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Doctor insights on: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Surgery Recovery

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Is the recovery from the neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome surgery hard?

Is the recovery from the neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome surgery hard?

Sometimes: You should definitely do some physical therapy. Sometimes the nerve discomfort may take some time to resolve. In rare cases it may persist. ...Read more

Dr. Bennett Machanic
315 Doctors shared insights

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (Definition)

A condition where the first rib or an extra rib causes compression between the clavicle and the rib of any one of the following three subclavian artery, ...Read more


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What is recovery like after surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome?

What is recovery like after surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome?

Piece of cake --: It will be ok -- if your doctor told you you needed the surgery then get it done and you will find relief of symptoms pain and numbness of your upper limb immediately ...Read more

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Is thoracic outlet syndrome surgery a major surgery?

Is thoracic outlet syndrome surgery a major surgery?

Yes: This is a relatively rare operation that should be done by someone with experience. Results are best when the compression is of an artery or vein, less good for nerve compression. Complications include failure of surgery, damage to nerves and blood vessels to arm, nerve to diaphragm or shoulder muscles and "pneumothorax" (air in the chest). Helpful for the right indications, EXPERIENCE IS KEY ...Read more

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What is the prognosis of thoracic outlet syndrome surgery?

What is the prognosis of thoracic outlet syndrome surgery?

Good but: Usually surgery is the last thing you want to do for thoracic outlet syndrome because it is simple surgery but it could end up with an open chest and tubes in the chest and the recovery take a long time but the result are usually good if you need one get a second opinion and get done by a thoracic surgeon good luck ...Read more

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Can I lift weights 3 months after thoracic outlet syndrome surgery?

Can I lift weights 3 months after thoracic outlet syndrome surgery?

Depends on how much: Weight you are contemplating. Usually heavy lifting is restricted for at least 6 months ...Read more

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What is the long term prognosis for nuerogenic thoracic outlet syndrome surgery?

If it is: A correct diagnosis, if it is due to compression of brachial nerves between scalene muscles and first rib, will have satisfactory out come, as they are peripheral nerves (as they regenerate) ...Read more

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How can I rehab after thoracic outlet syndrome surgery?

How can I rehab after thoracic outlet syndrome surgery?

Physical therapy: Slowly increasing your movements, your range of motion, and slowly increase your strength training. ...Read more

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Will I be able to be a weightlifter again after having thoracic outlet syndrome surgery?

Will I be able to be a weightlifter again after having thoracic outlet syndrome surgery?

Of course: After surgical decompression, if the symptoms did not return, strength training, weight lifting, and neck traction are recommended under professional supervision. ...Read more

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Why does the prognosis for neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome surgery get worse over time?

Depend on surgery: It really depend on why a patient had surgery most of thoracic outlet syndrome cases does not required surgery specially the neurogenic because the outcome is not very encouraging the only time surgery is warranted if the presence of the cervical rib or the space between the rib and the clavicle is narrower from previous accident or fracture and that cause pressure against mostly blood vessel ...Read more

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What can happen if I begin to lift weights too early after thoracic outlet syndrome surgery?

What can happen if I begin to lift weights too early after thoracic outlet syndrome surgery?

Complicate healing: Complicate healing process. Tissue in your body is 21 yr old. After surgery the healing tissue is very young..... ...Read more

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Will I be able to return to weightlifting after recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery?

Will I be able to return to weightlifting after recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery?

Yes: You will proably need to work with a Professional Phyical Therapist and then a personal trainer to help you modify your work outs to prevent a recurrence of your condition. ...Read more

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I may have started exercising too early after thoracic outlet syndrome surgery and don't feel well with back an neck pain. What should I do?

I may have started exercising too early after thoracic outlet syndrome surgery and don't feel well with back an neck pain. What should I do?

Stop exercising...: I suggest you stop exercising, including weight control, at least for now, until you have the opportunity to follow-up with your surgeon. Your surgeon can give you the best idea as to when you can safely begin exercising again. You can apply ice or heat to the area (whichever feels better) and take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for the discomfort. But, if symptoms worsen, go to the ER for treatment! ...Read more

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Is surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome curative?

Is surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome curative?

Type of TOS?: Patients with cervical rib, arterial TOS, or Venous TOS may require surgery. Only about 10-15% of patients with symptomatic TOS come to surgery. Success rate somewhere in the 90% range for appropriately chosen patients. Most patients respond to therapy and/or medications. ...Read more

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How major is surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome?

How major is surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome?

Yes: I think any surgery is major and when it comes to thoracic outlet syndrome, surgery is not common and is typically last resort as they try physical therapy and other modalities first, but there are many causes of thoracic outlet syndrome so it depends on what is obstructing that needs to be moved or repaired or removed. Ask your vascular surgeon for specifics on your case. ...Read more

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Is surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome unreliable?

TOS: TOS is combinations of many problems in a complex anatomic location. There are so simple diagnostics or solutions. If properly diagnosed, AND non surgical therapies like PT fail to improve the symptoms, then surgery with an experienced TOS surgeon can be both therapeutic and reliable. Take friend with you to appointments and therapy. Be well. ...Read more

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How risky is surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome?

How risky is surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome?

Somewhat: Risks include:
injury to arteries and veins
injury to the nerve
failure to accomplish goals of therapy
pain. ...Read more

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Can surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome make you worse?

Can surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome make you worse?

Tos: You should ask benefits vs risks to the surgeon. This is not a minor surgery and yes I have seen failed surgery with increased problems. U should be absolutely sure what u are undergoing this surgery fot ...Read more

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Can surgery actually make thoracic outlet syndrome worse?

Can surgery actually make thoracic outlet syndrome worse?

Yes: THis is usually true when it involves nerve compression rather than compression of blood vessels. Nerves can be damaged during surgery or scarring can compress nerves. This can happen in a small but real minority of persons. ...Read more

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Does surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome cause long term pain?

Does surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome cause long term pain?

Caution: Surgery is done to relieve pain. "Long term pain" is probably referring to failure of the surgery to relieve the pain of TOS. TOS is complicated. Vascular TOS needs surgery. Neurogenic TOS should only have surgery after ALL CONSERVATIVE therapy has failed. The surgery is not always successful. Your thoracic outlet is filled with nerves, blood vessels and muscles: serious complications can occur! ...Read more

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Why is getting surgery a last resort for thoracic outlet syndrome?

Big Operation: Surgical treatment of thoracic outlet syndrome is a major operation that involves resecting the first rib and potentially major vascular repair. Results are usually good if there is vascular compromise and variable if impairment is neurologic. If the condition can be controlled with non-surgical measures, avoiding surgery is preferable. Thanks for trusting HealthTap! ...Read more

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Will I need to have surgery to correct my thoracic outlet syndrome?

Possibly: As mentioned, surgery may be needed if conservative approaches fail. However, in my former rehab group, about 85% of tos pts responded fully to conservative measures, and never even saw a surgeon. Surgery would be critical if you have blood vessel compression especially associated with a cervical rib, and is often considered if pain is unremitting and associated with prog. Numb and weak hand. ...Read more

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Is thoracic outlet syndrome permanent? What if you get the surgery?

If the symptoms: Were caused entirely by compression and damage is still reversible, surgery should be curative. Consult with a thoracic surgeon or vascular surgeon. ...Read more

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What exercises should you do after surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome?

What exercises should you do after surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome?

Strengthen shoulder: Exercise generally targeted at strengthening the shoulder girdle, improving posture and improving range of motion.
Also depends on whether the surgery was for vascular or neurogenic complaints. The recovery after surgery for vascular compression is much quicker than when the problem was neurologic symptoms ...Read more

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Does surgery really only help 50-70% of people with thoracic outlet syndrome?

Does surgery really only help 50-70% of people with thoracic outlet syndrome?

85%-90% success: These results suggest that surgical decompression can alleviate pain and quality of life in patients with a wide range of abnormalities at the thoracic outlet. ...Read more

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Is surgery effective for thoracic outlet syndrome?

Is surgery effective for thoracic outlet syndrome?

Maybe: Before surgery, one should do everything they can to reconstitute the muscle and skeletal systems of the shoulder. My clinical findings implicate weakened muscles that hold up the shoulder and keep the collar bone from collapsing toward the first rib; thereby constricting the space between these two bones. Trapezius muscle strength is of utmost concern, and a good physical therapist can help. ...Read more