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Author: Subject: 27/F My NUSS journey (through bar removal) with Dr Saxton 10/1/2014-with Before/After Pics
Halcyon22
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[*] posted on 11-6-2017 at 06:54 AM
Post op Day 2


Quote: Originally posted by LondonTim  
Hi Halcyon,

I'm so glad you're through to the other side. AND that you're able to go home so quickly.

I have tried to message a few times from my phone but I keep getting an error message saying I need to add a subject. Annoying.

How is the chest looking? Any movement at all?

Anyway, please make sure you keep posting. I want you to get through this recovery & enjoy the rest of your life free from Pectus. But it would be a shame to never hear from you again. You are an inspiration to us, especially me.



Thanks Tim for the kind words! I have no plans to entirely desert these boards, I don't feel the need to outrun or hide from my past with PE. My struggles and experiences can maybe help the next guy, so I'll continue to check in. It's a fulfilling feeling giving back--it has all come full circle :)

Day 2 was travel day, can't say it was entirely pleasant, but I mentally compared it to how it must feel traveling after the Nuss and that put the squash on any complaining!! A friend had sent me a giant bouquet of flowers, and thankfully both they and my bars made it through security unscathed. We had a direct flight home which was awesome. Left at 7:30am and was back home at 2pm.

I'm still rotating between oxy and 600mg ibuprofen (every 6 hours for each, will take oxy then will take ibuprofen 3 hours after) and my last two oxy doses were half doses. Today (Day 3) I am going to try to space out the oxy half doses to every 8-9 hours. My worst pain now still remains the stabbing intercostal spasms in my left back, which is managed by the pain patch.

As happy as I am to have my bars out, I feel a small amount of sadness and loss. Call me crazy, but I think psychologically, those bars molded me and healed me just as much as they did physically. Without them, I suddenly became just like everyone else (exactly what I had wanted, might I note) and mentally, that bothered me. I have been through so much with these bars over the past few years...they have become such a part of me that with them gone now I feel as if I'm missing a part of me. I am no longer different--my chest is the correct shape, I have removed my medical alert bracelet--and so to the world, I am normal. It's such a good reminder that every single person has gone through a life changing event or process, but what it is may be hidden in everyday life.

It's difficult to assess my chest now, it has definitely changed shape somewhat though. I am still a bit swollen and bloated so that doesn't provide a solid reference lol. I did try on my swimsuit top and that helped me to see that my chest is nearly the same, just a small amount of settling, especially on the upper chest. I expected that, but I can't stop checking. :/

I'll try to post some photos later.




"Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit."--Bernard Williams

My journal: http://www.pectusinfo.com/board/viewthread.php?tid=11088
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Halcyon22
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[*] posted on 11-6-2017 at 05:44 PM
Post op Day 3


Today has been a good day--I took 5mg oxycodone this am and haven't needed any all day. I'm still taking 600mg ibuprofen every 6 hours. I did a lot of walking today and was quite fatigued from going up a few flights of stairs. It will take some time to regain my stamina, though this is 1000x easier than the Nuss, it still is a somewhat rough surgery if your bars need to be chiseled out!! I have a week off of work yet so hopefully I'll be feeling more energetic.

Here are some photos. In the first photo, there is an area of shadow on my right upper chest which is a small area of depression that has happened since the bars came out. It's not very noticeable but I can tell that it has gone in slightly. I wish so badly I was bigger chested...it sure would help hide any remaining dips and especially it would help out with the mild upper PE I still have. I'm not signing up for more surgery but one can speculate, right...? The sternum has settled, my swimsuit used to be flush with my chest/sternum right between my boobs, now there is about a 1 cm distance. I'll keep monitoring this. I can't help but be paranoid!! Regression ranks extremely high on my list of very real life fears. I can't even imagine it....



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"Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit."--Bernard Williams

My journal: http://www.pectusinfo.com/board/viewthread.php?tid=11088
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Halcyon22
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[*] posted on 11-7-2017 at 04:26 PM
Post op Day 4


I slept terrible last night and so I've been napping a lot today. Laying flat in my bed caused me increased pain in my back so I took an oxycodone...spent a few hours feeling paranoid and restless so there will be no more of that!! I've set up my wedge pillow on the couch so I will sleep upright until I can phase back into lying flat.

After last night I decided no more oxy, and I've been ok with just ibuprofen and the pain patch. I went for a 2 mile walk in the beautiful fall sun and crisp air. I can't help but feel frustrated and restless, stupid I know, but I selfishly want to be immediately back to my old fitness and work routine. Healing takes time--but the positive is that it happens at a much faster rate after bar removal than after the Nuss! :)

Tomorrow I might go to the gym and try out some weights and resistance.

It was so nice to hear everyone speak so highly of Dr Saxton at Wesley. My OR nurse told me that many of his patients have followed him since he left WI. I myself believe him to be a fantastic surgeon, but it is extremely reassuring to hear not one, but multiple nurses and staff regard him so highly. I have reaped the rewards of having a genuine and talented surgeon who has had my back through every step of this process. My hope is that everyone who is searching for a Nuss surgeon can find someone who is as equally kind as they are talented. Being arrogant and unapproachable really helps no one in the end.




"Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit."--Bernard Williams

My journal: http://www.pectusinfo.com/board/viewthread.php?tid=11088
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Halcyon22
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[*] posted on 11-8-2017 at 03:14 PM
Post op Day 5


Not much new to report today. No news is good news, right?

I was thinking of this recovery in comparison to recovery from the Nuss, and I'd say that one day of Bar removal recovery = one week of Nuss recovery. :)

Still taking 600mg Ibuprofen every 6 hours, but I will decrease to 400mg tomorrow and see how I do. No gym, but a brisk 2 mile walk and lunch out was enough moving about for today.

I was able to finally remove my bandages today. The incisions are healing nicely, and my left side is sporting some rough bruising.

There has been no new signs of settling or regression. I still am obsessively checking in the mirror though...I have to be able to accept that I may fall into the 1% who experience recurrence, but in the end I need to have higher hope that I'm in that other 99%. I must see the forest instead of the one tree. It will drive me insane otherwise!!




"Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit."--Bernard Williams

My journal: http://www.pectusinfo.com/board/viewthread.php?tid=11088
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Halcyon22
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[*] posted on 11-9-2017 at 08:09 PM
Post op Day 6


The board sure is quiet lately.

Today was a good day. I felt more ambitious and overall less achy. I'm taking 400mg Ibuprofen every 6-8 hours.

Got a call from Dr Saxton, checking in to see how I'm doing. He verified that much more chiseling happened on the left side which is why it is so much more sore than the right, also that stabilizer was more medial so he had to work a bit deeper than the right side. Otherwise he was pleased with how everything was progressing.

On a side note--out of curiosity I weighed my hardware--3 lbs!! A nice bit of weight loss :P




"Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit."--Bernard Williams

My journal: http://www.pectusinfo.com/board/viewthread.php?tid=11088
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DaveM
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[*] posted on 11-10-2017 at 08:33 AM


Looking great Halcyon! I wouldn't personally worry too much about a 1cm change. Good to see you are off the Oxy.



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Halcyon22
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[*] posted on 11-10-2017 at 06:58 PM
Post op Day 7


Quote: Originally posted by DaveM  
Looking great Halcyon! I wouldn't personally worry too much about a 1cm change. Good to see you are off the Oxy.


Dave I must have mistyped--I meant to say 2cm. Either way it's not a huge change and I do believe my lower sternum had been overcorrected anyways. Dr S said if any regression is to occur, it typically happens gradually over 1-2 months. So...we'll see what January brings!

I think after another week I'll be feeling pretty great. I don't feel terrible now by any means, but my incisions twinge with certain pulling motions and I haven't felt able to try running yet. I am getting to the point where I'm getting so bored...I'm ready to get back to real life!




"Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit."--Bernard Williams

My journal: http://www.pectusinfo.com/board/viewthread.php?tid=11088
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Halcyon22
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[*] posted on 11-17-2017 at 07:43 PM
2 weeks post op


I somewhat underestimated the length of time to recover from bar removal! I was so used to reading everyone say it was a breeze and feeling good after 2-3 days. Guess I'm just slow...lol. Going back to work this week was entirely exhausting--four 10 hour shifts. I'm taking Ibuprofen still and using the pain patches on my left neck/shoulder blade area since I've had muscle spasms much like after my first surgery. Believe it or not, I've also had a few sharp nerve type pains. Ugh.

I'm feeling a lot of crunching/popping sensations in my left ribcage, again like after the Nuss. It's the calcified scar tissue moving around and settling!

My chest seems to have stayed in position, though it still is changing slightly due to loss of swelling. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!




"Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit."--Bernard Williams

My journal: http://www.pectusinfo.com/board/viewthread.php?tid=11088
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