Pectus Message Boards
Not logged in [Login ]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
Author: Subject: Denv77's PC Journal - Reverse Nuss w/ Prof.Schaarschmidt
Denv77
Contributing Member
***




Posts: 35
Registered: 9-10-2015
Location: South Africa
Member Is Offline


thumbup.gif posted on 12-9-2015 at 10:56 AM
Denv77's PC Journal - Reverse Nuss w/ Prof.Schaarschmidt


Location: South Africa
Age: 22
Sex: Male
Condition: Pectus Carinatum
Symmetry: Assymetrical
Development: From an early age
Haller Index: Unknown
Intervention: Reverse-Nuss, 1 bar

For a bit of my history with PC, and before pics, see: http://www.pectusinfo.com/board/viewthread.php?tid=11551


My girlfriend and I arrived in Berlin 2 days before the scheduled date for surgery. After settling in at our hotel in Pankow, we caught the S-Bahn to Buch, which was about a 10 minute ride away, and then a short final stint on a bus to Helios Klinikum. With a little bit of help from a fellow PDSG forum member, Dean84, we found the children's ward and were advised to return the next day for all of the necessary tests. I had not done any testing back home and hoped everything would be okay for surgery.

I briefly met with Professor Schaar upon arrival the following day. He inspected my chest and gauged its flexibility, confirming that even with the asymmetry, good correction was well probable.

After completing the tests, I stayed overnight at Heliios and was told that I would be first under the knife the following day. When morning came, I was informed that I had yet to go for the Echocardiogram test. At the time I was rooming with a German PC patient and a Polish PE sufferer. The Pole was given his pre-op meds and within about an hour he was whisked off to surgery. I ended up being operated on the following morning after passing the Echo.

I must have been under the knife for just over 2 hours, and woke up around midday on the 9th of July after surgery. Still in a medically induced haze, I woke up with my girlfriend by my side, with pain at a level of about 2. My chest was almost completely numb and felt alien to me. The only sensation that would surface was a burning one along the bar. It was manageable, and within a few hours I had started to reduce the meds being fed through the OnQ pain management device. I was not in any real pain and so opted to turn the OnQ all the way down shortly after surgery, and removed it altogether late the following day. By now, I was starting to feel an extremely frustrating pain in my back. It felt like it was emanating from the point where the OnQ had been inserted between my vertebrae. In the 24 hours after surgery, I had experienced the most vivid and intense dreams of my life. After nodding off each time, I would awake with a huge smile on my face, in total awe of the vividness of my dreams. Slipping so narrowly between my dreamy state and consciousness, some of my dreams turned into conscious pleasant hallucinations.

Dr Schaar paid me a visit the day after surgery, and asked to me to remove my compression garment to reveal my new chest. Although swollen, my chest was now remarkably flat. My goal prior to surgery was to be able to wear a tight-fitting shirt without anyone being able to notice anything odd, and this goal was 100% achieved.

I was in ICU for 3 days in total after surgery before being moved back to the children's ward. The maximum pain I felt while in ICU was at about a 5, and it was short-lived. The pain from surgery was extremely mild and non-existent in comparison to the way my back was feeling. From day 2 after surgery I had experienced terrible back pain, mainly concentrated between my scapulae. I was unable to lie down for more than a few hours, and had to make sure that I was completely exhausted before trying to sleep at night. Even so, I would go to sleep after midnight and awake by 5:00. I was up and walking the corridors with my wheelchair for most of my time in ICU.

Shortly after being released from ICU, I was back in the same room as prior to surgery with the Polish PE sufferer, except now he was PE free. While in ICU, although in different rooms, we had expanded on our initial pre-surgery exchanges and had become friends. His English was good and his accent contributed to his already great sense of humor. He was pessimistic but very humorous at the same time. We shared common interests and he had me in stitches laughing for most of my time at Helios. My Polish friend, joking as he was, complained that his chest was now too flat. He had a background in medicine and suggested that we ditch the Oxycodone supply altogether, pain-allowing of course. After surgery I only took the Oxy twice before flushing my regular supply. The doctors recommended that we ease off of it and not at once. I thought to rather follow the doctor's advice, but decided against it. In hindsight, it was the correct decision. Getting off of the Oxy as soon as possible is a must. My Polish friend was in more post-operative pain than me and continued with his Oxy intake a little longer than I did, and suffered the usual hot flushes, cold sweats, painfully dry metallic tasting mouth and headache.

On day 4 the doctors checked for fluid on the lungs and to our surprise I was all clear with zero fluid. The last two of my drains were removed and I was now fully wireless. Being wireless felt like big progress. It was around day 4 that I started to have random bouts of deep depression, which would come and go, clearly a result of the chemical imbalance in my brain from the drugs.

We were allowed the freedom of the vast grounds at Helios. Helios Klinikum is in a truly beautiful Hogwarts-like setting surrounded by lush forest. Walking the grounds was great as the abundance of fresh oxygen is immediately apparent.

I knew that my time in Berlin was limited, and so on day 5, my girlfriend and I left the grounds and went into Kreuzberg in the centre of Berlin to purchase a few vinyls. The hospital bed was killing my back, I managed to take a glorious nap on the hard hotel bed, and returned to Helios that evening. I reclined my hospital bed to a flat position, and have been sleeping flat on my back ever since. I have always slept on my side and stomach and so sleeping on my back at times has been cumbersome. I place a pillow under my knees which provides more comfort. Lately I have been having hypnic jerks when falling asleep, probably as a result of being uncomfortable and definitely stressed which plays a role. I'm happy to say that the bar in my chest is causing less than 10% of the stress in my life. Being so far away and not really able to afford a trip back to the Professor until bar removal can make me feel a little paranoid, in the case that anything goes wrong,but that is ultimately why I went with Dr Schaar, for the peace of mind that his experience and expertise brings. I only plan on doing light-weight training and low-impact cardio for the duration that the bar is in. I can wait another 2 years before trying to greatly improve my muscle mass.

For pectus patients at Helios, a 10-day stay is part of the course. With permission from Professor Schaarschmidt. I was excused on day 8 as my girlfriend and I had an itinerary to follow and a plane to catch to Munich. We were in Europe and had to make the most of it. After leaving Berlin, we stayed in Munich for 3 nights, Orleans in France for 2 nights, another 2 nights each in Rennes and Paris and finally 5 nights in Amsterdam before returning home. We must have walked close to 100 kilometers in total while sight seeing, which I'm sure did wonders for my recovery.

For the 20 or so days after surgery, pain was always minimal. Discomfort however was constant and only eased when maintaining a perfect posture. At about 3 months post-op, I started to feel a lot better and almost back to some kind of normality, this continued and improved for 5 weeks, after which I was hasty and experimented with sleeping on my right hand side. I woke up inflamed and sore, even at the left stabilizer and made things worse when lifting a stack of Zinc roof sheets the next day for a job we were doing. It has taken just over 2 weeks but I am feeling good again, with minimal discomfort and restriction, now at 5 months into my recovery.

I too have been lurking these forums for years, and must say that the first-hand information and support on offer is priceless. Compared to some of the members on these forums, I have had an easy ride so far. I have huge respect for everyone on these forums, and even more respect for those of you that have had a tough time with recovery. You guys and girls are real troopers for the amount of courage, determination and resilience you seem to possess in leaps and bounds.

A final word of thanks to Dean84 who gave me good advice and assistance when replying to the many emails I have sent to him over the past 9 months. A thanks to my Polish friend who made my stay at Helios a blast, I know you are lurking here too, you have my email address, hit me up to let me know how you are doing! And to everyone else on the forum, keep up the good work! Cheers

After pics are attached:

image1-13.jpg - 97kB IMG_8120.jpg - 106kB IMG_8121.jpg - 98kB IMG_8122.jpg - 97kB IMG_8124.jpg - 102kB im000001-(2).jpg - 102kB
View user's profile View All Posts By User
ecurbliam
Contributing Member
*****




Posts: 402
Registered: 6-19-2010
Location: UK
Member Is Offline

Mood: Enjoying exercise at a higher intensity.Less self conscious with my shirt off.

[*] posted on 12-9-2015 at 11:35 AM


Congratulations Denv , great outcome !
And able to do all that post op sight seeing !!
Hope you have a smooth pain free recovery up to bar removal ;)
Respect to your GF for supporting you all the way .
All the best ;)




Cheers Bruce
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Denv77
Contributing Member
***




Posts: 35
Registered: 9-10-2015
Location: South Africa
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 12-9-2015 at 11:43 PM


Thanks Bruce.

Yes! She is a star. For a few weeks post-op, movement can be quite limited and caution must be exercised, so having my GF around to put on my socks and carry the 25kg bag was vital. I only had to lug around the 15kg bag which was on wheels most of the time.

The same goes for you! You are doing great so far. Wishing you all the best for the rest of your implant term:)
View user's profile View All Posts By User
LondonTim
Contributing Member
*****




Posts: 661
Registered: 12-29-2014
Location: Blighty (The UK)
Member Is Offline

Mood: Determined!

[*] posted on 12-26-2015 at 01:56 AM


That is a great repair. Top work by Prof Schaarschmidt.

How are you doing?




View user's profile View All Posts By User
Denv77
Contributing Member
***




Posts: 35
Registered: 9-10-2015
Location: South Africa
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 2-9-2016 at 05:05 AM


Today is 7 months since surgery in Berlin!

I'm glad to report that I am doing well with no pain or discomfort. Only after doing anything strenuous does the discomfort return. The only thing odd that I can mention, is a clamping feeling on the right hand side where my bar starts to wrap around. It happens a few times a day. It isn't painful. I'm not sure whether it is a nerve that is being compressed, or maybe just a muscle spasming over the bar.

The bar and stabilizers haven't moved one bit. I continue to be cautious, and hope that all will be well until my next update at 12 months :)
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Denv77
Contributing Member
***




Posts: 35
Registered: 9-10-2015
Location: South Africa
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 9-9-2016 at 02:13 AM


I feel like a quick update is due, now 14 months post reverse-Nuss surgery in Berlin.

Time is flying. The only news I have is good news. I never have any pains or aches, unless working out. There is always a bit of soreness around the stabilizers after a workout. Other than that, I must say that I'm impressed. If I'm maintaining a good posture, which is all the time, I can't feel any metal inside of me. I have to twist or bend to feel the hardware.

So, after a hectic surgery life has returned to normal. My zest for life is back! I am grateful and consciously appreciating every second of my good health.

I hope that all of my fellow Pectus people are doing well, wherever you may be on your journey.

View user's profile View All Posts By User

  Go To Top


Powered by XMB 1.9.11
XMB Forum Software © 2001-2011 The XMB Group
[Queries: 17] [PHP: 70.7% - SQL: 29.3%]