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Hey everyone. My name is Alexander and I am 47 years old. Four months ago I had heart surgery.  My recovery is going OK, my doctor told me that there is nothing wrong with my heart now but my chest still hurts and I am really scared. Maybe this is because now I am too careful, maybe I am hypochondriac. I told this to my doctor and he told me that this is a normal thing. But I am worried because my chest still hurts four months after the hearth surgery. Is there real reason for me to be worried?

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Health Ace
6880 posts

You may be worrying too much. After bypass surgery it took years for me to be reasonably comfortable in the area of my zipper. I was able to do most everything I wanted after about 6 months to a year but it hurt to lean over the fender of my car to work on the engine and lying on top to reach in while changing spark plugs was not fun at all. It's been 20 years now and I still go easy when leaning on my chest.

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Hey. Many thanks for your reply. I have no idea that this can last for that long. I know that I am maybe scared for no reason, but it seems to me that I can carry out nothing. For example, I tried to take out the garbage yesterday (two bags and those bags were not that big) and I felt this sharp pain in my chest. I went to the house immediately and I called my doctor. He told me that this is normal thing and that I should not force my body. I went to the bed, I took my medications and I was feeling much better, but that feeling from the pain was still there. It bothers me and I can’t sleep when night comes because I am scared.

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Greetings you two :)

I also believe that you are overreacting. I believe that this situation is caused by some fear. But I am pretty sure that the heart is not causing your pain at all.

You should seek for some good medications from your doctor that will help you in this chest pain (read – chest, not heart pain).

It is not unusual to have chest pain after that surgery and it is nothing to be surprised about. You can feel pain for several months, even years.

So I believe that this situation is totally normal but If you are going to feel much better talking with your doctor about it, you should do it.

GL

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Health Ace
6880 posts
Did you go to cardiac rehab? I found the nurses who run that were a wonderful resource for just about any questions I had.

Doctors were about the worst. Whenever I asked a doctor about something it was like dealing with a computer tech line. He listened to my description while taking notes and nodding his head with the occasional um-hum. That's it! No answers, just writing down notes.

When I went back to the doctor who did the surgery about 3 weeks after the operation, to take the staples out of my arm where they got an artery to use in my chest he was very positive. I asked him what I could or could not do and he said I had no damage to my heart and as far as he was concerned I was as good as new and could do anything I wanted to. I went back to see him several months later about the problem near my xiphoid. It felt like it was sticking out. There was a hard thing making a tent out of my belly skin when I was on my back and if it got touched it hurt like H*** and caused severe nausea. He said that was a hernia which was a common side effect of the operation and they could fix that with another operation for about $20,000. I politely declined.

Later when I was at the VA for my annual physical I mentioned that and she sent me to x-ray. The tech showed me what it looked like and called it a deflected sternum. It was the xiphoid sticking straight out like baby's penis. They reassembled me wrong!!!

Except for that still bothering me my chest has been quite tolerable for many years but it seemed to take a long time (several years) getting there. There were some other things that went away in a few months. One side of my chest was numb for a while but the feeling came back and the sides of my collar bone moved in and out for a while until it finally stuck together.

My operation was in mid March and we had a surprise snow storm in early April. I had to go out and put the plow on my truck and I managed to do it. I was back to doing most things in a few weeks. The UPS girl delivered a 27 inch picture tube I had to install for a customer. She set it down outside the door to my shop but when she saw the staples in my arm as I reached to pick it up she stopped me and brought it in herself.

When I asked my home town doctor when/where to get my handicap plates so I could park next to the supermarket entrance he said "Handicap Hell! I want you to park as far from the store as you can get and walk!"
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So many, many thanks for your reply. I didn’t go to the cardiac rehabilitation. My doctor told me that there is no reason for this because I am just fine after the surgery. He also told me that I am a little bit worried. Well, a lot worried :/ My operation was really fine. It didn’t even last very long. They send me to do some exercises for seven days in the spa and then they let me to go my home. I had pain while I was in the spa, but I think that pain is even bigger now than then. What do you think, should I go to the cardiac rehab? Thank you! Alexander

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Hello everyone.

I hope that you are doing fine.

My dad had this problem after his heart surgery. He felt some discomfort in the chest all the time. It was not pain, it was real discomfort.

His left side still hurts him, but I believe that he knows how to live with this “issue”. Actually, it is not an issue, it is nothing serious according to his doctors.

But my dad was going to cardiac rehab. Doctors told him that this is normal procedure so he was there. I am surprised that they didn’t send you to rehab.

I am wondering why…

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Health Ace
6880 posts
Not to tell you what to do but I felt cardiac rehab was well worth it. My insurance paid for the first round and my doctor got them to pay for another round at my request by prescribing it. They monitor you while exercising and keep track of everything. The encouragement you get is irreplaceable. The hospital offered a follow up program that was affordable so I stayed in rehab for several years. They answer so many of your questions, it's hard to beat.
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Good day everyone. My mom had very complicated hearth surgery almost seven years ago. She had this problem but back than I was able to see that this is not just hers problem – it happens to everyone. She had really hard and sharp pain every day, for a couple of times. She never had some recovery time or something like this in the hospital. They let her to go home with the instructions how to take care while she is at home. Some medications that doctor prescribe her helped her to reduce the pain. So, don’t you worry, this is pretty much normal thing.
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Hey everyone. Thank you for your support. Now I am seriously thinking about this cardiac rehab. I really hope that this is not too late. I mean, I had this surgery four months ago? If I ask my doctor about this rehab, will he tell me or I need to ask him what exactly I want? What type of exercises are there? Today I got really scared. I went outside in walk and I felt so sharp pain. It was worse than usual. It lasted for three seconds and then it just stopped. That is why I am thinking about this rehab….
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They had all the exercise machines I could imagine. Naturally a treadmill, hand crank, rowing, stair stepper and different types of weight lifting and pulling machines. They check you out on each one to figure out what to set the machine for or what weight to use. I loved the rowing machine I could do that for hours but they make you do a variety. We had groups and same time each day so you get to know the people you are with and that makes it a lot more fun.
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