I was 12 years old when I first knew I had something wrong with me. My pediatrician at the time really didn't have a medical opinion for me, it just wasn't something that was taken seriously and he told me, "That's just the way God made you". While I appreciated that and left thinking that it was only a cosmetic issue and that I just had to live with it. The condition bothered me all my life, I was always behind my peers in fitness, thought I didn't attribute that to pectus, and I avoided taking my shirt off in public all my life. I always felt "less" than I should and it bothered me and prevented me from being and feeling like the person I should be. Fast forward 39 years by chance I saw Dr. J giving a lecture about this condition and I was floored, I couldn't believe someone understood this condition and had a passion to drive awareness and treatment. I contacted Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale Sept 2020 and had a teleconference with Dr J to talk about my case and the steps needed to determine the necessity of repair. I was immediately confident that I had contacted the best doctor and one of the foremost experts in understanding and innovating treatment for pectus. I wanted a doctor that handled not a few, but hundreds of adult cases at a facility with a top notch team. I found all of that at Mayo and Dr J and her team of highly competent professionals. Mayo has truly mechanized medicine I have never received care like I did at Mayo. On April 1, 2021 I had my procedure and I am just two weeks into recovery as I write this review. My biggest fear was a long painful recovery and I actually overprepared to make sure that I could be independent in what I believed would be weeks of agony. Dr J and Mayo, however, are at the forefront of pain management and I was given the option of cryoablation rather than opioids which really don't work well for me. Still I expected to be helpless. In fact I expected to be in the hospital for 3-4 days and made care arrangements based on that belief. It was actually kind of funny when I conveyed these plans in preop I could see that Dr J and the team kind of smile but were willing to accommodate extra days if I needed them. When I woke up I found myself in recovery feeling pretty darn good and was up and walking around in no time. Even the supporting nurses in recovery when they saw me walk out of the room, which I wasn't supposed to do, with my IV look up and I could see the surprise and one just said "I can't believe it". I was out of the hospital the next day after quickly changing my travel plans and assuring Dr J that I had a responsible adult to take me back to my hotel. 7 days later I had my postop follow up and was cleared to travel back home to Colorado. I was given a number of prescriptions but Ibuprofen and Tylenol are really all I have needed and I feel so thankful that I am on the mend and feel better every day. Today I feel like I am breathing for the first time and the physical appearance of my chest makes me shed a tear every time I look at myself in the mirror. Mayo and Dr J changed my life and I encourage anyone who thinks they have a chest wall deformity to seek help, do research, find the best doctor you can, and for me that is Mayo Clinic and Dr. Jaroszewski and her team of experts that are the Gold Standard of treatment and care. God may have made me the way I was, but Dr. J made me better and I am forever thankful and looking forward to working my way through this 3 year journey in partnership with my primary care provider and Dr. J's team.
Hi Rob, would you mind if I asked you a few questions about your condition? My little sister is set to have a consultation with this dr for the pectus surgery. She has been declining over the past two years: lost her job, her sense of independence and any chance of normal life due to her condition. Her biggest concern seems to be that she might have a lung or heart issue although drs do believe its her pectus excavatum thats causing her troubles breathing. She says shes apprehensive because most people with her condition say that they have “trouble breathing on exertion”, and her troubles breathing are constant. She has troubles breathing while sitting standing and laying down. She has no relief no matter what position she is in and spends most of the day laying in bed or sitting in a chair? Do you have experience with this or know anyone that has had this type of reaction from pectus excavatum? Any info would be greatly appreciated! I feel scared and concerned for her well being both physically and emotionally right now.
May 03, 2022
Hey Rob, I am scheduled to have a Nuss by Dr J in June, your story is very similar to mine, would like to connect