I wanted to write a succinct review of my experience undergoing the nuss procedure performed by Mr. John Goldblatt. My main motivation for doing so is to provide a little more info on getting nussed by John as there is, save for the 2 reviews below and a few other really dated reviews on some other forums, not much info out there for Aussies looking to get the fix done at home.
So first off, a little bio: developed my pectus early teens, felt very self conscious, hardly took my shirt off in public and experienced all the usual self confidence issues that go with it. Fast forward to my mid-thirties and I started having chest pains when exercising, wheezing chest, hit the wall in performance etc. That's when I decided to investigate potential causes and found out that it may be related to my pectus. I then got a referral from my GP to see John.
He examined my pectus (low level and symmetrical) and the x-ray of my chest and assessed it as moderate to severe. He answered all my questions and explained the procedure in detail. He was thoroughly personable and understanding. Pulled no punches about the recovery being no walk in the park and he also said that he could not guarantee a perfect chest (maybe 60-80%) but enough to lift it off the heart to reduce the pressure and symptoms I was experiencing. The extent to which it could be corrected, he explained, depended on how calcified or ossified my sternum was given my age.
As far as the results go, I would say he raised my sternum around 90%-95%! Amazing results,, my chest looks completely normal, so from a cosmetic perspective I can only sing his praises. It's also worth bearing in mind that he's performed over 200 of these procedures. He also visited me just about everyday I was in hospital, which was 7 long days. The first 2 - 3 days are not too bad pain wise - around a 2-3 as you're hooked up to IV pain relief but, as with all other post surgery experiences go, once they take you off the IV and onto oral meds there is an adjustment to say the least. But by no means should this stop you from getting it done especially if you have the option of going with a surgeon like John as it is totally doable even if your pain tolerance is not the best. They prescribe some pretty hardcore opiates which kill a good 80% of the discomfort. Of course, I can't say how long that discomfort last as I'm only 10 days in post op but I can already see a big difference in my mobility and stamina.
Overall, I'm really thrilled with the results and would highly highly recommend John!
My pectus was pretty bad. I had looked into it when I was 18 but the Ravitch system did not appeal to me at all and even though the aesthetics of my chest weren't great I never suffered greatly in the way of self esteem. At 33 and my chest looking pretty bad, physically not feeling greaet and seeming to have a worsening scoliosis I met up with John Goldblatt for a review. John's just a fantastic guy in general and really the epitome of what a doctor should be. He's very understanding of the physical and mental issues that accompany pectus. He's great at simply but effectively communicating the procedure, the pain and pain relief options, the recovery et al. And of course at the actual practice of performing the procedure. From my scans we learnt there was not a lot of the actual main sternum (3 parts to it - who knew) that was bent so it was a difficult surgery requiring placement in the correct area to get the best effect and bring the xiphoid along for the ride and not damage it. Pictures say a thousand words. I will endeavor to get a few photos up on the forum so you can see how deep and askew my chest was to what it is now. Most people can't tell that I had pectus now. I just have a bit of the knuckling that occured because of the pectus which isn't a big deal to me. The scars are very minimal. The pain was pretty bad the first few days. I'm fairly good with pain but wow, yeah I wont lie it's painful but you get through it. I only had morphine the first day. Then on ketomine for the remaining 9 days in hospital. I was walking with relative ease about a week in. The body recovers quickly. I was on Targin and a few other things for about a month and then one day soon after that the pain disappears entirely. Don't worry about the pain. It shouldn't be a deciding factor for anyone thinking about the surgery. I equate to a long child birth or something which you just have to get through to get the result. Very happy now. Thanks Dr John.
Very happy with correction of my PE with Nuss titanium bar by Goldblatt. 32yr old female. Anaesthetics and pain relief by Dr Peter Dawson also excellent. No epidural - all IV. Walking on day 2. Discharged day 6. Very happy with the result do far. Good surgeon in Australia for adult pectus excavatum repairs.