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24 Mar 2019
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TOPIC: Newly introduced to diagnosis

Newly introduced to diagnosis 10 months 2 weeks ago #7803

I have been experiencing cardiovascular difficulty for years and definitely have noticed my flared ribs as well with much distaste. As a bodybuilder it has been a point of a lot of problems despite constant exercises to push down my ribs.
I was in the ER this past Sunday after months of complaining to my doctor about the more recent cardiovascular complications i have had. I'm waiting on echo results but during the examination i was told i had this chest deformity that i never knew was a thing.
I'm 33 years old.. I'm in great shape but always out of breath. Always had a higher heartbeat. Always got chest pain, fatigue, vertigo, and severe shortness of breath during cardio.
I'm waiting to see if i am a candidate or not but im curious to know your thoughts.

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Newly introduced to diagnosis 10 months 2 weeks ago #7805

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I would check out this website: www.pectusinfo.com/board/
use the search function for "flared ribs" "bodybuilding" there' s a ton of personal experiences to read.

Newly introduced to diagnosis 10 months 2 weeks ago #7809

Thanks! I know its not just flared ribs thankfully but it definitely has irritated me doing every exercise possible to force my ribs down with no success.. my upper abdominal muscles just get bigger and bigger and bother me more and more lol!

Newly introduced to diagnosis 10 months 2 weeks ago #7821

Sparkleandflex First, I believe due to her body physique, your rib protrusion will appear more prominent. Secondly, my opinion, I don't believe that, at this stage, you will be able to do any type of exercise's that would help force her ribs down. I believe the chest deformity you maybe talking about is Pectus Excavatum and depending on the severity of the PE, can cause cardiovascular and respiratory concerns due to the compression of the chest on the heart and lung space. This in turn can cause chest pain and the symptoms you mention. Surgery will most likely be the option in re shaping her chest and possible reducing some rib flaring. Physician will need to determine the severity, usually by CT scan. Physician will most likely refer you to a chest surgeon for further evaluation with further cardiovascular and respiratory test.

Newly introduced to diagnosis 10 months 2 weeks ago #7824

Yes i do believe that it most certainly is PE. Why now at this age I'm only finding out about it is beyond me, but hopefully my physician or cardiologist can find me a surgeon. I'm not sure if its only cosmetic i would move forward but after my experience last Sunday at the ER, i don't think its the case. Right now I'm trying a rib brace for support, Wednesday i see my primary physician, 23rd cardiologist.
Wish me luck. :)

Newly introduced to diagnosis 10 months 2 weeks ago #7825

Sparkleandflex Glad you have started the process of medical treatment. If you are starting to have some symptoms associated with your PE, I would say its not cosmetic and by appearance of the attached pictures, would say not just cosmetic ether. But, this is something that could be corrected with surgery, most likely a Nuss procedure or modified Ravitch procedure, but of course this is something your surgeon would decide and talk to you about. We wish you luck and please keep us posted.

Newly introduced to diagnosis 10 months 2 weeks ago #7826

Thank you for the information and support! I have been reading about the procedures you've mentioned and i will keep you updated as I learn new information! ❤️

Newly introduced to diagnosis 10 months 2 weeks ago #7827

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Hello Sparkleandflex,

You're rib flare is the only one I've ever seen in my life, including in images posted on this site, that look similar to mine. I have severe PE which I also found out just this year on a visit to the ER that it is a thing after all this time thinking it was just a wee chest deformity.

Like me, it sounds like at this point you are just information gathering and not actually deciding whether you want to have surgery or not. Let this knowledge take some pressure off your mind should you experience anxiety about what to do. It's ok to learn to live with the condition (not have surgery).

I can relate to the vertigo, fast heart rate (when under physical/mental stress) and breathlessness that you mention. I'm quite athletic having done short-middle distance running, and light to moderate weight bearing exercise to keep good health and some shape, although I've backed off hard-out workouts because of the symptoms. I'm only 59kgs at 5 foot 7 and I'm told PE sufferers tend to be underweight, in spite of my best efforts including muscle mass, cannot really gain weight. Intense stress physical or mental including heavy leg presses give me that 'vertigo/head-rush' that I'm educated guessing is causing a momentary insufficient blood circulation to the head causing the giddy-like sensation. Consequently, I'm little weak, but I can 'plod' when I'm inspired.

Emotionally, the hardest thing I'm dealing with is something of a sense of abandonment in watching others advance in their careers, athletic and social ambitions etc., while I plod along at my own pace trying not to burn out when I get excited about something and go too fast.

Ok, I cannot correct the rib flare via forceful exercise. I know it is impacting upon my life. If I chose to fix it surgically, then I've been advised that the surgeon should inspire me with confidence - this is what a top ER head of dept., has advised me in person. My internal organs have 'naturally' shaped themselves around the deformity (this is arguable I think). Go into surgery with your eyes wide open. It's a big operation. One of the big current obstacles for me is the cost.

Google Zachary Moaveni who is a top plastic surgeon here in New Zealand who has developed something called the Small Incision Sternoplasty (S.I.S) which he describes on his website as a new surgical procedure developed in New Zealand to treat the relatively rare conditions of Pectus Excavatum

Zachary outlines his reasoning for this procedure over others. I've spoken to him briefly by phone and to a few others in the medical profession and have found him to be approachable and exceptionally well liked thus far. Phone him up if you like. I think he charges approximately $27,000 NZ dollars for surgery for PE.


Hope something of this information helps you as it is me.

Newly introduced to diagnosis 10 months 2 weeks ago #7829

Slightly disheartening hearing you have it severe as I'm hoping mine isn't.
Obviously i compete bodybuilding and i know if i don't go through with this surgery especially after the symptoms ive been having since my last competition, i never will be able to again. I worry about the strain however such a thing will put on my relationship, as he thinks I'm perfectly unique, but understands if its affecting my heart/lungs I'll have to make a decision.
Cost is definitely a big deal for me, I'm already on permanent disability because i have multiple sclerosis... I'm hoping i can find a surgeon in Canada that will be paid for from the healthcare system. .. if it won't be covered, then no surgery for me.
Thank you for sharing your story and information with me. I really appreciate it!
The following user(s) said Thank You: dh66

Newly introduced to diagnosis 10 months 1 week ago #7832

I can very much relate to the "shock" of just finding out you have PE. I am 43 and was just diagnosed a month ago. It has kind of hit me like a brick because I had no clue there was something actually wrong with me. I am in the research/ testing stage right now. It is a lot to process! So far I have learned that my haller index is 4.2 & my PE is compressing my heart.
I go back and forth about surgery, because of the pain. I am not confident that I will be able to handle the pain associated with surgery and recovery.
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