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Old 03-06-2004, 08:03 AM   #1
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Sternum pain after Open Heart Surgery???

I am 27 years old and had to have open heart surgery on Feb. 3rd to replace my ascending aorta. I went to St. Louis to have Dr. Nicholas Kouchoukos remove an aneurysm and perform valve sparing aortic replacement surgery. I feel fine except for the pain associated with the broken sternum. Can anyone tell me how long it will be before the bone does not hurt anymore?

 
Old 03-07-2004, 11:01 AM   #2
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Thumbs up Re: Sternum pain after Open Heart Surgery???

I can only speak for myself but.............I had mine(bypass) done 12SE03. So now it's a half a year. Mine is starting to "feel" better. The numb areas are starting to come to now......I believe the wires are hurting me more now than anything else. About 1.75 months the clicking stoped for me. At 3 months I could turn to adjust my pillow, in bed. I still can't get that morning stretch in. If someone were to hit me there...it would hurt like crazy. Everybody said ......it will be a year untill things go back to normal....I believe them now. You are 20 yrs younger than I, so it may take you shorter then it does me. I'm 47. Sorry that you had to go through any of this at your age.....but the alternative is Get better and rest when you need to.
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Old 07-24-2005, 11:56 AM   #3
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Re: Sternum pain after Open Heart Surgery???

Hi,
I can relate to the dismay associated with the sternum pain...my sternum was opened a few years ago, anc the doctors used titanium wire to close it back up...now, my ribs actually seperate from the sternum, and as a result of trying to put them back, it seems that now the wires are wearing through the sternum. Has anyone else experienced this? I really would like to know how to deal with it before I come completely undone. Sorry I couldn't tell you it gets better, but it is a major trauma to your body I guess by sharing we can maybe come up with something(besides heavy painkillers, of which I have taken more than my share!)to deal...
Duder

 
Old 07-24-2005, 03:20 PM   #4
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Re: Sternum pain after Open Heart Surgery???

I'm about 4 1/2 weeks beyond triple bypass surgery. I don't find the incision areas horribly painful. I'm having more trouble with my back . I guess that would be my lung trauma from the surgery. I also have shortness of breath, especially when trying to sleep. I can only sleep on the right side in a particular position. When I try to switch to my left side or my back I get totally short of breath.
So while I do have mild pain around the incision, the other problems are worse for me.
What totally amazes me is I was blocked 100%, 90% and 70% in the three major arteries and walked a mile and a half about 3 times a week or more. I was never short of breath. Now I can't even make it around the block without having to rest. You would think with all that blockage and hardly any good blood circulation, I would have had symptoms.
I was also smoking then which I have given up entirely. But the symptoms that sent me to the emergency room were bad headaches, blurry vision and nausua. The upset stomach was very significant because it's been a good 30 years since I have had any stomach problems and nausua is a classic sign of heart disease for women. Thank God for the very alert paramedics and emergency room doctor, They saved my life.

 
Old 07-25-2005, 08:22 AM   #5
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Re: Sternum pain after Open Heart Surgery???

Quote: So while I do have mild pain around the incision, the other problems are worse for me.
What totally amazes me is I was blocked 100%, 90% and 70% in the three major arteries and walked a mile and a half about 3 times a week or more. I was never short of breath. Now I can't even make it around the block without having to rest. You would think with all that blockage and hardly any good blood circulation, I would have had symptoms.
I was also smoking.


It has been about 15 months now since a stent placement for a 98% RCA blockage. I still have a 100% LAD and 70% circumflex blockage. Apparently collateral passage from other sources has provided a natural bypass of the LAD. I continue to feel fine since the stent.

It appears jefblock didn't have an option, and it will take about year to fully recover God willing. But to unnecessarily take the risk of open heart surgery with a bypass lends the question why not have stents?? There was a time when stents would frequently fail, but drug eluting stents provide a better long lasting outcome.

Last edited by started04; 07-27-2005 at 08:33 AM.

 
Old 07-25-2005, 10:10 AM   #6
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Re: Sternum pain after Open Heart Surgery???

Kenkeith... I have heard that stents don't hold up as well as the actual bypass. Maybe once the blockages are as significant as mine, bypass is the best way. I don't know as I wasn't given a choice,
Perhaps it depends also on each individual case. I wasn't having shortness of breath, but I was having extremely painful headaches behind the eyes, blurry vision and nausea, a classic heart disease symptom for women. Especially since I NEVER get nausea, never.
I do believe that I was very close to a major heart attack. Just a gut feeling.
But I still don't get why I never was short of breath or had any pain.

 
Old 07-25-2005, 04:28 PM   #7
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Wink Re: Sternum pain after Open Heart Surgery???

It is not the bone but the muslces of the sternum takes up to a year to heal. There will be time you will get stiff, even after this much time has passed. I till get stiff once in a great while in the sternum area, I work on a key board all day. So, just try to take it easy, let it heal on its own, it had trauma from the surgery, and it be fine when the year is up. I was 36 and it was hard to feel great when the sternum was sore. But the year goes quickly by. Hang in there, you will be fine soon enough. Do not rush the healing. Do as the cardio says to do.

 
Old 07-25-2005, 05:49 PM   #8
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Re: Sternum pain after Open Heart Surgery???

So Trekgirl. it is the muscles that they cut that are hurting so much? I can't even sleep on my left side because I get so short of breath there, even with pillows. So I'm forced to sleep on the right side in one position every night. I had to give up the pain meds because I was so bound up in the intestines, so I'm doing my best.
Why does the back hurt so much? I think it's the lungs healing? I think I'm getting more sore as the days go on.
This too will pass.... At least I'm here....

 
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