“Can My Sternum Wires Cause Chest Pain Two Years After Heart Valve Surgery?” Asks Jake

I just received a very interesting question from Jake about chest pain, sternum wires and heart valve surgery.

Jake writes to me, “Dear Adam – It’s been 2 years since my aortic valve replacement operation. While my heart is doing great, I still have a very sensitive incision. There are spots along my sternum that, if I press on, cause a shot of pain. My chest also hurts if I twist in odd ways. Is it possible that the sternum wires are causing this discomfort. If so, can I get them taken out? Is that a big procedure? Thanks! Jake”

Sternum Wireds On Chest Xray
Xray of Sternum Wires After Open Heart Surgery

While I have my own thoughts on this topic, I wanted to provide Jake an expert opinion. That said, I contacted Dr. Lishan Aklog, the Chief of Cardiovascualr Surgery at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, to learn more.

So you know, Dr. Lishan Aklog has performed over 2,000 cardiac procedures of which more than 60% involved heart valve treatment. Dr. Aklog specializes in mitral valve repair with minimally invasive approaches.

Dr. Lishan Aklog
Dr. Lishan Aklog – Heart Valve Surgeon

Here is Dr. Aklog’s direct response to Jake’s questions…

Dear Jake,

Sorry to hear you are having sternal problems following your valve surgery.  The most important thing is to determine whether your sternum has, in fact, properly healed.  Some patients can have areas where the bone did not fully fuse (“non-union”) and this can lead to pain with motion.  Your surgeon can get a sense of this by carefully examining you but usually a CT scan is helpful to determine whether there are any gaps in healing.

If the bone is fully healed then the pain can simply be related to one or more of your wires.  These can be removed.  It does require surgery, usually a brief general anesthetic, but it is not a big procedure and most patients go home the same day or the next.

Rigid Fixation For Heart Surgery Incisions By Biomet
SternaLock For Sternal Closure

If the bone is not fully healed then the sternum can be reconstructed.  This is a bit more involved but not as much as the original surgery.  We use a system of titanium plates and screws called SternaLock to rigidly put the bone back together.  In fact, we use this system routinely at the time of the original surgery and have found it to decrease pain, improve healing and accelerate the patient’s return to normal activity.

I hope that helps!
Dr. Aklog

Thanks to Jake for his question and a special thanks to Dr. Lishan Aklog for sharing his clinical work with our patient and caregiver community!

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.

To learn how Adam has helped millions of people with heart valve disease, watch Adam's video, subscribe to his free newsletter, or visit his Facebook, or Twitter pages.

  • Lucy

    Wow, i am 1 1/2 years out from surgery, while touching my incision i have no issues, certain movements i feel a twinge. don’t know if its the muscles or what, can’t put my finger on it, i also thought it might be the wires. can’t replicate it though, for me it’s just a certain movement. that being said, at gym i get no pains whatsoever. but just when i am laying in bed and moving around say to read or something i get a zinger and then its gone….hmmm….

  • Rosie

    Hi Jake,
    It took almost a year for my sternum to heal enough for me to sleep in my own bed. I was sleeping in an awkward position on the sofa to keep my sternum from hurting. After almost 3 years I am much better, however if I twist or bend forward to lift something I can be sore for a while, and it has always been sore to the touch. My surgeon told me that some people have a sternum that just never heals completely after open heart surgery. I am a 65 year old woman — mitral valve replacement 3 years ago and am thankful for the replacement, but I think I will always have a sore chest. Good luck to you !!!!!!

  • Roberta

    This is a very timely, post. I am almost 2 years post-op and still experiencing intermittent sternal pain. It seems to be exacerbated when I do yoga or when wearing a seatbelt(chest strap). Some nights When I sleep on my stomach, I can wake up in the middle of the night from a hot jabbing pain coming from the middle of the sternum. When I touch the middle of my sternum I can actually feel a wire touching the skin surface.
    I wonder if there is a chance to get the wires removal via ‘local anaesthetic’ rather than brief general? I don’t relish the idea of being ‘put under’ again.
    Any thoughts?

  • Rosie

    As a follow-up, I feel that some of my discomfort is where the cartilage attaches to the rib bones. When the sternum is spread, all of these things move and they just do not seem to heal completely. It is great hearing from others about this !!!

  • Jane

    I’m just one year out from my Ross procedure and I also have the small spots and sore incision. I tried patches and creams but to no avail. My surgeon said it could take years to heal. There is a name for his condition and he said that there was nothing he could do. However, I would rather live with this than not live at all.

  • Neil Kortie

    Wow, I am just over two years since aortic valve replacement and I too get an occasional zinger or sharp pain and was wondering if it was the wires causing it. I have a fear that a wire will stab me in the heart and kill me. I wonder what the chances of that are? After all these testimonials I guess we are all normal.

  • Dale P.

    I’ll be two years post-op in November, and I, too, have discomfort from my wires. I’ve lost a lot of weight since my surgery (intentionally), and the wires stick out quite a bit now. Not sure if I’m ready for more surgery (or more anesthesia), but it’s good to know that the procedure is not very complicated. And yes, seat belts, and some bras, cause me discomfort, too.

  • Ricky (a female)

    Everything just takes time to heal.You will be okay.I had twitches even 3,4 years later. Just for a second or two ……then okay.Take care everyone…..KEEP TICKIN

  • Bev Newman

    I had an aortic valve replacement (titanium) three years ago, and I still experience twinges of pain at various times. Sometimes it is worse after lifting. When it rains my incision can still feel sensitive to the touch. When I sleep on my stomach to try to silence the noise of the mechanical value which really bothers me especially at night, my sternum hurs. I am also glad to be alive and will put up with the discomfort. I am glad to know that I am not alone in experiencing discomfort at times.

  • Maggie

    Such a timely post. It’s good to hear this can be normal for people a few years out. I am only 6 months out from my aortic valve replacement and I am still quite sore some days…
    Thank you for the post Adam. It’s a great question and good to know I’m not the only one out there.

  • Pamela

    Its been a little over 3 months for me and my incision is still so very tender. I told my Dr. and he said to me remember its only been 3 months but it will get better. Reading all these comments I think it may get better but not ever totally pain free. I too am very grateful to be alive so I guess I will just bite the bullet and find joy in this here journey. Good luck to all of you, Thanks adam for the Blog.

  • Lisa

    I am 2.5 years out from my mitral valve repair and had pretty severe pain from my sternal wires. I had all of them removed about a year after my OHS. I am very glad I did it, although I do still have some aches and pains in my sternum with lots of exertion or with weather changes, this is common for most broken bones. I did have to have a CT scan prior to ensure my sternum had healed correctly and it had. I was also interested in something less than general anaesthesia and was told “you absolutely do not want to be awake while we yank wires out of your chest.” I do understand that the procedure can be a bit brutal as the bone can grow around the wire. I would encourage people who are having a lot of pain to inquire about the procedure, but some aches and pains are to be expected due to the chest trauma we have been through. I was only in the hospital for a few hours for the procedure (the surgery itself was about an hour), I was pretty sore for about 2 weeks, but the overwhelming pain I’d had from the wires was gone when I woke from anaesthesia. I only took a couple of days off off work. I hope my experience helps, best wishes.

  • Tracy

    Because of sharp pains in sternum 6 months post-surgery, I had the middle 4 wires removed in day surgery (general anesthesia). It was super easy–1/2 hour surgery, wake up, lunch, and home–and it worked completely. (I asked about local, and the anesthesiologist basically said it kind of requires a lot of physical work to get the wires out, so it sounds like it would be too unnerving for the patient.) When the wires are the problem, getting them out is a big relief.

  • Mary Ferraro

    Almost 3 years after MV repair and I feel great and grateful . . .but my sternum is annoying. It makes me feel better just to know that others are having the same experiences and that there are options for us. Thanks to you all and to Adam and to Dr. Aklog.

  • Michelle C.

    Hi there

    I had a mitral valve repair in December and when speaking to my cardiologist, he said while the day to day pain will subside in my chest within months, there will be times when I move just right that it will hurt. He said 15 years from now that I could be twisting to put my seat belt on and it could hurt. I know that even now…..almost 9 months later I still have pain every once in awhile in my incision and the muscles. I sometimes forget that they cut through all of that. 🙂

    I am so incredibly blessed and grateful to have had my mitral valve repaired and I feel AMAZING!!!

  • donna lakey

    I have had a mitral valve replaced 22 years ago and i still get small twinges on my chest bone and i still hate the noise of my valve ticking but it is a small price to pay to be alive.To day my mother in law has just undergone the same surgery only on her aortic valve and she is the ripe old age of 88 years and is recovering in the ICU .

  • Ricky (a female)

    RE: Donna L…….WOW…..88 years old ,to go through such surgery
    is amazing!!!!!!May God bless her,so she has MANY MANY MORE HEALTHY
    ,HAPPY YEARS!!!! For you also.I am almost 9 years post Mitro valve
    replacement.I also tick ……My saying is,”I took a licking and
    keep on ticking.”

  • J

    I am in the health care field and i work with surgeons who use the titanium plates and i can tell you from hundreds of patient reports that the plates definitely make a difference in postoperative pain. I have been working as a nurse in cardiac surgery for 11 years now and i continue to be shocked and relieved that we have lots of patients who never require one pain pill after discharge. The patients who do require meds are usually on them for only a week or 2.
    To all of you who have had surgery, great job with your recoveries and keep on ticking.

  • BW

    It’s been just over 5 mths since my Aortic valve replacement and my sternum is still sore and can be painful if I push on it or sometimes when I try to lie on my stomach. Tough to get comfortable some nights. I’m overall very happy with my recovery and have returned to most of my normal activities by now – though weight lifting will take some more time. It’s very helpful to know that I can expect some discomfort for the foreseeable future and that what I feel is within the norm. Best of luck to everyone with your recovery.

  • Ricky (a female)

    Hi BW,I just saw your comment.Did you get a ”heart” pillow for your recovery?? If not,I was just thinking,if you get a TRAVEL size pillow(small version) of a poly filled pillow.That might help with your sleeping discomfort. You should also use it in the car,next to your chest with the seat belt over the pillow.It will protect your sternum.Use it when you cough also.KEEP TICKIN…….

  • oswald menezes

    Its been 2 months since my AVR (Mechanical, model 19, St judes). From past few 4 days I feel little dizziness. my heart beat is below 80 and BP around 135/85. Is some body is experiencing the feeling of dizziness after AVR?. Please share

  • grace

    I had mitre valve replacement in 2004 and then just 3 months ago had to have it done again as tissue was keeping it from working. The tissue grew around it. Went to the E.R. with heart failure. It was 4 days later I had the surgery. I am in extreme pain, in my sternum and in my back right at the bra fastening. It goes right from the front to the back. I have been in pain all this time. I have been taking pain pills, the doctor has me on fentanyl patch 50. I can not pick up anything I drop as it feels like my muscles are falling out, extreme pain that causes me to cry. When I wake up in the morning it is hard for me to breathe. I try to take deep breaths and that hurts me also, finally I get back to normal breathing, Doctor is sending me to pain management and see if they can help me. Any suggestions?

  • Dale P.

    Oswald, are you taking beta blockers? I took them for several weeks after my surgery, and experienced the same thing. The medication keeps your blood pressure nice and low, but if you’re like me and already have fairly low blood pressure, it can be a bit much. Hence the dizziness.

  • virginia A

    my husband had an aeortic valve replaced 27 years ago he was 24. He has lead an amazingly active life playing sport and working on our farm. He had quite a few times when the wires would poke through his skin and he would need to have them cut off. The last time would be about 10 years ago. It was always his dream to scuba dive and about 4 years ago our kids bought him diving lessons, he passed the medical and now goes diving most weekends winter and summer. I used to worry every day when he went to work on the farm that it could be his last but now i wonder if he will out live me! He has had some scrapes over the years once he was hit in the back by a boulder when he was mustering and of course the bruising was dreadful and of course you need to be careful of any infections and some of his work means the risk is high, but so far he has escaped serious harm. For all of you out there with a new heart valve this is your chance to live life to the full. Before his heart valve he was weak and found life hard going, as a child he had never been able to participate in sport or high stress activities. Getting his new valve was like a new life for him and believe me he has never looked back. Riding motorbikes on and off road, playing rugby, and his farming have kept him healthy and happy. Good luck to you all.

  • laurence d

    i had a 5-artery by-pass in 2005. the stitches all failed and i had titanium strips put in me in 2007. i have a lot of pain in my right chest sternum area. x-rays showed the plates as well as all the wires that were left. do they not remove the broken wire stitches before putting in the plates? i also have a little “itchy spot ” in my right chest wall that causes me to cough a lot. anybody else have this problem

  • Doug

    My son is a 20 yo who underwent aortic valve replacement 5 days ago. He has seen a funny light in his vision lasting just a second for past few days. Has anyone experienced that? Thanks, Doug

  • lyzbeth

    I have just read all the post and am feeling such relief,It proves sharing your experience does help others I felt so alone not wanting to say I’m still hurting I thought it was just me. I had Aortic valve replacement 5 months ago and am still having a lot of discomfort, the worse is first thing in the morning when I wake up, turning over is not at all easy anymore , on the upside I to am so grateful to be alive and to be given a second chance. At the moment I’m half way through cardiac rehab, not having any trouble with it so far, it has also given me some confidence back. Thank you, keep it up everyone and take care.

  • Fran

    I too, had lights, spots, etc with my vision for a few months after surgery and it did clear up. Having followed many journals before and after my mitral and tricuspid valve surgery last year, I quickly realized this was “the norm” for many of us. Mention it to the cardio and then relax and wait it out.

  • Dale P.

    Doug, I had a number of things like that, including a couple of times when I saw things in “negative” mode (that is, everything looked like it would in a photographic negative). I hope he’s over all of this soon. It’s worth talking to the doctor about, no matter what.

  • Jonathan

    It has been 19yrs since my last surgery. I am 29yrs old and have had 3 open-heart surgeries. Nearly all of the wires within my sternum aren’t connected anymore. In a recent X-ray picture, my chest looks like a christmas tree with the wires of ornaments hanging, without the ornaments. Arthritis has built up in my chest over the past 4 years. During stress and cold weather, my chest, especially the left side, is swollen. The pain is often excruciating. Nonetheless, I have been told by a few cardiologists that there is nothing that can really be done to help.

  • Shannon

    I can relate to a lot of you. My heart surgery 2 years ago. I have had pain ever since. After 9 months of very severe pain I had 3 wires removed. This gave me around 6 weeks of relief. I have seen several doctors and physical therapists and my pain still controls my life. It hurts when I cook, drive, get out of bed, I can’t sleep and have been prescribed more drugs than I can count. When my chest gets inflammation the pain is excruciating, usually once a month. I feel comforted that I am not alone. I am 41yrs old and I am determined to find a way to control my pain and return to a life without pain. Please share if you have something that works.

  • Heather

    I recently came across this post searching for some unanswered questions. I am only 22 years old and have had 3 open heart surgeries. In November 2012 I will be 2 years post op of my pulmonary valve replacement. In august of 2011 I had surgery to remove sternal wires because I had several wires free floating thru my chest. Now, it has come to my attention by numerous doctors I have a dissinegrating chest wall. I have days when I can’t get out of bed it hurts so bad. This is incovenient because i am a single mother to a two year old. I recently moved to Arizona and still have not found a cardiologist. At one point it was discussed to reconstruct my chest wall. I am trying to find some answers for relief. I would like to get in contact with the doctor mentioned above….could someone help?

  • Sandy Sebring

    I had Aortic valve replacement and mitral valve repair in March. I have had two hospitalizations for breathing problems. I have had this problem since surgery. I also could not get rid of any pressure in my diaphram area so I stuck my finger down my throat for 2 months just so I could burp. It seems better now but sometimes I feel that pressure and want to stick my finger down my throat to relieve it but the doctors said I could cause aspiration pneumonia. I also have the pain in the left side of my chest that feels like a muscle. My sternum bone sticks out some in my incision. I appreciate everyone’s comments and makes me feel better about the pain knowing that’s normal.. What I need to know is if anyone has experienced the breathing problems. I still cannot walk for a distance without having to stop and take deep breaths. I am on a steroid inhaler but it gives my heart extra beats. I have a rescue inhaler if I need it. It has stymied “ALL” my doctors, especially the burping problem to relieve presssure. Thanks for any comments.

  • Shirley

    Sandy: It has been two years since my aortic valve was replaced. I seemed fine but a year after I have breathing problems and it seems like a pressure on my chest and into my stomach. I have asthma and also when I twisted I had a pain that went down through my whole scar. I also had my gallbladder out and a pacemaker after the AVR. Don’t know if this is asthma, something with the sternum, reflux, stomach or the valve failing after only two years, or maybe even anxiety over having to take time off work. I do have a “harsh” murmur but then I had one two weeks after surgery. My doctor said the surgeon put in the largest valve available but it was not enough (apparently women need larger valves)and that my gradient is high but he was not worried about that because the size of the valve probably did not allow the valve to seal as tight as they would like. He also said there are a lot of people who undergo two and three aortic valve replacements. I had a good experience and no pain with this replacement, mostly I worry about the financial aspect of it. Did they do any tests on your valve, like an echocardiogram to look at that. I guess we are at a point where we will have these little problems pop up.

  • Sandy

    Thanks Shirley. It sounds alot like me and my breathing and burping problems. It will be 5 months since my surgery this week. Finally my breathing has gotten normal. At least I’m able to walk a distance without having the wall hold me up. I don’t use my steroid inhaler anymore because I didn’t like the way I felt. But it probably did it’s job in clearing up the inflamation in my lungs. I haven’t had to use the other inhaler in awhile. I still have pressure in my gut sometimes, but usually I can relieve it by burping normally. There have been a few times when I have had to stick my finger down my throat to get the burp up, but it is less frequent than before. My sternum feels sore when I press on the middle but at least it doesn’t hurt when breathing. I may have a couple of wires that stick once in awhile, but it’s something I can live with. So….I guess things eventually get better and some we just have to put up with. And I don’t have full blown asthma..thank goodness. But I do have the inhaler to open me up if I breathe in polluted air or smoke. I hope your problems will clear up also. The breathing and pressure can be really annoying. Good luck!

  • Martha

    I had my wires removed a little over a year after AVR. What a difference! Now I can twist and bend and lift things without any discomfort. The procedure was a piece of cake – home the same day and very little pain which only lasted a day or so. I am so glad that I did it. If the sternum has healed, the wires are serving no purpose.

  • Ken

    I am having my aoritic valve replaced Aug 14, 2012. After reading the above, I decided to withdraw from an optional research program to donate sternum bone marrow, which is extracted via multiple holes punched in the sternum to extract marrow samples with some sort of suction hypodermic instrument. One of the risks mentioned in the research paper is delayed healing and bleeding. After the marrow is withdrawn then the sternum is cut and the operation precedes. I’m 75 and am told I have osteopenia. Thanks for this insite. Just one less worry that I can’t blame for future pain.

  • Kay Blanks

    It is Now Sept 17, 2012, I had triple bypass and aorta valve replacement on May 14, 2012. I feel I have had a great recovery. At this time, however, I am experiencing some pain on the inside of my right breast/ sternum area. I have large breasts and the weight is a problem with this sudden discomfort, even though I have worn a sports bra 24/7 as my heart surgeon recommended, I am faithful tin doing this. Becoming concerned with this newest pain I am concerned, as I am to return to rehab and finish my classes. I don\’t want to risk creating more of a problem with the unexplained pain. I feel I need to check with my surgeon before I get back into rehab.

    Regarding the recliner usage after surgery, it did not work well for me, because of pulling the handle to raise and lower the legs. It was straining aggravated my chest area. I thought it would be a good idea, but it didn\’t work for me. I also, as the others have mentioned here had a horrible time for the first 6 weeks plus in getting up and down in a laying position, especially on my back. My bed was too high, and once I tried using the step to get up, which turned into a fiasco, as I had 3 incisions on the inside thigh of my left leg, one was right in the bend of my knee. It was swollen and tight, and i still had a drain bag strapped to my calf for two weeks when I returned home. I about killed myself getting into my bed and then out ONE time. Finally I found that the best place for me, a sofa that was lower to the floor. I took my husband\’s belt and wound it through a metal part of the table which was very sturdy and I would use the belt to hold onto then pull myself slowly to get my feet on the floor. What did happen from the results of all of that was my breasts (both) became extremely sore, which I thought this would last forever, but finally subsided. They were almost as painful as the sternum when I had to lay flat or rise from the flat position. WOW!

    Before I entered the hospital I asked my surgeon if he would give me a prescription for a hospital bed to put into my den. He didn\’t think I would need it, but I feel now that he was afraid I would lay too long and not move around as he wanted. I later told him of my nightmare of the raising up and down and again explained I should have had the hospital bed. He said it sounded like a very good idea! 😉

    I had a lot to say, and I do hope it will help someone else before surgery. It is best to have everything you need and have your little \”hospital area\” all together, as it just aids in your healing and comfort. You are not able to gather or fend for yourself for many weeks after you are home.

  • Frank

    I have not read anything that can match my experience. I had arotic valve replacement 12 years ago and mine has never stopped hurting. Two weeks after surgery everything was fine and I think I over did it one day and it starting hurting. The doctor said it would go away – obvious by my post it has not. I have a sharp pain at the very base of my sternum. It hurts EVERY day. I have seen a few doctors who said it was scar tissue. I am going to the doctor again but the problem is trying to figure out what kind of doctor to see. As a side note – the heart is doing great.

  • frank

    I had my aortic valve replaced (mech St. Judes) and my ascending aorta repaired(aneurysm) Apr 28, 2010 (my 70th birthday). The only wires I can recall were removed before I left the hospital. I never had any sternum pain. I ask if my sternum was wired. I wasd told that I was glued. I golf 3 or 4 days a week and walk 9 holes and ride 9 holes. The only problem I have is pain in both shoulders . I don’t think the pain is from the surgery. I am sorry to hear about so many wire problems. I am not sure if I am wired or not.

  • Tina

    I had an AVR and Aortic root replacement in August 2009. I was 48 years old. Just started getting a little discomfort in the base of my sternum. Not too bad though. Well worth the price for still being around to post this comment. I too had lots of problems with my eyes for about two years. Sparkly circles and Grey outs in my right eye. Seems to be much fewer and far between now but still happens every now and then. I can feel my wires but they dont cause me any problems. My scar is practically invisible. I can thank the Bio Oil for that. My cardiac rehab nurse recommended me to use it ASAP after my surgery. I was back at work after 6 months and I must say that I am enjoying life to the full. Only downside is taking warfarin for the rest of my life and not being able to enjoy a drink any more. Just 2 units a day allowed, hardly worth it so dont bother LOL. Hope you all feel better soon. Keep Tickin. I dont really hear my valve ticking any more unless I wake in the night and its very quiet. My surgeon said I would get used to the tick, and I have. Thank goodness because it drove me nearly mad for the first year.

  • John

    I had my surgery May 29 2012 and for the most part I am doing well. My chest is still very sore along the incision and I have pain at times because the chest muscles still hurt. Part of my chest is also numb. I thought I would be in less pain at this stage of recovery. Is there something I should be doing to expedite this recovery?

  • TeflonDiva

    All of you have made me feel so much better! I was born with a heart defect and have had 3 open heart surgeries (two pulmonary valve and an aortic valve replacement). They used titanium plates in the last surgery and although I have healed well, I get a pain almost like a cramp or something when I move in a certain position. I was worried because I want to start yoga and I was wondering if its prevented anyone from doing that.

  • chris

    My 19 year old daughter is 3 months post op open heart surgery gor an ASD. The surgery was done horizontally under both breasts, a bit like a cat smile. She is experiencing the most horrendous pain, that leaves her in floods of tears. Spoke to the GP last week who thought she was having a PE (!) and sent her straight to A & E.Needless to say, she sat there for 5 hours for nothing. Chest x ray clear, ECG showed arythmias, and bloods showed no infection, but I am concerned she now either has an infection, or it is the wires, or the ribcage has moved. She feels the pain across her sternum, shoulders and neck, and when she has a palpitation, it hurts. She is sobbing. She has a 1 year old, and is so distraught but no one seems to take her seriously.

  • shannon koob

    Chris, sorry to hear of your daughters pain. I have experienced that hit the floor, crippling, pain that makes u cry for three years now. I understand! I had 3 wires removed 2 yrs ago and am having the last 3 taken out on Thursday. I am praying this will take the pain away. Please give ur daughter lots of support, she will need it.

  • Cindy

    I had an aortic valve replacement in Sept 2012. I have been recovering and went back to work in January 2013. I have pain about two times a month, that knocks me to my knees. It is chest pain, but the cardiologists says it has to be related to a disk in my neck. My heart is in better shape than it ever has been, but I am tired very easy now, and I don’t know if it is still part of the recovery or something else going on now. It feels like a heart attack because it travels down my left arm, or radiates into my back. Does anyone else out there have this issue? And if so, what has your doctor said about it?

  • D, Pacheco

    I am 46 yrs old, 6 months ago I had 6 artery bypass surgery. Everything went well, but I feel sharp pain like a stabbing pain in my chest, was told it was the nerves healing. Has anyone felt the same, and what do you do to help with the pain….

  • Pat Lemieux

    I just had valve replacement 3 months ago. and I still get this wierd feeling like my breast is being pulled. anyone else get this or am I just wierd

  • chris

    Hi, chris again, daughter had open heart surgery for a large ASD. It has now been diagnosed as Acute Dresslers syndrome, nothing to do with rib cage apparently. They didn’t tell us about Dresslers. 5 admissions to hospital in 6 months with pericarditis and on Morphine, colchicine and 2400mgs, yes you read that right a day for a month! They do not know when it will stop. Before you consider the surgery, please read about Dresslers!!!!!!!

  • Shelley

    I had open heart surgery a month and a half ago and am feeling lots of pain on my incision. I can barely wear a shirt. My energy and strength are returning, but the discomfort is intense. Any suggestions?

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