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i had a triple bypass on 2000 i got an infection it has never healed since it is still draing from the openning on my chest the docters has gone and open me up 3 times scrapping the bone now they are going to remove the sternum what is the dangers of that surgery and how my is life going to chage

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I am a 71 year old retired U. s. Marine.. Living in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I had by pass surgery here in Cheyenne in August 2005. Later the hospital desided I was clear of any staph infection, and the day after that the shipped me by helicopter to Denver, where I DID have a staph infection. (funny, huh?) they opened my chest and wrapped me in plastic like saran wrap for ten days. Finally the removed my sternum, and the bone above that, and did a muscle flap. 20 months later I'm still alive and kicking.

I am however having problems with my collar bone moving up into my throat and have a great deal of pressure from what I would discribe as my ribs moving up also.

I would like to talk with others who have a similar problem, so we could compare notes.
Jack Quirk,********

**edited by moderator**
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i am a 62 yr old and I had much the same symptoms except my problem was a reaction from my rheumatoid arthritis causing a self destruct. I have also had my sternum removed. that was in December 2004 and I am still here!. same problem as you with the collarbone and rolling over in bed cause some alarming crunching and grinding but otherwise no problem. If I eat too much it also restricts my breathing deeply so i try not to run after lol.
Of course the lack of pecs cause problems lifting things while holding them as I have little lateral strength in the arms.

Good luck Jack and health
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I had my sternum removed 4 1/2 years ago after by-pass surgery, as the wires had tore into it. I'm now left with a huge wound which a nurse has to change the dressing on , every day. I'm told it will never heal because of the movement in it. I can't get plastic surgery as i'm told i might not survive the operation.

The 1st six months or so were fine, but over the years it has become very painful. It feels like the end of my ribs are pushing out through my chest, a cough is very painful, but a sneeze is unbearable. However it subsides fairly quickly. Having said all that i'm delighted to be alive, as at the time i wasn't expecetd to live. So i get on with it, and am very thankful for every day.
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I had my sternum removed 4 1/2 years ago after by-pass surgery, as the wires had tore into it. I'm now left with a huge wound which a nurse has to change the dressing on it, everey day. I'm told it will never heal because of the movement in it. I can't get plastic surgery as i'm told i might not survive the operation.

The 1st six months or so were fine, but over the years it has become very painful. It feels like the end of my ribs are pushing out through my chest, a cough is very painful, but a sneeze is unbearable. However it subsides fairly quickly. Having said all that i'm delighted to be alive, as at the time i wasn't expecetd to live. So i get on with it, and am very thankful for every day.
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hi i wrote back on sept 15 2006 about the docters wanted to remove my sternum but after the docters telling me the risk of the removal i said no so i still have the problem i went to other docters they all said that i will be with all my live becuase of my diabetes and that is nothing to do to it so i accepted those answers and kept changing guaze every day 4 times a day but then one day i just could not stand the smell of my chest in jan-25 2007 i changed all my docters from miami jackson hospital to new ones at broward general hospital now thier is no more drianing also my dieabetes is so controled and reading on some the response from steady health i am glad i did not hhave the surgery thank you all
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In May 2007 I had CABG x 4 with a mitrol valve ring ... I was in a coma for 2.5 weeks and awoke with a spinal cyst that was removed ...a month later I was opened up to tighten the wires ..... I was placed on a vac dressing machine that i carried with me until I passed out in august and was again in a coma for 2.5 weeks ending with the stermun removal and
I healed then within two weeks but had presure wounds on both feet that were treated daily until june 2008 due to diabetes

I am having a lot of the same rib and collar bone problems already discussed and a constant ache that i describe as a feeling as if i have a six inch square iron breast plate attached to me ( a conatant feeling of weight) even though there is really nothing there...is this normal?
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My husband went in the hospital for a triple by- pass. Everything went fairly well. Then the night before he was to go home the nurses went to move me up in bed and mishandled me when the pad under me was dropped by the nurses and my body twisted and my incision burst open and my ribs fractured. The nurses ran an put gauze and etc. over the incision . The next day they took me to surgery to rewire my sternum. A few days later the incision started weeping infection very bad. My fever rose and i ended up in surgery again and had my sternum removed. I had aquired serratia, a serious infection. I was put in and induced coma for 5 days and then they went back in and took a muscle from the right side of my belly and formed a muscle flap. I was on an a very strong anti biotic for 6 weeks. I am now home but i am on oxygen now as i can't breathe without it. My ribs feel like they are moving around and i have very little strength. Does this all sound familiar to anyone?
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YES IT DOES,,,,,,if you register and want to talk I can let you know how to find my contact info
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I found your comment that it felt like 6" steel plate 100% correct. It is like carry a weight that just jags into you. I have been told that i could get if closed using plastic surgery, but because of under lying health problems i might not survive the operation. I have also been told that the operation would heal the wound, but would not relieve the pain. The wound on my chest is now 6 1/2 years old, and the dressing is stlill changed every day.
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Verna May wrote:

Guest wrote:

I am a 71 year old retired U. s. Marine.. Living in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I had by pass surgery here in Cheyenne in August 2005. Later the hospital desided I was clear of any staph infection, and the day after that the shipped me by helicopter to Denver, where I DID have a staph infection. (funny, huh?) they opened my chest and wrapped me in plastic like saran wrap for ten days. Finally the removed my sternum, and the bone above that, and did a muscle flap. 20 months later I'm still alive and kicking.

I am however having problems with my collar bone moving up into my throat and have a great deal of pressure from what I would discribe as my ribs moving up also.

I would like to talk with others who have a similar problem, so we could compare notes.
Jack Quirk,********

**edited by moderator**



VERNA MAY I am confused by your posting of the rolled eyes...perhaps the frustration of the mods editing out contact info ??

for what its worth my email could be my moniker here (mrbbq82)


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Please read our Terms of Use
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This site is dedicated to individuals who have undergone a sternectomy (removal of sternum).

Share your story here and read others, ask questions and get some answers!



Thanks and good luck.





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 Iam a 57year old retired pipefitter /welder former Marine , I had a cabbage 6  had staff infection  on sternum after operation on 07/ 07/ 10 Witin 5 months they opened me up  and scrapped my sternum 3 times the 4"th time they cut my pectoral mussle took my sternum completely out and flipped a mussle to close back up , carried a wound vac for 5 mounths I"m a diebetic things a getting better but I need something to cover it in case it gets hit I"m still very active any one got  any good ideas?
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This has been discussed at great length on Sternecomy support site that we havwe started I wear McDavid sternum compression shirt

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some are now wearing fencing atire and one gent has a awkward but effective butchers bippy type protector

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I was feeling sorry for myself until I found this web-sight, now I feel sorry for the rest of you and consider myself lucky!
I also have had had several operations, 7 in all, in the past 18 months. Like most of you, it started with the heart operation; That was a breeze.
Everything was O K until the wire pulled from my sternum. They removed my sternum and the c**p started. I ended up with a staff infection, like most of you.
An open drain in my chest for 8 months; Than 5 more operations.  I was looking for information on the possibility of an artificial replacement of my sternum.
I found this site, I don't know now; I think I should cut my loses and quit.

 THIS IS A GOOD SITE, HOWEVER; IF THEY COULD FIND A WAY OF ALLOWING US TO COMMUNICATE BACK & FORTH. IT WOULD IMPROVE .
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