Recent improvements in diagnosis, peri-operative management, surgical techniques and postoperative care have resulted in decreased mortality and morbidity in acute aortic dissections (AAD). The classic treatment algorithm indicates that type A patients require direct surgical intervention and type B patients should be treated medically, in absence of complications. Initial medical treatment is adopted in all AAD patients, as it reduces propagation of the dissection and aortic rupture. In type A aortic dissection (TAAD) several techniques have contributed to major changes in the surgical approach, such as cerebral protection using moderate circulatory arrest, selective cerebral perfusion, and aortic valve sparing with root replacement. In TAAD with involvement of the descending aorta, thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) can be performed as a part of a complex hybrid procedure, in which surgical ascending/arch repair is combined with the placement of a stent graft in the descending aorta. Future developments in stent graft technologies might broaden the usefulness of TEVAR for the total endovascular repair of TAAD. In complicated type B aortic dissection (TBAD), the use of TEVAR has become the therapy of first choice. By covering the proximal entry tear, the stent graft reduces the pressurization of the false lumen, treating malperfusion and inducing favorable aortic remodeling. In uncomplicated TBAD, TEVAR has been used to prevent long term complications, such as aortic aneurysm, but this concept is not yet routinely recommended. Regardless of their initial treatment, all AAD patients should be administered with strict antihypertensive management combined with imaging surveillance and careful periodic clinical follow-up.