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Sorry for such a late reply.
The GP is more than useless, they referred me locally for a CPEX test and the date came vack for February next year! They then said they would refer me to Joel Dunning Hospitsl with an October appointment, instead of just referring me to Joel direct with a 2 week wait fof the CPEX.
In dhort, I have to go back a third time to get them to refer me direct to Joel.
I'll keep you posted...
How are you getting on?
I had the Nuss Procedure done about a week ago and I have noticed that there is a red band from one side of my chest to the other over where the bar is. It is not particularly itchy but I am worried it may be an allergic reaction to the bar. If anyone has experienced this or has any advice please let me know.
I have attached pictures in two of my previous posts.
Just fyi, I've attached pictures in my journal.
Randy wrote: Hey Again
Where you located????
Well, I have been to Berlin and across USA visiting many PE Surgeons, It was a trip! So, you are most likely correct in stating you have seen my images with other surgeons. However, Schaar did Nuss me with 2 bars.
In my years in the PE world, a Haller Index (HI) >3.5 is considered sever. However most InsCo’s require a HI of >3.2 to approve a claim. Your images clearly display your PE, it appears to be long, wide and semi shallow.
You made a good decision to hit the gym, training with progressive weights and rep’s builds strength, mass, mental fortitude and confidence. Yet, the depressing truth at the end of the day is this – NO amount of muscle mass will improve the PE Dent, in many cases, the developed Pectoral muscles only make the dent appear deeper. Yet this alone is NO reason to stop training.
Most humans suffer from some degree of Depression, how we handle the depression determines the depression depth. Hands Down! 100% Historically Proven, the best Medication to reduce and keep depression under control and at arms length is as follows. Stay massively active, both physically and mentally. Keep in a group of friends, don’t be an Island or Antisocial. Train hard 6 days each week, 4 with weights 2 cardio bike rides or runs. Read books that stretch your current abilities in any area. Music, Real Estate, Business…..
The Automobile crash may or may not have any effected your breathing. same with the scoliosis and PE. It is extremely difficult to test and place a conclusion on the breathing issue. Mostly we make broad reaching assumptions. I can make a suggestion / test for the lung capacity and breathing issue. This is very difficult, it will be up to you. Get a nice mountain bike and a FitBit. Begin doing cardio on the street using the bike, recording the entire ride with the FitBit. Try this 3X/Wk for 90 days. Print the data and view the results. Many labored breathing issues can be fixed with massive cardio.
The clothing issue will be a trial n error approach until you find the right brand / sizes for your liking. Don’t sweet this one much. Most likely you are the only one who can see the flared rib issue when standing up straight. We are hypersensitive about our appearance.
PE repair will not fix the flared rib issue, these flared ribs are a nasty mean issue. With or without PE repair the rib flares will remain the same. Schaar has a technique for correcting rib flares, but it is not perfected. The flare keep returning.
Hope these few words helps you!
Lots and lots of pillows of various sizes. A wedge pillow was too firm for me so I opted for bigger pillows to support my lower back and smaller and softer pillows for my upper back, neck and head. I needed help getting out of bed at night to use the bathroom but the pillows did the trick. I also found (by accident) that a zero gravity beach lounge chair worked best for napping during the day (2-4 week post-op).
Best of luck on a smooth recovery.
Ditto to what others have said. Do it. I got Nussed when I was 50. The surgery wasn't developed when I was your age. Had it been, I would have done it when I was a teenager. Do it for your health. Your body will thank you later.
The interviewees on a video featuring Dr J discuss how the rib and Cartilage flexibility of every person is widely different at any age. I could only suggest looking at more that one approach - try the Vacuum bell while proactively looking at a Nuss, but the Doctors would be better able to inform you on this.
My son will be 14 in about a month, and he has had pectus excavatum since he was an infant. We are looking into treatment options. Has anyone here had any experience with the vacuum bell? I don't know how severe my son's condition is, but what to consider less invasive procedures to start. Any advice will be most welcome! Thank you in advance.
Melanie (David's mom)
It's been about four and half weeks. I am doing better. I have been doing physical therapy which is improving my range of motion. I am sleeping better. My pain actually seems to have gotten better since I stopped taking narcotics.. I think being on so many medications was causing me to feel depressed, which magnified the pain and made me mentally weaker and not as able to push through it. I do still hurt some and am a little less active after getting off of the pain meds. I'm also still kind of depressed, but I think that is due to being sedentary and isolated.. However, I have hit a turning point finally.
Unfortunately, the symptoms I had which motivated me to get the surgery have not improved. The nurse said to give it three months because my heart needs time to adapt to not being squashed. The thought of having to deal with the same mysterious health problems fills me with dread. I was really hoping this surgery was the answer, and the doctors I saw thought it was. Oh, well, fingers crossed that that gets better. I still have some time.
Thanks for responding, everybody.
Nolij, I was on Gabapentin. The withdrawals from that was why I was so depressed in my first post. It's for nerve pain, and I don't really have much of that, so I don't think I need it anymore.
Alanna, thank you for praying for me!
Ipectus, the meds were definitely making me feel more depressed. Also, not laughing is so bizarre. I didn't realize how much I used to laugh until I couldn't any more due to pain. I still haven't sneezed yet, so counting myself lucky with that!
I'm no quite as far along in the recovery as you are but I also get the tight feeling across my chest. Feels like there's a tight band. Its not really intense pain but is definitely uncomfortable. I generally pop a tylenol or ibuprofen if it doesn't go away or I can't get distracted from it.
Hello101 Usually with an environment that would exist with "Hoarding issues", these environments are not the cleanest and do provide a concern with many "issues" , one being respiratory concerns. My opinion, see your physician, who may refer you to a Thoracic surgeon about your PE. Your physician can also order X-Rays to see about your curve spine (Scoliosis) and the degree, not unusual to have PE and a curve spine to gather. Sounds like your concerns may be a combination of both concerns ( living in an environment of Hoarding and your PE), but I believe you would need to see the degree of your PE, for that, you need to see your physician and then decide if surgery is needed. Then, decide about a more favorable environment to live in, depending on your age, may be difficult. I wish you well!
I had the ravitch procedure (or some modification thereof) at 15 at the BC Children's Hospital. Unfortunately, the stabilizer bar became dislodged less than 2 months after the procedure, and had to be removed. Without any support, my pectus healed badly and is now worse than it was initially.
I've noticed a general lack of energy, as well as a feeling that my breathing is being limited by the pectus. I've gone to get a CT, and will hopefully know what my haller index is quite soon.
I'm seriously considering getting a re-do, as my quality of life is greatly affected. I understand that this should be done by a specialist, so would be willing to travel outside of Canada to get this done.
I was very disheartened to learn that Dr. J does not do revisions to ravitch patients. Does anybody have any experience with a revision to a failed ravitch? Any help would be much appreciated!
Hello, I have PE (not diagnosed) and have lived in a really unclean environment for over ten years (mainly due to my parents' hoarding issues). I've over the past few years experienced continually worse breathing problems, constant dizziness, brain fog, migraines, back pain, balance issues, muscle spasms, sinus complications and just an overall bad quality of life. I also have a curved spine and horrid posture.
I'm not sure if it's the unclean environment or my PE that's causing the issues, my PE is quite deep/severe from surface view but I never got it formally checked. I don't really know the cognitive effects of living in such a place but I have heard spores and bacteria can get into your body and cause issues but I don't know how reliable that is. The environment is quite dirty but airflow is adequate and plentiful.
It's been almost a month since my surgery and I'm taking much less of the "intense" pain medications. There is still a little pain, but a weird thing is that their is tightness around my chest, like a hug. But that tightness is not pain. I have to be very careful about whether I should take medicine or not in these situations.
Yes, I agree with ipectus guy
your nephew needed a modified nuss, 1 bar will not lift a 6.0. A modified using 2 - 3 bars and supports will lift a 6.0 flat. Im not happy with the results in the image. Better that before, yes, not flat enough.
Hey Nolij - The pain stays with your for many weeks, you just find ways to adjust. It's a very strange recovery, very strange!! Up an down days, weeks. Your mind thinks weird thoughts that are always changing. The bottom line for recovery is simple but difficult. you must exercise 3-5 times each day 2x for 20 min, 2x for 40 min and 1x for 60min. The 4 lesser can be walking, steps, rough terain areas and bike. The 60 min would be working as if you are lifting weights at the gym, you can go to the gym, yet the movements at the gym are with out any weights. Yes, that is no weights. This is for the mind and for general body movements that no other exercise will give. Your each day life is living for recovery and normality. Remember to work on super good eating, high protein, med carbs and no sugar. Work up to 2 gallons of water each day with in 30 day. This simple plan will work wonders.
This afternoon will be 14 days post surgery.
I showered and dressed myself this morning! I still had my wife in the room when I was putting my shirt on just in case I got stuck and started hurting but she didn't have to do anything Still a little sore but no longer taking hydrocodone. I haven't slept in bed yet but may try that tonight.
Couple of observations:
My clothes fit differently now. Enough where I'm going to need to replace a lot of shirts. I had been under the strategy of wearing a tight undershirt and a relatively tight chested shirt in order to prevent my shirt from resting in my dent. That's no longer an issue now but now those shirts are way too tight to put on. My old looser shirts now fit comfortably. I tried putting on my white button-up church shirt and couldn't do up the top button now that my chest is fuller (the second to top button was straining).
I keep subconsciously trying to pull my shirt off my dent when I'm sitting. It used to be that when my shirt was touching the center of my chest, it was in my dent so I'd try to casually adjust my shirt. The center of my chest is no longer a dent but old habits die hard.
Thank you, everyone, yes I have been doing some reading and it sure sounds like the two always go together. Hopefully, we can find some physical therapy that can work for her, if that even exists postoperatively.
Hi Alanna, did you get my inbox message I sent you, I had trouble sending an update here earlier in the week. looks like I can now. Hope you guys are well.
my daughter only sleep well in the adjustable ned we got her, the recliner she can only sit and adjust here and there..
The vacuum bell is a relatively new device that many doctors may not have heard about yet. I would encourage looking into it. Long term studies are lacking, but when I was using mine, I was amazed at how much it lifted my sternum, albeit temporarily.
With your doctor's permission, you are able to order it directly from Eckart Klobe, the designer and manufacturer.
If you're looking for surgeons in Korea, Dr. Hyung Joo Park is well known and highly rated on these forums.
My surgery is scheduled for August 21st.
If you're interested in learning about the modified Ravitch, here is a video by Dr. Joel Dunning in the UK.
He calls his a mini Ravitch, which has a much smaller incision than historically used. Also, the modern technique is to remove the minimum amount of cartilage necessary and to make sure everything is stabilized securely post-op.
I'm tall and skinny, just under 6 feet tall and weigh 135 pounds. It has always been hard for me to gain weight. I can do everyday activities fine, but my exercise tolerance is fairly low. I can do low to moderate cardio for about twenty minutes before becoming excessively fatigued and out of breath. If I try high intensity cardio, that time is reduced to about one minute. It's easy for me to overexert myself during strength training as well, but instead of getting out of breath, I get really nauseated and hot.
Hello and happy to help. For us at Pectus Services we recommend bracing flared ribs 6 months prior to the surgery in addition to an exercise program. Bracing can also be done after the surgery. It will be up to your surgeon how soon after the surgery to begin bracing the ribs. But in our experience we have the best results bracing flared ribs before surgery. There are several reasons for this such as; no issues with the bar or post-surgery complications, the patient is also free to do exercise which we feel is an essential part of flared rib improvement. These exercises include oblique abdominal strengthening which involves twisting of the torso for the best workout. However twisting is not allowed after surgery at least for a certain time and the length depends on your surgeon's time requirements. Hope that answers some questions. Happy to help anytime. Feel free to contact us anytime. Joe / PectusServices.com