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Heart & Cardiology/Chest Soreness Following CABG x3

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Question
Hi Doctor T,
I had CABGx3 in Sept '12 (46 years old) and still have quite a lot of pain and discomfort in my chest, mainly in the centre and to my right. On a scale of 0-10 (10 being worst pain imaginable) I would class it as 2-3 at best and 5-6 at its worst. I was wondering if I should expect to have this amount of discomfort so long after my op. My x-rays are ok but I wonder should I ask for a scan of some sort to be carried out to determine what is causing it.
Thank-you

Answer
Hi James,
Assuming your heart is now OK, though rare, post-sternotomy pain can be a real problem. Sternal wires are used to put your sternum back together at the end of the operation. If related, palpating (touching the areas) is usually tender. Surgeons use about six wires, thus there can be as many as 12 places where this can be the case (on either side of the sternum). It is possible that some may cause pain.
Read this:
http://www.cardiachealth.org/ca-blog/pain-after-open-heart-surgery

By now your sternum has fully healed (although there is a possibility of so-called non-union), thus all wires can be safely removed. For more specific recommendations I would need to examine you, obviously not possible.  My recommendation: go back to your CT surgeon!

Hope this helps,
Dr T
http://www.cardiachealth.org/

Heart & Cardiology

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