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For over two months after undergoing quadruple bypass surgery I experienced this odd feeling on the left side of my chest. At times it felt tight, with some sharp twinges while at other times it would loosen up and I would feel  nothing.  After being assured by doctors it was perfectly normal after surgery and nothing to be concerned about I just accepted it and eventually it went away.  During the past seven years since having the surgery this odd feeling has returned at times but never lasted more than a few hours.  Recently it has returned and I've been dealing with it now for over three weeks. My own research informs me that it might be due to nerve damage which occurred during the surgery and one of my doctors seems to agree. However I am still concerned and have no idea as to why I am still experiencing this feeling in my chest. The tightness is concentrated on the left side of my chest for the most part with occasional twinges closer to the middle.  I recently had an EKG taken which was normal, chest x-rays which showed no evidence of any problem and an Echocardiogram which also showed nothing to be concerned about. None of my symptoms can be described as painful or else I would have been in the ER weeks ago. At this moment I have a tight feeling on the left side of my chest and do feel a sharp quick twinge occasionally as well around the left shoulder area. I've been assured it's nothing to worry about so why am I still worried? For anyone else that has experienced this odd annoying and worrisome feeling after having bypass surgery I would appreciate your feedback on this subject. Two questions I have are,  am I being foolish for not pursing this any further with another doctor and more testing and why after all this time has this feeling returned?  I do hope to hear from anyone that can answer my concerns. Thanks in advance.


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Health Ace
6880 posts

I had 6x 17 years ago on the Ides of March. One side of my chest was numb for a long time (6 months or longer) and as the feeling slowly returned I got all sorts of stabs and twitches. I never bugged the doctors about it as I figured after being cut open with a skilsaw and spread like a lobster on a plate there had to be a lot of after effects.

All my followup tests for function were OK so I didn't worry about it. I still get pains at times which I attribute to the wires they laced me up with. Sometimes the pain is related to barometric pressure changes (storm coming) sometimes I create it myself like lying on my side working under my car for a long time. When I get up I can feel my chest (ribs) reshaping back to normal and it's painful.

I think a lot of it would go away if they could take those wire laces out after the sternum heals but that would be another major operation.

Have you ever seen what you look like on an xray? The tech asked me that when I was in for a routine chest xray once and he showed me. The wires they laced me up with look like the boot laces the paratroopers did on their boots when I was in the army. All the staples there are in there look like a first grader just had his first playtime with a stapler. I'm surprised it doesn't hurt everywhere --- all the time.

I have unexplained pains once in a while which I have learned to live with. I can't run to the doctor every time something hurts so as long as my physical exams and blood tests are OK I don't worry about it. Something's going to get me someday but I've already been here 17 years longer thnt I might have been.