As a young child Erik suffered symptoms of asthma. He had shortness of breath and had frequent bouts of wheezing. He was prescribed a daily dose of inhaled steroid by his pulminologist to make sure his lungs stayed clear and used Albuterol for extreme distress. He also visited a cardiologist annually to monitor compression from his pectus.
When he was 9 years old, his pulminologist (Dr. Aljadef) recommended we consult with Dr. Geissler. We asked lots of questions, had his Haller Index measured, and consulted with past patients we were connected to through the staff in Dr. Geissler’s office. We noticed Erik starting to become self conscious about his chest. He did not want to try out for swim team or take off his shirt at the beach. We decided to have the Nuss Procedure the following year.
The staff in Dr. Geissler’s office and at Advocate Hospital was kind and professional. They had the added complication of working with Erik’s bleeding disorder (VonWillebrands) which required additional medications and a few extra days in the hospital. Everything was coordinated and we were well taken care of and informed.
Since the week after the bar was implanted, we have discontinued all inhalers and he has had no issues with wheezing or shortness of breath. I know he was going through puberty, I can’t help but think the added oxygen to his system has contributed to a recent growth spirt. The bar was in place for 3 years and I watched him grow in confidence and strength.
I know Dr. Geissler went to additional measures to make Erik’s chest look beautiful. He described shaping the bar in the operating room and forming it to his body for optimal results. He is not only a surgeon, but an artist and I’m so glad we live in the area and were able to partner with him in correcting not only his physical appearance, but improving his lung/heart function.
My biggest disappointment is we don’t get to see him anymore now that the bar is out :). He gave the sterilized bar and stabilizers to Erik after the removal surgery as a parting gift.