the body. The condition, much less common than a heart attack, can also be life-threatening.

About 2,000 new cases are reported each year in the U.S. This typically impacts people between 55-70 years old and could be related to genetics and/or chronic high blood pressure.

To the patient, it feels a lot like a heart attack – chest and “tearing” back pain with severe sweating, lightheaded, sense of impending doom

Patients should head to Emergency Department where they can do a CAT scan to see if it is an aortic dissection.

If it is an aortic dissection, Spectrum Health has a new option for patients. Spectrum Health is the first health system in the Midwest to offer this treatment to patients.

Unless a person presents with aortic dissection very near to the heart, many times the option is to watch and wait before action – surgical or medical – is taken.

This new treatment and device – the Zenith® Dissection Endovascular Stent – gives providers the ability to support the aorta and allow for it to heal and repair.

This offers a less-invasive procedure to patients with the potential for healing and repair.

This treatment is only available in the Midwest at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital.

To learn more you can visit

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