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hello i had sternal pain after 3yrs since my bypass op i knew something wasnt right so i pushed my gp to get me x rayed after a third x ray they discovered my sternum had split from top to bottom and the wires were loose im in constant pain 24/7 no pain relief helps me ive been offered a bone graft but with no guarantee it would be a success im far too traumatised by this to even enter a hospital again so im always in severe pain ive been told im disabled for life i begged my surgeon three times in the first year after bypass to investigate what was causing my pain but he disregarded me each time stating it was normal until my wounds healed i just knew it wasnt normal at all as the pain was getting worse not better now my surgeon claims as im overweight i caused my sternum to split i don,t buy this at all and am wondering if i should complain about the lack of after care i received and his indifference to me. i hope u may be able to get investigated as to why u r in pain 5yrs after yr bypass this isnt normal good luck to u anne xxx
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My heart goes out to you. Even today, perhaps because of the damp, rainy weather, my chest is SO  uncomfortable. I suggest you go for another opinion. I would find a doctor who is associated with a hospital that is renown for its Cardiology dept.  Make an appointment and take your previous records with you.  I'm sorry, but I cannot advise you from a legal standpoint.  Most hospitals cover these sorts of side effects with legalese that the patient signs prior to surgery. However, it's worth a try.  I would like to post an article, "More to Post-sternotomy Pain than Intercostal Nerve Damage." When I have access to the site, I will try. Please keep us posted as to whatever decisions you make. I had an appointment with Dr. Oz, who had previously performed my surgery. He did not think additional surgery was a good idea. I don't know if he had age in mind, or the current condition of my arteries.  He simply suggested pain management.

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jeffm 1956 wrote:

twinsmom wrote:

jeffm 1956 wrote:

Lish 1 wrote:

twinsmom wrote:

jeffm1956 wrote:

Lish1 wrote:

Wow! I'm just wondering why it took 2 mri's and 3 cat scans. Am VERY curious to know why. Do please keep me/us posted.


i go into hospital on sunday for sternal fixation after 4 years of pain 3 mri scans 2 ct scans and 5 xrays. then 8 weeks with a physco because i was told it was all in my head, anyone else with chest pains after surgery never give up . will let you know how it goes fingers crossed .


Good luck getting this corrected. I had triple bypass 4 years ago and my pain is severe. I have been seeing a pain specialist and he is giving me steriod injections and novacaine injections down the scar to
help with the pain. It last for about 2 months and then it is back. I do have a topical lotion to put on the scar to help with pain since I am very allergic and can't take hardly any kinds of meds. I am going to see my Internist Thursday and I am going to request exrays be taken and a surgeon take a look to see if the wires can be removed. I am so glad to see that I am not the only person dealing with this!


Yes, JFm1956
Please keep us posted about your surgery. What exactly is the plan and
what is sternal fixation. My cardiologist has never used the term.


sternal fixation is an opperation where you are opened up again on the same scarline.the wires are removed .the sternum brake cleaned up and three or four sternal braces screwed to your chest to prevent any movement lets hope it works will let you all know when i get out.


I definitely will keep you in my prayers - that the doctors will be given the wisdom to know exactly how to proceed, that the surgeons hands will be guided to do this procedure successfully and that you will only have enough pain during the healing process to keep you from injuring the area, and then no pain from there on. Good luck!!!!


home after 3 days in hospital first time in 4 years can lay in bed with no discomfort whatsoever they plated my sternum and also corrected a huge hernia which no one knew i had can recomend this to anyone with sternal pain after heart surgery


That's good to know. I had quad CABG in 2009 with graphs from the mammary. 48 years old in good shape but after the surgery I have been living with this on and off chest wall and breast pain. Was told the same thing..."May take years"...Well it's been years...it worriesome and scary at times. Tried pain management and didn't like taking the drugs so I stopped. Now I just deal with it...but it is hindering my quality of life. Hearing this from you makes me wonder about that procedure? Thanks again for sharing.

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I have just had an exercise tolerance test as a result of some chest pain 17 years after my by-pass surgery. The pain did not feel like angina but more superficial and responding to touch. It does feel a little like it did shortly after the surgery. My GP suggested it may have something to do with the sternum. It sounds like we have the same problem. I am 70 (tomorrow). I find some relief following consumption of the best part of a bottle of red wine. But this could get expensive!
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BllGrhm wrote:

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its been 5 years since my heart bypass,,,,i have been having pain in my chest that i know isnt related to any heart problem but my doctor has insist that i get stress tests anytime i complain about this,,,,recently I have been really doing exercises and the pain is more severe,, i know its related to bone or muscle in my chest, anytime i use my chest muscle i feel the pain, its the same pain i felt during the first year after my bypass,,, and its all related to how they stitched me up afterward,,anyone else had these issues 5 years after heart bypass?


I have just had an exercise tolerance test as a result of some chest pain 17 years after my by-pass surgery. The pain did not feel like angina but more superficial and responding to touch. It does feel a little like it did shortly after the surgery. My GP suggested it may have something to do with the sternum. It sounds like we have the same problem. I am 70 (tomorrow). I find some relief following consumption of the best part of a bottle of red wine. But this could get expensive!


BllGrhm, WIthout trying to diagnose your pain, I can tell you that you are probably experiencing chronic post-sternotomy pain that results from chest surgery involving the sternum. After 17 years, I too, get it. Some things set it off or triggers the symptoms for me. Any pressure such as echocardiogram exams can cause extreme discomfort that lasts two or three days. I have learned not to reach to the third shelf in my kitchen because that creates discomfort for several days. I suspect that is due to irritating the scar tissue that has probably formed. Also, if I'm overly exposed to cold weather, air conditioning, etc. my chest will start to ache. If I rake leaves, or exercise using my arms, the chest discomfort (muscular, and nerve endings, scar tissue ?) returns. My doctor has suggested pain management therapy, but I have not done so, preferring to avoid, when possible, any of the above.  I hope this has helped.

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Yes, I am 49 yrs old and had quadruple bypass almost three years ago. I experience sharp sparatic pains from time to time close to the scare. I have noticed it more lately and am concerned there may be more to it. I have spoke to others i know who have had bypass and they dont seem to experience any problems. I just had my nuclear stress test 6 months ago and they reported no blockages. Recently within the last week my blood pressure has spiked and my sternum hurts. I feel like my sternum is coming apart. does anyone know if this is possible. My job is sometimes stressful and this is when I notice it more.. I sleep on my side Im not sure if that is part of the problem. Stopped by hospital today to check blood pressure and it was 155/100 i went on to work and my friend who is a firefighter checked it again 4 hrs later and it was 148/100.

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Glad to hear i'm not the only one with these reactions! Almost two years post-op I've discovered that after doing certain yoga postures or having a massage which involves heavy pressure on my back or chest I get rather alarming aches, twinges etc in the chest. Took quite some time figure out the connection and the drs now reassure me that A) (as mentioned)  'well they've done a lot of invasive mucking around in there so you must expect something' and B) as with any fracture (in this case intentional) the bone is never quite the same afterwards and it's susceptible to weather changes and can react to excessive pressure. 

It's taken a lot of positive thinking to disregard the muscular/skeletal sensations which were once alarm bells.

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Yes, you're part of the "zipper" group. Scar tissue, nerve damage, arthritis due to intentional breakage of the sternum, and so much more contributes to the post-sternotomy discomfort. It's too bad that cardiac surgeons don't mention the after affects so as to let the patient know it's not cardiac related. As I indicated in my earlier post, it's taken 17 years to discover what I needed to do to reduce the incidence of this syndrome. Unfortunately, some patients have serious separation problems that require additional surgical intervention. I encourage you to continue Yoga, despite the "Pains." It's a good heart healthy activitiy.

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Thanks for the reply. Yes it is a shame there's not more explanation of possible reactions. Have no qualms s about yoga ... at 70 and after 25 years 'on the mat' I simply amend or modify asanas to suit. Seasonal best wishes ... to all ! 

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3 yrs after bypass surgery the drs discovered that my sternum hadn't knitted, I ened up having a bone graft operation. I suffer minimal pain in the sternum now.
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I find that quite fascinating. I have discussed my discomfort so many times with my cardiologist and surgeon, and neither of them has suggested looking at my sternum for possible repair. Would you please tell me what physician you consulted that made that determination. Was it an orthopedic doctor or your cardiologist? I suspect the diagnosis was made after some sort of scan. What procedure did they use to note the condition of your sternum before surgery?

More questions.:-) What symptoms did you have prior to the correction. Were they on and off and constant discomfort?
My symptoms are exacerbated during cold weather, excessive pressure, or reaching up. Thanks for your reply.
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I was involved in a motorcycle accident 3 years ago where my left handlebar hammered my chest right over the heart. It apparently damaged my mitral valve and that is a repair operation awaiting scheduling now. Due to the valve I am taking BP meds to lower it a few points to ease the load on my heart which is otherwise healthy. There is a place on the fourth or fifth rib up from the bottom that always feels like a bruise and occasionally becomes a sharp pain (every few months). I went to the hospital the first few times and it was diagnosed as a panic attack even though I am not going through any stress related things right now. I think you're right and it is trauma related weather indications. At 56 I just don't heal like I used to.
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hi its jeff i had sternal fixation donein sept after 5 years of pain my symptoms were very similar to yours .had 2 mri scans 3 ct scans and abuot 8 xrays it was only picked up on the last xray as when i was having it xrayed i moved into a position that caused the most pain.after 4 months i get slight twinges and nipple sting when very cold but its great not to have the constant pain hope you get yours sorted ..
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It has been 3 years of daily pain for me. I had 3 wires removed 2 years ago. This relieved my pain for about 1 month, then it came back even stronger. I take narcotics daily just to meet my basic needs. It hurts more when its cold or if it rains. It is definitely from the sternum because I have no heart problems. The open heart surgery I received was a mistake! Please watch my story on youtube: SHANNON KOOB STORY OF HEART SURGERY BY MISTAKE. I just had a bone scan and the surgeon stated that he would probably have to reset the bone and rewire it. I am too scared to let them do this, I guess because the original surgery was a mistake.

Thank you everyone for sharing your stories, It helps me put this in perspective.

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Unbelievable! Your unnecessary open-heart surgery is so inconceivable to me with all the checking they do at hospitals
Unfortunately, the "link" you gave to your story does not show up as a link. Perhaps I'll Google it.
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