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“Sensitive Keloid Scars? Sternal Wire Bumps?” Asks Josh

Posted by Adam Pick on September 5th, 2009

Josh has an interesting set of questions regarding keloid scars and sternal wires.

As you can read below, Josh is specifically looking for help from our blog readers. If you can help him, please leave a comment. Here is what Josh writes:

Hey Adam-

Things are going great 5 months after my aortic valve replacement and ascending aortic graft.  Most of the unpleasant sensations have subsided to a very manageable level. However, I do have an issue that I wanted to ask you and the blog members about…

I have two problem areas on my incision site that I saw my surgeon about today.  First, the bottom of my scar has a fairly large raised keloid (shown below) which is very sensitive to the touch.

Keloid Scar On Open Heart Surgery Incision Of Patient

Second, the top of my scar has a prominent bump that turns out to be part of the sternal wires that were used to fuse the bone that are sticking out.  Most of the time these wires are left in place, but my surgeon said they could do a removal.  He further added that if we were going to remove the wires, he’d have a plastic surgeon consult and help with the re-closure of the incision so as to try to avoid the keloid problem again.

Has anyone had any experiences with one or both of these issues?  My symptoms are not intolerable, but they are fairly uncomfortable.  I’m not looking forward to another surgery, but my understanding is that it’s a fairly simple outpatient procedure.

Thanks and hope all’s well,

Josh

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick A dad, a husband and a patient, Adam Pick founded this website in 2006 to educate you about heart valve surgery from diagnosis to recovery.
You can get the latest updates about heart valve surgery from Adam at his Facebook, and Twitter pages. Click here to email him.

 


Nendie says on September 5th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Hi Josh,

my mum has the keloid scarring. Her doctor is injecting cortisone into it once a month for 6 months to take it down, with advice from a dermatologist. You could run this past your doctor as mum says it has helped a lot with the discomfort.

 


Laura says on September 5th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Give it time. I had the exact same thing a few months back (I had my surgery last Sept. 24), and it’s gone down steadily with no intervention at all. Be patient and it should heal just fine with time.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Laura

 


Bob Collins says on September 5th, 2009 at 7:39 pm

Josh, I had the problem with the wires after surgery. My one year old daughter liked to sit on my chest while I lay on the floor, and jump up and down on my chest. This was three years after my surgery. I visited with my heart surgeon, and he said because the wires were twisted together on the inside of my chest, that it would be a very painful operation to remove them. Because of what he said, I gave up on getting the wires out. I have had them for almost 35 years now, and they still bother me if i get hit lightly on them. But, for the most part, I just learned to live with them.

 


Laurie Collins says on September 5th, 2009 at 11:57 pm

Hypertropic scars are due to an over production of collagen.
I have had 2 surgeries now.I had a minimallly invasive aortic valve replacement in 2006 and an annular enlargement and ascending aortic graft done in April. I have a wide hypertrophic scar from the first surgery and once again my body rejected the sutures and the sternotomy scar is rising as well.
Both the surgeon and cardiologist knew that my body responds that way but they said that was something to be dealt with later. The 3 scars from the drainage tubes are awful.(Both doctors have wives that are plastic surgeons!)
I was told to leave things alone for a year and then a plastic surgeon can remove the scar and inject cortisone into the next to see if it helps. Both doctors told me to wait as the cortisone injections can lead to a sternal infection.
The hypertrophic scar will continue to grow for 9 months and then it will begin to flaten out and eventually it will turn the same color as your skin. You might want to wait until then to see how it looks.The height and redness and pain will eventually subside. I basically look like a victim of a violent crime right now but I am still not sure that I wont just go ahead and live with it. The odds are that my body will respond the same way again even with intervention. I keep thinking that they will find new procedures to use in the future.
I found that the more I protect the scar from irritation the less it grows. I was also told to keep it away from sunlight because sun exposure
will bring on the inflammitory process and will lead to more collagen production.
A dermitologist did give me a cortisone cream that helps to keep the inflamation down if I need it.
I did try the silicone sheeting and it did not make a difference.
I hope this helps. None of what we go through is easy but at least we are back on our feet and moving without being out of breath!

 


Katie says on September 6th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Hi Josh
I have had two small operations to remove the sternal wires. The first one was to remove the top three where the I could also feel the wire through the skin and the second was to remove the bottom three where one of the wires was causing a pain to shoot down my left arm. I should have had all one the first time but I think my surgeon was trying not to open up too much of the scar again.
The operations were small and when I had the second one I didn’t even stay in over night. I was uncomfortable for a short time after that but pain killers helped. I was only off work for a week.
I am pleased that I have had them removed as now I am back exercising and living life the way I would want to. Its hard to go back into hospital but it’s worth it!
Good luck
Katie

 


Sara says on September 6th, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Hi Josh,

I saw your posting and wanted to let you know that I did have an issue with my wires when I had surgery as well. They protruded out for a long period of time and actually hurt when the weather was cold! I had them removed 3 years after surgery………it was a simple procedure, although surgery is never fun! The good news is that the tough surgery is over, this one is pretty simple.

Gool luck!

 


Cindy McGinn says on September 7th, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Hi Josh,

My surgery was 7 months ago and while I don’t have problems with the wires I do have pain from several areas of the scar that have raised a good bit. My dermatologist said to give it a year before considering any type of treatment. She did however suggest I use ‘Mepiform Scar Dressing’ bandages. They are expensive, around $35.00 for the sheet I bought from her. But that one sheet, which I could cut in strips, lasted me 4 weeks. You can wear the bandage for 1 week at a time. It did seem to help a good bit and the scar wasn’t nearly as bothersome when the dressing was on. I’ve been out of it for a few weeks and can tell the difference. I plan on getting some more and wearing it again. Good luck, I hope you find a solution that gives you comfort.

 


Lee Samsel says on September 9th, 2009 at 9:18 am

I have the same scar tisuue issue in the same place at the bottom if the scar it was an open wound on my 1 month visit to my surgen he looked at it probed for wire and did not find anything I also had him look at it on my 3 and 6 month visit he did not seam to think there was a problem. I would like to read any answers you come up with.

 


Bev says on September 10th, 2009 at 10:34 am

Hi Josh,
I had a sternotomy with a mechanical aortic valve replacement 13 months ago. I have had no problem with the wires other than the fact that my scar bothers me a little with weather changes. But, that is something I can live with. However, the bottom of my scar began to Keloid. I was sent to a plastic surgeon. I wore Cordan tape for three months–10 hours a day. Part of the Keloid flattened,but part did not. About 10 days ago, my doctor injected the keloid with cortesione. It is looking betther and beginning to flatten out. I am very pleased with the results. I waited almost 10 months before I sought treatment.

 


Lisa says on September 10th, 2009 at 1:45 pm

I am 9 months post op. I have a small area of keloid at the very top of my scar, which has faded some, the entire scar is sensitive still though. I am very thin and can feel every wire in my sternum and they cause me a lot of discomfort. I spoke with my PCP about having the wires removed and she suggested we try the medication Neurontin first, which is to help with nerve pain. I know of people who have had wires removed and have had great relief, but I do think you have to be a year out from the initial surgery to ensure everything has healed properly.

 


Jessica says on January 10th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

(this comment is the completed one)
Josh,
I had my third sternotomy for a pulmonary artery replacement June of 2008. I have had no problems with keloid scarring, but I did have six bumps that stuck out (my sternal wires) and the bottom sternal wire caused my bone to lump and stick up as well. I had an uncomfortable pain/feeling whenever the weather changed, I picked up heavy things or pushed a mower or vacuum. I also couldn’t comfortably sleep on my side or put any pressure on the bumps. My pain from the sternal wires varied from an achy chest to a burning sensation when I turned wrong or lifted. I have just had my sternal wires taken out Jan 05 and am recovering fairly well. I didn’t even have to stay overnight. I went in at 8am, had surgery at 10am and was out of the hospital by 3pm. I have six little 1/4 to 1/2 inch incisions. They gave me vicodine for the pain that I had to stop using on the night of the 6th due to it making me sick. I’ve been on advil and tylenol and managing well. The pain from sternal wires is annoying enough to do something about, the pain after surgery is more superficial, like the pang of a papercut that hurts immidiately, but not very deeply. Nothing like open heart and the pain of healing from a sternotomy in the first place. I’m very excited to see my new sternum, I know that sounds funny, but being a girl, my scar does affect the way I feel about myself, and having the bumps from the wires didn’t help. My sternum is already smoother, and I’m excited to see it healed.
Jessica

 


jenny perez says on January 13th, 2010 at 1:03 pm

I also have this scar..but the entire scar has formed a keloid..I also experience the pain from the wires and thought it was something to have to live with..So if you are able to get it fixed it would be great if you can share the out come..Because like yourself..it is very uncomfortable to live with and I can’t imagine having to live with this forever..

 


jane meadows says on January 19th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Josh, I had double bypass in October and have developed an Keloid scar at the bottom of my incision. This is very painful and itches. I brought to the attention of my cardioglogist, who ask me to bring to the attention of my medical Dr who ask me to consult with my surgeon. It seemed like I was fighting congress just to get someone to look at it. The Keloid is painful, especially when rising from a sitting position. My job requires sitting at least 10 hrs per day. These Dr’s basically just say live with it. This is causing stress with me not to mention the frustration I feel with the Dr’s. Any suggestions? Does cortizone shots painful and do they really help? Before I had the bypass surgery, I had to have a pacemaker inserted which is really bothersome. I read where some people say I feel like a new person after having heart surgery, but so far I don’t feel any better. I felt better before surgery. What’s wrong with this picture?

 


tommy wilmoth says on January 28th, 2010 at 2:51 pm

I am two yrs. post op. I still have a lump about an inch long. I haven’t had it checked yet, but it is bothersome.

 


curtis says on March 12th, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Hello i had open heart surgery in Dec. of 09. I have been having lots of problems with my wires where they are bout to pop out threw my skin. I went and seen a doctor today and he said I have to go into the hospital on the 18th of March. He said i will have to be in there for a couple of days so they can get my coumiden level back to where its suppose to be. I am a little nervous because im not sure how they will take the wires out. If anyone could tell me how it is done before i go in that would maybe make me feel more comfortable. thank you.

 


Lisa says on March 14th, 2010 at 1:02 am

Curtis, I had my wires removed in December ’09, my OHS was 12/08. I am not on coumadin, so I did not have that worry. The wire removal is a fairly simple surgery. I was put under general anaesthesia, and a few small inscisions were made over the original scar. They just snip the wires pull and pull them out and suture the skin back up. The skin and tissue in the area were sore, but the bone and nerve pain I’d had were gone. I was uncomfortable for a couple of weeks, but I had so much pain from my wires that I felt immediate relief. I was only in the hospital for a few hours for the procedure. I had all of my wires removed and so glad I did. Good luck, I hope this gives you as much relief as I have had.

 


Tony says on March 15th, 2010 at 10:51 am

All,
I was born with mild aortic stenosis in 1979; in 1994 I had an operation to repair the bicuspid valve, which went well. I was 14 at the time so it was a scary time for me back then.

In 2001 I had a MAVR and post surgery the recovery went well, if not a little slow. I was 21 when I had the surgery so I was chomping at the bit to get back to full health.

I had never had a problem with sternal wires apart from when I got knocked or bumped directly on top of one, which can smart a little. Early 2005 I noticed that one of the middle wires had become swollen and tender to touch, this was the start of the wire working it’s way out unfortunately. It took about 3 months and finally whilst at work the wire actually came through the skin and was clearly visible. To be honest when it came out it was much less painful and sore however the wife nearly passed out when i showed her. lol

I contacted my surgeon and they rushed me in the same day, now the procedure it’s self was simple, however due to the warfrin I had to wait three days for my INR to 2.0 so they would let me out and take me off heparin via IV.

Dec 2009 I noticed another wire doing the same as I had seen back in 2005, so rather than wait for the thing to pop out I went to see my surgeon who put me on the waiting list. After a chat with my surgeon we agreed to make this the last of the problematic wires and remove the lot. 5 in total.

Unfortunately another 7 days in hospital waiting for the INR to get low enough to operate and then high enough (thin) enough to leave safely.

All wires out now it feels a lot better I must say.

Happy ticking
Tony

 


Wanda says on March 18th, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Lisa, what kind of surgeon did your wire removal? i can not find one that will remove mine. i had heart bypass 5 yrs ago and my wires are still bothering me.
how long were your wires in?

 


Lisa says on March 18th, 2010 at 10:24 pm

My heart surgeon removed the wires almost one year after my OHS. I have heard of people having them out ten years post op. Best to get in touch with your heart surgeon, if not, it would have to be a cardiothoracic surgeon.

 


Chad says on March 19th, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Hi- I had an ascending aortic aneurysm and valve replacement 14 years ago- And I am just recently noticing pain from my sternum wires- I actually think that one of them has started to protrude from my skin a bit. Not to be gross or anything but I had thought it was a zit on my chest so I tried to pop it-but when all i got was a bloody mess in the shower I knew that something was not right. Which is why I am writing on this website now. I am definitely going to bring this issue up with my doctor next time I see him (in about a week). I had no idea that the wires could cause all of the issues that some of the people on this website are referring to(Ie pain from sitting hunched over a computer for 10 hours a day (Check), numbness (Check) , and trouble sleeping on my chest side (Check). I had thought it was just me – I am sure glad that i found this website tonight

 


Tony says on March 24th, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Chad, one thing i would say is that you need to be so careful with regards to getting any sort of infection in the open wound. When my wire actually popped out that was my main concern. It is a pain in the bum but definitely push your surgeon to take action ASAP.
All the best
Tony
PS: I am now 2 weeks post op (5 wire removed) and for the first time in months have been able to wear my tight cycling jersey without pain from it pushing my skin onto my prominent wire. Anything tight on my chest pre op was just a nightmare.

 


Tony says on March 24th, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Wanda,
My surgeon is a pediatrician but because i was born with aortic stenosis he has followed my progress through my life, so he has always been keen to make sure I have a good standard of living with having the condition from birth.
To be fair apart from managing warfrin my life is normal so far.
Tony

 


Joyce says on April 30th, 2010 at 10:00 pm

I had bypass also. After some months had passed, it felt like the wires were poking me. My doctor went back in and removed them. He told me this is quite common in diabetics, which I am. Since then, no problem except my entire sternal incision is one giant burning, itching keloid. I have had it injected with no results. Sometimes when it is really bad, I put on the cool aloe stuff they sell for sunburn and it gives temporary relief. I had several shoulder surgeries and also formed keloids but none are as bad as the 9 inch one on my chest. Good luck!

 


Karen says on July 1st, 2010 at 7:02 am

Yep, I have a couple of bumps however they don’t hurt. I am almost 10 months out and everything is well healed except for the discoloration on my leg. I kind of like the “bumps” They aren’t visible to others but I feel them. They remind me of how lucky I am to have survived the surgery and the complications. They are a bit weird when my grandchildren lean on them. I think I will keep them. I did buy some temporary tatoos to decorate my scar when I finally decide to expose it with a V neck dress. Life is good.

 


Elizabeth's mom says on July 2nd, 2010 at 5:31 pm

My daughter, Liz, who is now 19 had two open heart surgeries when she was much younger to repair a VSD and then a floppy piece of muscle in her heart. The second surgery happened when she was five- and in the first grade while they were practicing “stop, drop, and roll”, her wire protruded out of the skin. She had several of the wires removed then. She is very skinny and the wires have still been moving and giving her problems. She now feels some pain and we went and had an x-ray yesterday. One of the wires is open and feels like it is sticking out or into her. We don’t know what to do about this- Her keloid scar is till sensitive.

 


Bhavika says on July 14th, 2010 at 7:49 am

H Josh, i had open heart surgery for closure of ASD three years ago, but soon after my scar turned keloid. So i visited a dermatologist who gave me steroid injections..this flattened my scar however left me with bumps wthich I later found out were my sternal wires. I since had these removed which was a simple procedure..but I was told it wasn’t a common procedure after heart surgery – only done if wires were troublesome. I still have a keloid scar, but I guess this is something I’ll have to live with.

 


SkyKing says on August 18th, 2010 at 10:04 pm

I am 5 weeks out of surgery (6XCABG plus Pace maker) and like you Josh, have keloid thing going on in the same place, gonna see the surgeon in 2 days… Im half expecting him to remove the cable there because it initially gave me problems in my incision. The staff was nervous about an infection so they put a PICC line in my bicep and gave me (at home with wife doing it) 1 hour of HEAVY antibiotics through IV, twice per day. Otherwise, Im doing pretty well.

I do experience light headedness lately too… Will have to discuss this with the docs too

Good luck Josh, Im VERY curious to see how they handle yours and will update on mine

 


Jen says on December 12th, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Hi, I had triple bypass 2 1/2 years ago. It took me a year to feel well enough to get back to regular life and start excerising. As I excercised over the past 18 months I have felt burning, tingling, feeling like I was being stabbed with tiny knives all across my chest. Sometimes worse then others until a month ago. I was doing pushups and something “popped”. I crumbled into a ball to let the pain subside. My scar swelled up and was burning. I now can’t use my arms to reach out or lift anything with out the buning, kniving feeling. I went to see my Surgeon and he put me on pain meds and I went for xrays and catscan. I had broken one of my wires and another wire is sticking up and out! I feel like I am being sliced inside on my chest. I also have an area that has not healed properly near the broken wire so it may possibily need to have a plate put over it. My surgeon gave me choices. to remove all wires, to remove the wire that is sticking up, or wait 3 months to see if the pain goes away. I need my life back. I have young children, I need to get back to my life! I have read all the other replies that have been posted. Thanks for posting your experiences. It is helpful to know I am not imaging this pain and that I am not alone in this. I am sorry that you all have had to go through all that you have had to go through! I am so happy you are all well and that technology is there to help us live full lives! I will call my surgeon tomorrow and schedule my surgery to have the wires removed. I am hoping to be feeling better soon! I hope you all are feeling better and living life to the fullest!

 


Lili says on August 25th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Hello,

My husband is going into surgery tomorrow for some external wire removal.

He had open chest surgery about 12 years ago and for the past year he had been complaining about pain in his chest and his shoulders. He went on a diet and lost close to 60 pounds, we then started noticing a lump right over the top of his scar…we also thought it was a pimple so we left it alone…2 months later while working out he felt something pop and this thing we thought was a pimple started to turn green. He finally went to the doctor and they took some x-rays that showed that it was in fact sternal wire. Like I said he has surgery scheduled for tomorrow and we are hoping and praying that everything goes well. It has definitely helped to read all of your posts to have some sort of idea of how this is going to go.

Thanks everyone for the information.

Lili

 


Jen says on August 27th, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Hi, I wrote on this blog 12/10/10. I had my sternal wires removed the end of december 2010! It is now August, I am feeling so much better and never realized how much discomfort they were causing in my day to day life! I am feeling so much better and hope this finds you all well too!!! I thnk it was worth having the wires removed. In my case, one had broken and another had a golfball size abcess around the wire that was sticking up! That was the one that was causing all my pain. I am living my life to the fullest and feeling great!

God Bless and thanks for sharing your stories!!
Jen

 


marsha says on December 1st, 2011 at 11:05 pm

hi this is for the ladies have any of you had any problem wearing bras this causes so much pain and irritates my keloid scar also does anyone have pain under your breasts i had a thymectomy 1-2011 i have sternal wire as well the left side of my chest is so painful please help

 


Jen says on December 2nd, 2011 at 9:24 am

My sternal wires did not hurt from my bra for everyday wear. However I believe my pain came from wearing sports bras and lots of excerising(jogging burpees etc) that pushed my skin against the wires and pulled the wire up so it was sticking out and caused a golfball size abcess. It felt like I was being sliced from the inside and was over a period of 18 months of excerising. From time to time, it was so painful I had to stop in the middle of working out. I though it was breaking threw scar tissue or something.
You could have nerve damage that could be causing your pain. I hope you are feeling better soon. It is aweful having a pain that you can’t get rid of!! Hope it sudsides soon!! Feel Better!

 


marsha says on December 22nd, 2011 at 11:04 pm

hi jen thanks for the info my neuro says my muscle enzymes are to high and i am not strong enough now to even consider having my sternal wires removed he also did mention about nerve damage also thanks keep in touch

 


Bre says on February 9th, 2012 at 1:18 am

I recently had an aortic ascending graft done too and at the very top of my scar I have a resided bump too, any suggestions on what it could be or how to get rid of it?

 


Bre says on February 9th, 2012 at 1:26 am

Raised** bump. I’m 4 weeks out of surgery and I’m only 19 so I want to get rid of it. I also don’t think it’s a keloid bc it isn’t shiny. And does everyone usually get their wires taken out eventually??

 


Sarah says on March 5th, 2012 at 7:01 pm

I was diagnosed with an ASD when I was 9 years old, and had open-heart surgery less than 3 months later. My entire scar formed as a keloid and was incredibly red. The color would not go away. A few years later, when I started to become more self-concious I went to a plastic surgeon and had cortisone injected into the scar. The injections were painful, but SO worth it. After the injections, I had laser treatments every few months to lighten the color. 9 years later my scar is barely noticable. Hope this helps!

 


Sam says on June 18th, 2012 at 3:12 am

I’m experiencing the exact same thing. OWWWW

 


Le'ea Kai says on August 18th, 2012 at 7:57 am

Hello. I had open heart surgery four weeks ago and am experiencing severe pain that starts at the incision on my chest and radiates outward, particularly to and throughout the left side of my chest. I also have intense pain in the area where the chest tubes were, that pain almost never goes away. <3 Doc says it all 'normal' but that's of little to no comfort when enduring it. Of course, I too have a big bump at the top of my incision. Although I am hoping the scar fades with time, I am more concerned with the pain. From reading the posts, I have learned that there's not set timetable for when or even if the pain will leave, or the lump, for that matter. Thanks for all your input; it's been helpful.

 


Karol says on September 26th, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Hi, I had open heart surgery for an ASD (it was 2.7cm) in October 2010. I too had the big bump at the top of my scar and have a keliod the entire lenght of the scar, but it’s worse at the top. The big bump was completely gone after about a year, and almost 2 years on the scar has faded to the point where you have to look closely to see it. There is only about 2 inches of scar that is still hard, raised and quite red. I’ve just started using silicone sheets which should make it softer, flater and paler. I’ve read great reviews about them and have seen the results on another person I’ve met. Hopefully I’ll get a similar result. But most of all, I wanted to say to everyone who has only recently had surgery – just hang in there. It takes about a year to fully recover and another year for your scars to heal and fade.
I also had a hysterectomy 4 years ago, with the same keloid problem, but now the scar is almost undetectable unless you get up pretty close.

 


Darren says on October 22nd, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Hi Josh

I am actually going into hospital this Friday to have all of my wires removed, my heart surgery was 2 years ago and the wires are very prominant, i have been told i will be allowed home the next day.
I will re-post and let you know how it all goes,

 


Linda says on October 31st, 2012 at 8:54 pm

I had my aortic valve and ascending aorta replaced not quite 4 months ago and have developed terrible pain from the wires. Every time I change positions from generally a sitting position it feels like I’m being stabbed with a dagger in the middle of my scar….which is also keloided. I saw my surgeon about it the other day and he said he could surgically remove the wires and that it was a simple procedure. I wanted to think about it, but after reading all of your comments I’m ready to have it done and get rid of the pain. My heart is good and my sternum is healed…it’s time to get rid of the wire pain now. I’ll worry about the keloid later.

 


chris says on November 17th, 2012 at 2:38 am

I do not want to comment but want to know more about the healing of such scars.

 


rosey says on March 23rd, 2013 at 3:41 pm

hi my friend had open heart surgery and he started to get a keloid scar approximately 2 weeks after. but what I think is best sometimes to avoid this is to rest and not go out up and down all over the place. however he has been doing this and the keloid scar has developed it was not there from before the scar was very neat but from running up and down ( being a passenger in someone car etc) he developed the scar so from seeing this site it kind of scares me a lot for him. so I think what is best for everyone is to try and not move around much after surgery and relax and take it easy. Thanks again for everyone comments ive learned a lot from it. I just want the scar to go away i don’t want him to be in pain since he has been in pain since he born from heart problem. i would not like to see any of the wires poking out of him that would scare me and obviously him. my question is does everyone wires bother them after open heart surgery? thanks again :)

 


Audsome says on March 24th, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I had a single bypass on my LAD in 2010 and I now have a Keloid scar that itches me a lot and there is still sensitivity in one area of it (When the area is touched, it feels like electricity running through the left side of my chest). I am still applying pressure over my chest when I cough or sneeze because of the pain I feel during sneezing and coughing. Needless to say I am asthmatic so this type of thing is ongoing. I also feel a pain more to the left of my sternum, below my breast (at times with or without movement). My asthma doctor and cardiologist said the pain has nothing to do with my conditions, and one of them suggested that I see a gastro doctor… have a look in my stomach to see if something else is going on. Not sure that makes sense and so I saw my cardio surgeon and he thinks it could be the sternum wires. I am not sure I want to have him remove the wires; I am confused and a bit concerned as to what is actually going on with my health. Please… can anyone shine some light on the above for me? I would be grateful.

 


Jen says on March 25th, 2013 at 9:13 am

Audsome,
I had triple bypass 5 years ago, then 2 years ago had the worst pain ever in my chest, like knives stabbing me, only after 2 months of begging the doctors to help did I find out that it was my sternal wires! The lowest one had broken and one in the middle was sticking out and was slicing my insides. I had the surgery to remove the wires. They found a goofball size abcess around the wire, causing me tons of pain. The wire removal surgery was SO much easier, especially after bypass surgery!! Go for X-ray to see what your wires are doing! I hope you are able to feel better and find peace and no more pain!!
God bless!!
Jen

 


Linda Johnson says on August 15th, 2013 at 2:26 am

I’m going to have an exposed sternal wire removed tomorrow as an outpatient at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. It’s been a year since my AVR and this just appeared a few weeks ago. It looks like a small staple and thankfully does not cause any pain. Because it is a possible source of infection entry it has to come out, although it does look like a teenage piercing. Not very attractive on a 64 year old grandmother! I hope to be home tomorrow and healing nicely. I’m told all this has occurred because of radiation treatments I had for breast cancer over 40 years ago. Just another example of radiation as the “gift that keeps on giving” so says my surgeon. Radiation treatment helped save my life, but I’m paying for it with the valve disease and now this. But hey, I’m still here!
Linda

 


Veronica says on September 3rd, 2013 at 11:32 pm

my son has the same problem. when he was 15 he got stabbed in the heart and lung by my 12 year old nephew. My son is now 31; he has a wire sticking out of his chest and the jail refuse to remove it. Can this be fatal? Can he get an infection? can the wire cut him or puncture his heart? I need help! I pray that you and my son can have this corrected.

 


tuye says on June 16th, 2014 at 1:58 pm

i had a mitral valve replacement 2013 April 24th, the scar was healing welll till six month after op, than a keloids started on almost the whole scar and mostly at the bottom, My Gp did tried to use those steroid injections but not results. its not as itchy as when i first got it i put vitamin E oil on it to soften it and manage the itching.

i have a lot of the pain mentioned above, the burning in my chest and breast area, not able to sleep on any side, xrays show nothing wrong with my lungs and heart, what scans can be done to check out the wires cause am on pain killers everyday and its not fun anymore.

 

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