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Author: Subject: My PE Pics / Just ordered Vacuum Bell
Scarface1830
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[*] posted on 5-31-2010 at 07:59 PM


Has anyone used the vacuum bell to loosen up the chest before surgery, thereby making the chest a lot more flexible making surgery a lot less painful?

It seems reasonable that having used the vacuum bell for a considerable time, up to surgery day, is a good idea.
Randy
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[*] posted on 5-31-2010 at 08:21 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Scarface1830  
Has anyone used the vacuum bell to loosen up the chest before surgery, thereby making the chest a lot more flexible making surgery a lot less painful?

It seems reasonable that having used the vacuum bell for a considerable time, up to surgery day, is a good idea.


Wish I could say using the VB to decrease post nuss pain was fact, but it is not. Using the VB does not increase rib flexibility, the vB only changes the shape of the rib for a short time. The new shape is not permanent. Keep using it until surgery, it will not hurt any aspect of the Nuss repair.




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Scarface1830
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no.gif posted on 5-31-2010 at 11:55 PM


thanks for the response Randy.

but why is there so much pain after surgery?? Maybe because the chest is made flat in a matter of seconds as opposed to the vacuum bell which takes some time to get the chest gradually flat?

Sounds crazy, but, I think it will be very effective if the vacuum bell is applied a few hours right before surgery, to make the chest flat without receding to its original position. Then the Nuss bar would be easily placed under the already flat chest.

I believe this would make surgery a lot less painful!
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[*] posted on 6-3-2010 at 08:21 AM


Well Scarface 1830, I'm with you.

It does seem intuitive that stretching out the chest, and making it more flexible with the Vac bell could help make surgery a little easier, in selected cases. Some people on this board have found the bell to flex things so well that they've ended up sucking their chests up into carinatum - not permanently of course, but I get what you're saying about lifting the chest somewhat prior to correction, so that the bar doesn't have to do it. The forceful turning of the bar seems like it would injure things more than the rest of the operation.

Dr. Park of Korea is trying to achieve a similar thing with his 'crane technique', described below:

<<< The crane technique is elevating the depressed sternum PRIOR to rotating the bar in order to alleviate the pressure on the bar and hinge points [5]. Briefly the technique employs a wire suturing to the bony tissue on the xiphisternal area or other portion of the sternum as necessary and lifting the wire suture and the sternum by an operating table mounted crane system.....

The crane technique was employed for adult patients to elevate ossified and heavy chests, or for severe depressions of any age to facilitate the procedure (n = 57, 50.9%). >>>

http://ejcts.ctsnetjournals.org/cgi/content/full/34/1/150

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[*] posted on 7-30-2016 at 08:59 AM


7 years later I'm back here :)

I started this thread in 2009 with my old account "ichessblumen". Since then I've been using the vacuum bell excessively and I think the appearance of my chest did improve a bit. I was wearing it for between 15 minutes and 2 hours a day constantly for the last 5 years. I always had it with me no matter if I was in my student dorm room, on vacation, on a semester abroad or at my girlfriend's place.

I attached some recent pictures to compare with the pictures in my initial post from 2009.

Altough the VB did help a bit I am now willing to try and get the nuss surgery again. There are 3 main reasons for that:

1.) My chest still has the typical "messed up" PE look. Even if it will go on to slightly improve over time I don't think I will ever be happy with it.
2.) I don't want to use the VB for the rest of my life. It doesn't feel uncomfortable to wear it but it is very annoying to do it every single day. And every day it reminds me that I have PE. I will never be able to close this chapter of my life and stop thinking of PE every day unless I get a final repair.
3.) I do have discomfort and a feeling of pressure on my chest, especially while sitting. It's getting worse if I don't use the VB for longer than about half a day. It's not really painful but just a very annoying feeling that the sternum starts to push back in.

I am now 29 years old, just gratuated from med school and it feels like now might be the last chance to get the surgery done. Having some medical knowledge helps me understand the risks and possible complications better and also gives me a different view on many of the expeciences people describe on this forum. It actually makes me be more confident about the procedure than when I was reading those reports 7 years ago as a medical laymen.

I will try and make an appointment with Prof. Schaarschmidt again as soon as possible and hope I will have better luck with insurance coverage this time.

IMG_7444.jpeg - 71kB IMG_7446.jpeg - 67kB IMG_7450.jpeg - 88kB IMG_7451.jpeg - 83kB IMG_7452.jpeg - 89kB
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[*] posted on 8-10-2016 at 04:51 AM


Looks like it has improved. Gone from moderate to mild PE. Have you measured the depth of the dent before and after using the vacuum bell?



Nussed 19 years old, November 30th 2007 by Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Schaarschmidt at Helios Klinikum, Berlin-Buch.

Images: http://www.pectusinfo.com/board/viewthread.php?tid=4805#pid3...
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Chris87
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[*] posted on 8-14-2016 at 09:18 AM


No, I didn't measure the depth since my PE is not very deep but very wide. So I think the depth doesn't really tell much about the severity im my case and it's also hard to measure because almost my whole chest is sunken in a bit.

Here's another picture I just took after not using the VB for about 3 weeks. I think this picture shows it better than the ones I posted before. It might also have sunken back in a bit since two week ago.



PEnew.JPG - 75kB
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