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Hello everyone.

My nanny Dolores (she was taking care of me while I was kid) had heart attack a few days ago. Her son called me and he told me this. She is now pretty much OK, she had bypass surgery and she is at home. I am very sad because she lives very far away from us and I can’t visit her just now.

He told me that now she is dealing with separated sternum after bypass surgery. They don’t know what to do.

Do you know how to manage separated sternum after a bypass surgery?

Please, let me know.

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Hi darling. I am very sorry to hear this :/ I just can imagine how sad you are. My uncle had this problem as well. He had a bypass surgery so many years ago and he lived 21 more years as a result of this operation. Now, his sternum never properly healed. But that haven't stopped him to enjoy his quality and active life, he was enjoying in the sports, in the rugby and so many other activities. I do know that every heart attack is different but you see, there is a case when someone can have normal and quality life after this surgery.

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Hi there Guest. Thank you for so nice explanation.

Really? He was living that long with separated sternum after a bypass surgery? I am not so sure is this going to be the same in my nanny’s case because her son told me that she is complaining about chest pain and chest discomfort.

Somehow now I assume that this is normal, because bypass surgery is something that is not that easy and you always have some discomfort, right?

What about controls after bypass surgery?

I will let them know about your case, I am sure that they are going to be happy.

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Health Ace
6879 posts

You say it was a few days ago. Mine was 20 years ago so I don't remember exactly but my sternum didn't stop moving for longer than that. I could feel it at the top where it would move in and out so that the sides were not lined up perfectly and it would go from being the left side sticking out past the right then switch as I moved. When it finally stopped doing that and it stuck together the left side is about 1/8 inch out more than the right. I think it was months before it finally stuck together. I never asked anyone about it I just figured it took a while for the bones to heal together.

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Hey there, yes it was a few days ago. I don’t know exactly when, trust me I forgot to ask about it. Wait, you were able to feel that your sternum is moving after the surgery? I didn’t know that this can happen. Can you tell me how does it feels like? My nanny’s son told me that she is having some “unexplained feeling” and now I am thinking that this could be it, right?
So basically, as far as I understand, you can’t do a lot about it, right?
What about visiting the doctor when this happens? Should she do that often or not?
Any medications that can help her deal with this “unexplained feeling”?
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User avatar
Health Ace
6879 posts
I don't know what her unexplained feeling is so I would suggest she talk to her doctor about it. As for mine, I could feel it move when I did something that would put pressure on my ribs in a different direction. That would be like moving from laying on one side to the other or from flat on my back to some other position. It would move when I sat up to get out of bed. Just doing anything where you twist your body. It didn't hurt but it was just something that I could feel was happening and I was able to tell by feeling my collarbone with my fingers in the center where it was cut through. I could feel when the two sides were lined up or not. They use wires to lace the two sides of your rib cage together much like lacing up boots. In fact if you see a chest x-ray the wires look like boot laces. I went back to the ER a couple times after the surgery when I had any pain that I thought might be more heart related problems. They never found anything wrong so apparently the pain was related to healing but they took an x-ray every time. One time the technician or nurse, I don't remember which, asked me if I had seen an x-ray of my chest since the operation and he/she showed me. It was quite interesting seeing the boot laces plus the staples than were scattered around all over my insides. It looks like someone gave a kid a stapler to play with for the first time in his life. I went to the hospital and purchased a copy of the x-rays just for fun.

After they cut you open like that you do experience many feelings you never felt before and most of them are probably normal to the healing process but if she thinks there might be something serious it's best to get it checked out.
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I couldn’t understand as well what this means. So I called her again today. I wanted her to explain to me how she feels, what means “unexplained” feeling and she told me that she has a feeling like something is “traveling in her chests”, like something is moving and then she feels sharp pain for five to ten seconds. She doesn’t have any pressure on her ribs – she told me so.
But I know that she was always a little bit complicated and she was scared a lot when she was sick so I told her that she needs to calm down. Maybe she is having that feeling, maybe she is just nervous. But she swears to me that she is having that pain.
I don’t know is it a good idea to pay some nurse to be with her all the time?
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