Shelly Poluka posted a note for M that says:
I hope you find this site to be helpful. It has been a great source of information to me. Tommys surgery was successful.
I will talk to you soon, I tried calling you a few times. You can call me on my home phone when you have some free time.
Brian Walsh posted a note for M that says:
As usual DVB provides great insight and references. I'm not sure specifically about wire removal, but I believe DVB is pointing you to what is out there. I do know those that have had a couple surgeries and still feel their sternum move like it is not fully healed. Now from the sound of it this may not be your husbands case since it has been quite a few years and it is pretty evident that the wires cause some problems. Possibly see a doctor that does Sternum plates, it might be an option to remove the wires and add plates in to provide the necessary support for the sternum. Just my 2 cents.
In a nutshell, 86% of patients who had wires removed and were available for followup some years later had their pain reduced or eliminated. For 3% it got worse.
The paper does not discuss the safety of wire removal, but the survival curve they present leaves room for there to be a few percent mortality from the procedure. If it is that high, that would be too high for my taste.
If you are thinking having the wires removed you might want to find a specialist who does many, many removals. Ask about their success rate and outcomes and carefully assess the risk vs benefit. The first few entries in my journal discuss how to think about medical risks ("Thinking about mortality risk (how to)": June 16, 2012 and "What survival odds mean to you": June 24, 2012), and a further one ("I was expecting more time with you my love": July 3, 2012) describes how to interpret survival curves. Because the worst case, though unlikely, is pretty bad you might want to weight against wire removal highly.
Consider these talking points for a conversation with your physician.