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Doctor insights on: Sternum Pain After Open Heart Surgery

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Dr. Frederick Tibayan
357 doctors shared insights

Heart Surgery (Definition)

Open intervention on the heart to correct congenital cardiac anomalies, repair replace heart valves, ascending aortic dissection repair, coronary bypass, heart transplant, surgical removal of heart tumors, ventricular assist devices, cox maze procedures to cure atrial fibrillation, repair of trauma to the heart. Repair of iatrogenic injuries to heart, heart-lung ...Read more


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Does the sternum fuse together after open heart surgery and how long does it take ?

Does the sternum fuse together after open heart surgery and how long  does it take ?

Yes, like bone fract: The sternum is a bone & heals like any other bone. It is "fractured" (cut) at the start of open heart surgery. At the end of surgery, the sternum is usually "sewn up" using metal wires to hold the 2 parts together. Further bone healing (fusion) occurs over the course of 3-6 months (eg, as with a broken arm). Wires hold the sternum together in that time & fuse with bone as it heals. Ask surgeon. ...Read more

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Would you still have numbness in the sternum area ten months after open heart surgery?

Would you still have numbness in the sternum area ten months after open heart surgery?

Possibly: Scar tissue stays numb. Particularly if an artery in your chest (the left internal mammary artery) was harvested as part of your surgery, you can expect numbness for many months. ...Read more

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After open heart surgery what are some challanges people usually face with a broken sternum? I just want to know what to expect

After open heart surgery  what are some challanges people usually face with a broken sternum? I just want to know what to expect

Limit use of arms: There is so much you do with your arms without thinking. You push off with hands on thighs to stand. You use arms to adjust yourself in chair or bed. All of this puts pressure on sternum. I limit patients to 10 lb 6 wks then 25 lb for another 6 weeks. And no pushing or pulling for 3 months. Coughing and sneezing can be uncomfortable also. ...Read more

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After open heart surgery i want to punch my heavy bag for excercise. I know it will put a lot of pressure on my sternum. It has been twenty weeks ?

After open heart surgery  i want to punch my heavy bag for excercise. I know it will put a lot of pressure on my sternum. It has been twenty weeks ?

OK: Your sternum has healed to almost full strength. You can start a punching bag routine. You will probably develop some chest wall or muscle pain as you start the exercise - because you haven't used your muscles to this extent since the operation. Listen to your body and start gradually and workup to the level that you performed prior to surgery. ...Read more

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Hi i'm getting open heart surgery in 2 months i'm wondering if there is anyway they won't have to break my sternum? Will i lose muscle after surgery?

Hi i'm getting open heart surgery in 2 months i'm wondering if there is anyway they won't have to break my sternum? Will i lose muscle after surgery?

Yes depends on type: For instance mitral valve repair, atrial septal defect repair can be performed via small incision on the right side of chest and aortic valve replacement can be performed via small incision at the top of the chest. ...Read more

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My mom had open heart surgery in may but continues to have pain all around the area and the doctors say it's her sternum is it possible ?

My mom had open heart surgery in may but continues to have pain all around the area and the doctors say it's her sternum is it possible
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Chest pain: Absolutely. The sternum was cut opened and it is likely going to remain tender and sore for sometime. Your mother should follow her surgeon's recommendations and rest assured it is normal. ...Read more

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39 years ago i had open heart surgery at the age of 3. Ever since, I have lived with the sensation that my chest will tear apart. Its getting worse.

39 years ago i had open heart surgery at the age of 3. Ever since, I have lived with the sensation that my chest will tear apart. Its getting worse.

Unlikely: What was done? Cured? Or may need additional work. Good choices: no smoking weight control. Get checked by thoracic surgeon for any instability of bone - sternum. At 39 years should be solid bone unless there was an infection or fibrous non- union and fluid. ...Read more

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Open Heart Surgery (Definition)

Not an easy answer. Open heart surgery describes surgical intervention under direct vision involving entering a heart chamber or coronary artery. Percutaneous interventions do not ...Read more