The following diary entries are taken from an online diary that I kept in the first six weeks following my Nuss surgery. These diaries are a continuation of the Berlin Diaries, are unedited, and appear as I wrote them at the time. I considered editing them so as not to frighten patients considering surgery, but I thought it best to leave them as they were intended – raw and full of emotion. Hopefully, by reading these diaries, you will gain an insight into the difficulty of recovery from the Nuss surgery. However, recovery is a very individual thing. My Pectus was considered severe and I am 42 years old. As a result, my recovery is bound to be slower and more painful than someone who is younger or who has less severe Pectus.

May 31, 2009

Finally, I’m home. Thank God…I think.

The flights (Berlin to Frankfurt and Frankfurt to Bangkok) were generally fine. The metal detector went off at Berlin security. I produced the plastic card that shows I have metal bars implanted in my chest and the guard felt and saw my thoracic brace. I was then asked to follow the security personnel into a small room when they asked me to take off the bandage. They then re-scanned me with the metal detector and, as you might imagine, beep, beep, beep. I pulled up my shirt to show the guys the scars and he seemed kind of satisfied but not before calling in a couple of his buddies for a look. Eventually, they let me proceed. I was, of course, very pleased that my two stainless steel pectus bars had received the attention they so truly deserve.

I sat in the front row of economy for the domestic leg and in business class for the international portion of the journey. If you are flying on a long flight, I suggest you get up every couple of hours or so and do some stretching. If you don’t, you might feel very sore and stiff. Generally, the flights were uneventful. I did have a minor anxiety attack on the international portion of the flight, about 6 hours in. I had an odd feeling that I could not breath properly; and this feeling was coupled with a faster heart rate and a little sweating. I was quite sure it was anxiety-related, so I managed to talk myself out of it. Nonetheless, it was extremely unpleasant while it lasted.

I kept my bandage tight the entire flight. This is recommended. After I landed and was in the car, I took the bandage off for a bit – not recommended. I felt that each time I went over a bump in the road my bars would fall out or somehow dislodge. Of course that is nonsense but the feeling was there. I got home, had a shower and went to see my doctor. He ordered some x-rays, had a look at the scars etc.and asked me to come back on Thursday for an ultrasound. There is no fluid at the moment in my right pleural cavity but some in my left. Need to keep an eye on it later during the week. The technicians doing the x-ray thought their machine had malfunctioned when they saw the pictures. They have never seen an x-ray of someone with bars in their chest! I am a first!

Getting in and out of bed is not fun. I miss the plastic triangle hanging over my bed in Helios. My bed at home is a low bed so getting in and out is tough. I can get into bed but cannot get out unassisted. I hope this gets better very soon. The pain is bad at the moment. I had the Oxycodon for the flight so I was fine in terms of pain. My doctor said he won’t give me anymore oxycodon because it is very addictive and I should avoid it unless the pain is extreme. Of course, I agree with him but scared all the same. I have had some wierd stabbing pains in the chest tonight but they did not last for too long. To be honest, I am frightened being away from Berlin. I felt safe over there because everyone knew what to do if something went wrong. I’m sure everything will be fine, but being away from Berlin one feels strangely alone with the stainless steel bars.

Time for a bowl of home made vegetable soup. No bread, cheese, or meat on the menu. I need to get rid of my gut. I gained one kilo after three weeks in Helios. One kilo – meaning that I lost about 5 kilos of muscle and gained six kilos of fat. Not attractive.

June 1, 2009

I was never great on the incentive spirometer referred to as The Coach. The best I managed in Berlin was 3,250. I am now a little worried. I just did a session and I can only get 2,000 with some difficulty. I am really scared that fluid is building up in my thoracic cavity again. My breathing has become more shallow and more difficult. I cannot take deep breaths.

I might go to the gym tonight to do 20 minutes of light cardio, maybe on a treadmill at a walking speed with a small incline. Today is my three week anniversary of my Nuss surgery and my second day at home. I feel generally okay, aside from the pain. I think I need to do some exercise in an attempt to stave off another puncture – which might need to happen anyway. I really don’t want to be punctured again, especially outside of Helios. I cannot imagine it to be a pleasant experience. How much fluid can you let build up before it gets bad? I had 1,400ml on one side at the second puncture and before the puncture I did not really have any negative physical symptoms. I have not been looking at my chest at all. I shower without really looking at it and then get dressed and apply my thoracic and rib braces. It’s strange, but I do not want to look at it anymore. Clearly, I am still mentally weak.

June 2, 2009

Here are a couple of photographs of my scars. As they heal they seem to be improving from an aesthetic viewpoint. In terms of size, the left scar is 3 inches and the right is 2.5 inches. Quite a lot bigger than I had been led to believe – which was about 2.5 cm (roughly 1 inch). The scars are also quite a lot bigger than the scars of others that I have seen. Perhaps it is because I have two bars? Anyway, I am sure they will lighten and become less noticeable in time (not that anyone is going to see them, though!)

scar
scar2

As you can see, the scars are still a bit scabby. My apologies if I have put you off your breakfast/lunch/dinner! As to additional photos, I’m afraid the result at present is not something that I would like to share with anyone else. I will reconsider once I start to work out but at present I can honestly say that I would not be caught dead with my shirt off. I do look better in t-shirts, though, simply because the dent is gone – so at least that is something to be happy about.

June 2, 2009

I am dying with pain. I cannot sleep. I am going to see my doctor again this morning. I totally regret having surgery. It is not worth it. I do not want to post my pictures at the moment. I am still very saddened by the result. Maybe I am being stupid. Yes, the dent is gone. So, for that, I am thankful.

I just went to my doctor who did another x-ray. My pleural effusion has not worsened since last Sunday so that is good news. I will have another x-ray this coming Sunday to see if there has been any change. I will continue with my breathing exercises in an attempt to clear up the remaining fluid. I managed to get some oral morphine (Kapanol 20mg) for the evenings. This will hopefully help with the pain. The doctor only gave me 10 capsules, but at least I have some opioid analgesic in the house for emergencies.

I am becoming bored with my own negativity. I hate complaining. I am usually a very upbeat and happy person. I might take a break from writing until I have something good to say about surgery. At the moment, I’m likely to scare potential surgical candidates with my negative feelings about the experience. One interesting thing. In addition to the pleural effusion findings, the x-ray result stated “no detectable pectus excavatum” whereas my pre-surgery x-ray said “pectus excavatum”. So, I suppose it is official. I no longer have PE!

June 4, 2009

The medication from my doctor is working better than the medicine I had from Germany. I have some morphine pills but have not needed to take them yet as the other stuff is working okay. I had a great sleep last night – the first good sleep since I have been home. When I was in Berlin I got to 3.250 on the coach. A few days ago I was at 2,000. Yesterday, I am up to 2,500. I plan to get to 4,000 one of these days! I will go for a walk later today and maybe do some light cardio at the gym tonight. I am still bracing my ribs very tightly and will continue to do so for at least 4 months. I will also do the various abdominal exercises as soon as I can. Hopefully I can achieve some improvement to the rib flare on my own. We’ll see.

My feelings of regret are mainly pain related. If I have the pain under control, I don not feel regret at having the surgery, I just feel some disappointment that the results were not as I have hoped – meaning my continued rib flare, the protrusions and undulations on my chest, the fact that the bars stick out under my arms and I can feel them when I walk, the fact that my pecs look wasted etc.

Don’t get me wrong. The hole is gone and I no longer have PE. My chest just doesn’t look good, that’s all. Maybe it will improve over time like many of my friends have told me will be the case. At this stage, I look better in t-shirts, although I look very skinny now. Before I looked much bigger. With the chest I have now, however, I would not take my shirt off in public. I hope that explains my feelings. I am sick of being Mr. Negative.

June 4, 2009

Finally, a few photographs. As you can see, I am now without Pectus Excavatum. I still have a long way to go before I achieve the results I am hoping for, but at least I am starting with a sternum that is in the right place!

beforeafter2

beforeafter1

beforeafter3

Remember, I’m now just a little over three weeks after surgery. Things are still puffy and all over the place. I need time for it to all settle down. Let’s see what happens in 6 to 12 months. At least that’s what I need to keep telling myself.

June 5, 2009

The rib flare is a disappointment. It is worse in person than in the photographs. Sometimes, I think it looks worse now than it did before surgery. Not having it fixed makes everything else look so much worse, I think. I simply cannot imagine how I will ever have a six pack with this rib flare – because the ribs are positioned over the top of the upper abdominal muscles. It’s just so depressing. I will continue to brace and, when I can, do the core abdominal exercises. I still do not have an explanation for why the costal notching did not work. The flaring appeared less when I was in ICU, but slowly came back when I was transferred to the regular ward. As I said earlier, I will give it 12 months and see how I feel about the rib flaring then. If it still really upsets me, I may ask Professor Schaarschmidt to fix it for me prior to having the bars removed – but that would be a very hard decision to make. I don’t know how big an incision would be required for this. Anyway, I plan to leave the bars in for 3 years. The other things will likely improve over time but I guess I will just have to accept the realization, at this late stage in my life, that I may never have the great body that I have always dreamed about. How superficial do I sound?

June 7, 2009

Here are the x-rays I got today from the hospital. My slight pleural effusion has increased a bit so need to check again next Thursday. My doctor said if it increases further I will need to have it drained. I am praying that I do not need to have another puncture!! Me no like! But if I do, not to worry, it’s just part of the recovery process!!

xray

xraylateral

Pretty cool, huh! And they call the procedure minimally invasive. Are they kidding!  No wonder a great deal of pain is associated with this operation. I feel like Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man.

June 8, 2009

I have had three x-rays within one week and am having another on Thursday. The pleural effusion is creeping up a little bit but I am working on it. I am up to 2,500 on the coach again today. I have been doing some stretching today while listening to dance music. I feel very good all of a sudden. I feel like I could do anything today. I know it’s only a feeling and am not going to overdo it. I’m going to the gym tonight to do some light cardio and a little light stretching with my trainer. Tomorrow is my 4 week anniversary of the operation. I may be turning a little corner, both mentally and physically.

I did a very light canter in the living room earlier and I could feel the bars bobbing up and down. I would not dare run at this stage. Although, listening to Madonna earlier today, I was tempted to dance a little while stretching. Nothing too strenuous, mind you. I think the morphine is to blame for my good mood. It has the pain quite nicely under control at present. I have been sleeping very well the last few days. I go to bed with a hot water bottle which I place on my chest for brief periods. It feels nice and I think is helpful.

I’m off to the gym in one hour. I have an appointment with my trainer. I’m a bit nervous to be honest. I look so much thinner than the last time I went there 6-7 weeks ago. Be interesting to see his reaction. I know he is very keen to see my scars and my x-rays. I stopped working out three weeks before surgery and started doing only cardio.

Well, I have just come back from the gym. I did 25 minutes of walking on the treadmill (at an incline of 4.0) and a speed of 4.5, and 15 minutes on a stationary bicycle. I was pretty pleased with myself, despite my puffing and panting. Most people were shocked when they saw me. Not because of my chest not having a hole in it (they probably couldn’t tell anyway), but becuase I looked so much thinner than the last time they saw me about 6-7 weeks ago. My trainer was pretty horrified. He said you’ve got no muscle whatsoever! Also, I noticed quite a few strange looks from some other members who did not know I was having surgery. They must be wondering what the hell is wrong with me.

The first thing my trainer did was to touch my chest. “My God” he said, “the hole is totally gone”. Even though it was a strange experience going back to the gym, especially looking so thin, I caught a glimpse of my chest profile as I was going down the escalators on my way out. Flat, flat, flat. When I got home I had a pretty bad pain in the middle of my sternum and at both incision points. Not sure why because I did not do anything strenuous. I am happy I went to the gym. Tomorrow night I will do 30 minutes on the treadmill and 20 minutes on the bicycle. My breathing is sure to improve and hopefully my remaining pleural effusion will clear up eventually. Before surgery my body fat percentage was 14.3% (not that great, I know). Today I measured it and it was 17.4%. I was a bit surprised given how skinny I look that I had such a high body fat percentage. It’s all on my stomach. Yikes!

June 10, 2009

Yesterday I was having quite a good today. I was generally up and about and the pain was not too uncomfortable. I was feeling quite happy about everything. I went to bed at about midnight. I had settled in quite comfortably into the whole sleeping on my back routine. At 2am I had a very rude and painful awakening, one that I could not have anticipated. I awoke to a severe stabbing pain in my lower right stomach. If I remained completely still it seemed okay, but if I moved at all, or if I tried to inhale even slightly deeply it was agony! I was not expecting a pain in my stomach! Pain in my chest or my sides I can understand. But in my stomach?

It really was excruciating and I have never experienced stomach pain this bad before. I started to wonder what ti was – appendix (please God, no, not now!), some stomach reaction to the Ibuprofen (I have been taking much more than prescribed – up to 2,400 mg per day – but I was prescribed only 800 mg per day), or maybe something to do with the pleural effusion. Anyway, at one stage at about 6am (I had not slept) it got so bad I considered a trip to the emergency room. I tried to calm myself and managed to drift off to sleep until 8am. When I awoke at 8am, I feel a very strange sensation – my breathing seemed very labored, very shallow. This, coupled with the very bad abdominal pain, made me panic. I felt completely breathless and my heart was racing at 120bpm. I took myself to the hospital immediately.

My GP asked me to have another x-ray. As a small aside, the technician, a young guy, asked me to take my shirt off. I was feeling pretty weak so said I couldn’t. He asked me if I was wearing any metal jewelery. I said no. He took the x-rays and then asked me to wait outside while he checked the film. In a couple of minutes, he came out and said he was sorry but we’d have to do the x-rays again. He said, “and this time can you remove the two bars around your chest”!! I look perplexed and he took me back to show me the x-rays, which, of course, showed my two Nuss bars. He said can you please take these bars off so we can do another x-ray. I lifted my shirt and said “I’m sorry, but I can’t do that. The bars are inside my body”. He just looked at me as if I had recently arrived from the planet Helios or something. “Really” he said. “Yes, really”. I showed him my incisions and he just said “Wow”. Interesting exchange.

In any event, my GP said that the fluid had increased again and that he wanted me to see a pulmonary surgeon/specialist right away. I was send off to the pulmonary centre and saw the guy that did my pre-Berlin lung function tests. He remembered me and asked how the operation went. He looked at the x-rays and seemed impressed. He remarked that I had a lot more lung capacity and that my heart was no longer squashed against my spine. Anyway, we checked for a burst appendix. Nada. He said that I had been taking way too much Ibuprofen and that I should stop it immediately and replace it with something else. He prescribed 90mg Arcoxia, 2 times per day.

He also said that I have about 500ml of fluid on both sides and that, combined with my overzealous consumption of Ibuprofen, may have led to by stomach problems. He said that I needed to be drained!! So, I have scheduled my third pleural puncture for this coming Saturday. I told him that my first puncture on May 20th was pain free, but my second on May 28th was like death. He took a look at the wounds on my back and did mention that they still looked rather tender and that the second puncture must have been done quite roughly. He promised to give me extra local anaesthetic for the procedure and assured me that it would not hurt. This guy is an expert at the puncture, so I feel good about that. He also mentioned that he would not be surprised after this puncture if I did not need another one in about two weeks or so. He said we will have to keep a close eye on it but hopefully after this third puncture, the remaining effusions will resolve on their own.

The stomach pain has not gone away, which still troubles me. Every time I take a breath in, I get a stabbing feelin in my lower right abdomen. Hopefully, this will go away soon. It is very disconcerting having this on top of everything else that is going on. Courage and Faith!

June 11, 2009

The abdominal pain has lessened today and been replaced by a worse pain on my right incision. I have not been able to stand up for the last two hours. Every time I try, the pain is so bad I have to lay down again. I have just taken 30mg morphine which I really did not want to do but the pain is unbearable – worse than anything I experienced in Berlin. It’s right where one of the bars is. I have no idea what has made the pain so bad today. I have not twisted my body or anything. I’m sure the bar has not moved but one does wonder where these new and extreme pains come from.

I cannot believe I went to the gym a couple of days ago. There is no way I could do that now. God, this is depressing. Never in my wildest nightmare did I imagine that I would be feeling like this 4 weeks after surgery. I was supposed to go back to work next Monday. I have told them I will need another week. They are ok with that but I think any request for more time after that might start to be a problem. Honestly, I feel like admitting myself to the hospital.

June 13, 2009

I had my right pleural cavity drained this afternoon. This is the third time my pleural effusions have been drained so far – twice in Berlin and now this one in Thailand. I am now 4 and a half weeks post surgery. The amount of fluid drained was just over one litre. The procedure itself wasn’t so painful, but it hurts like hell now, though. Every time I inhale I feel like my lungs are grating against something. It’s a rather unpleasant feeling, I must say. This discomfort will probably last a day or two. Anyway, that’s my Saturday for you. Below, for edification purposes, is a photograph of the fluid taken from my pleural cavity. Apparently, color-wise, it looked good. I trust this photograph does not upset anyone. I am attempting to make my experience as educational for others as possible.

img0142fgv

The procedure itself is called thoracentesis. I am very much hoping that this will be my final drainage. I will need to go back next week to see how much additional fluid has built up. It is likely I will need weekly checks to keep an eye on any increased levels of pleural effusion. Hopefully, any remaining fluid will eventually resolve on its own.

June 14, 2009

Here are two more images taken today for the purposes of showing my continuing rib flare. I think you can see it more clearly in these photographs, as opposed to those I posted last week. In my view, the rib flare appears to be the same now as it was before the surgery. I am now almost 4 weeks post surgery. I am not sure whether the bracing is helping but I will continue to do it for several more months.

june14-2
june14

I feel like a ruined, skinny, undernourished old man, riddled with pain and discomfort. I cannot see a light at the end of this hellish tunnel, not even a sliver of hope. I am trying to call on my reserves of strength but am left wanting. The days seem to run into each other. Days of pain follow each other in pedantic monotony. I want to go back to work but I just can’t do it. If I am off for too much longer, I fear that my job security may be compromised.

The drainage of the pleural effusion yesterday did not help with my mental attitude. It somehow seemed to pull me back towards a darkness I had not experienced since the first days after surgery. I am trying to tell myself, as everyone tells me, that this is all temporary. I hear these words and understand them. Logically, this must be right. Despite this understanding, however, I live with pain every day and the pain is a constant reminder of my frailty. My body is so weak and, I hate to say this, but I feel that my usually very strong mind is slowly being whittled away to something very fragile.

June 23, 2009

I had another x-ray last Saturday and the fluid on my right side is back up to 1,000ml. I told the doctor I’ll only get punctured again if I have bad symptoms. I want to see if the fluid will resolve on its own. The doctor doesn’t seem to think it will, but we’ll see. I went back to work yesterday. It was okay but, unfortunately, it took its toll on me. This morning I was in a lot of pain and generally felt poor. So I stayed home today and have spent most of the day in bed. I might stay home again tomorrow as well. I have been doing some light stretching. It feels okay when I do it but the next day the pain is pretty intense. I will keep doing it, very lightly, nonetheless.

I am still on two 30mg morphine tablets per day at 6 weeks post surgery. This is causing major constipation issues (sorry guys!). I’ll need to reduce the morphine soon, maybe to one a day. Otherwise, I’m doing okay. Thanks to everyone who emailed asking how I was doing.

June 25, 2009

I just did something quite frightening! I was watching Woody Allen’s “Mighty Aphrodite” and about half way through I dozed off (nothing to do with th film, which I liked. I was just tired). Anyway, I woke up with a cramp in my foot. I shot out of bed and quickly stood up in an attempt to alleviate the cramp. For a split second, long enough for me to propel myself out of bed like a bolt of lightning, I completely forgot about my bars. I couldn’t believe it. I had used my chest and stomach muscles to propel myself out of bed. It did not hurt , but now I feel like the bars are sticking out more on the left side. I can actually see them much more easily now. Maybe they were like this but I just didn’t notice before, I’m not sure. They stick out much more on the left than they do on the right. I wasn’t wearing my bandage when this happened so now I’ve put it back on. It’s like my teddy bear.

I have continued to lose weight – except on my stomach! My shoulders are now skin and bone. I am now exactly 10kg lighter than I was a few weeks before surgery. I’m looking forward to exercising again. Professor Schaarschmidt says 6 to 8 weeks post surgery. I’m now 6 weeks, 2 days. There is no way I could exercise now. I cannot see how I could go back to the gym at 8 weeks either. When will I know that I’m ready? I don’t expect to be pain free at the time I go back to the gym. How will I know? My scars are still so red and angry-looking after 6 weeks. I’m not complaining, b*tches – just an observation! Anyway, here I am at 6 weeks post Nuss surgery by the wonderful Professor Schaarschmidt. Hardly, Brad Pitt – but dent free nonetheless!

6weeksa


15 Responses to “The First Six Weeks”


  1. 1 Nik
    October 7, 2009 at 12:58 PM

    Great results, congrats Man. Can’t wait to see further photos 😉

  2. 2 Jacque
    November 2, 2009 at 1:51 PM

    Hi! My BF, 25 yrs old, just had this surgery done, nearly 6 full weeks post-op. I noticed that in your 3 week pictures your right pec muscle looked like it was puckered – sitting on top of your bar, or perhaps that was just the incision? If it was puckered, do you remember how long it was before it fell back into place? His left pec muscle is sitting on top of the stabalizer (which I don’t see in your x-rays, interesteing that they did not use one) and we’ve been looking for ways to bring it down…but haven’t found the right method yet.

    Anyways, your chest looks great! Can’t wait to check out your site more, I’m sure your ‘adventures’ will help us through his recovery!!!! THANK YOU!

  3. November 2, 2009 at 2:04 PM

    Hi Jacque,

    The puckered look of the pecs is caused by the incision. It will slowly get back to normal as the incisions “soften”. This started to happen for me at around 3-4 months. My right pec has still not fully come down to the proper position and I am now 6 months post-surgery. I assume it will continue to improve as time goes on.

    I don’t have any stabalizers. My surgeon, Professor Schaarschmidt, in Berlin does not use stabalizers with his modified Nuss procedure. Instead, he uses pericostal sutures.

  4. 4 Niclas
    December 27, 2009 at 5:44 PM

    Hi,

    I’m your age (42), am pretty slender like yourself and I too have PE although possible little shallower than yours (at least that’s what I keep telling myself 😉

    I’ve tried the vacuum bell treatment but got discouraged as I had other things going on in my life. I can’t have the Nuss surgery because of my job – without going into details I go through ex-ray security several times a day. The extra scrutiny the metal bars inside of me would be too detrimental for my job so there’s just no way.

    I’m writing mainly to tell you that I think you’re one hell of a man for putting yourself through this and even more importantly for sharing your experiences with others.

    I hope your final results will be perfect and frankly I think you’re almost there right now. So basically I wanted to wish you the best in your PE battle and keep sharing your experiences with others.

    Take care,

    Niclas

  5. October 13, 2010 at 3:07 PM

    Hello. Here are several interesting story to read about General Health, ADHD, Heartburn and Sweating.

  6. 6 Kamryn
    April 30, 2011 at 6:20 AM

    Hello,

    I am 19 years old and am thinking about getting the surgery. I have trouble breathing and would like to be able to work out and exercise normally. I am actually excited to get the surgery. I work as a cashier and attend college classes. If I got the surgery, it would be over the summer. I would have to drive to work (10 minute drive) and to a summer class every Tuesday and Thursday (45 minute drive). Do you think this would be possible? I don’t know how long it typically takes actually schedule the surgery, but I would like to try to get it done before classes start. I believe if I got it done soon, I would have about 3 weeks of recovery before I would have to drive to class. Any recommendations? Not sure if you are able to drive after the surgery or not.

    Thanks,
    Kam

  7. 7 Harley Anderson
    August 16, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    Prety good diary!!!!

    Thanks dude you were very helpfull. Im 5week post op and I was a bit depressed about my recovery being so hard. But I can see it is not easy for all of us. Im 33yo and sometimes the pain is still so strong.

    thank you

    Harley

  8. 8 Declan
    January 19, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    I’m a sixteen year old male about eight days post-op from having the Nuss Procedure in Australia. I had two bars inserted due to my fairly sevre pectus. The pain I’m suffering at the moment in horrible; worse than anything i’ve ever experienced prior to this surgery. As for the look, my pectus was around 4cm deep at the worst point (about 1.7 inches or so) however straight after my surgery, much like Pectus Dude, I was unhappy with the result. I too still had the rib flares, the noticeable scarring etc. but it’s beginning to be less obvious now. I hope that when I begin to build up my body again the muscle will grow over these areas causing my chest to look fairly decent. I still havn’t been able to have a full nights sleep, even on huge amounts of painkillers. I have around 12 pillows proping me up while I sleep (or attempt to) and getting up in the morning is the most painful movement I can imagine at my young age. Overall I agree it’s almost impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel at this point. To anyone wondering if they should get this operation I’d recommend seriously researching it before making any kind of decision. While the surgery is a “minor” one the recovery and pain is up there with some of the bad ones. Just ask yourself, if you’re doing this for cosmetic reasons, is going through hell worth the CHANCE of looking normal? (just remember though, i’m barely eight days in, this point of view may change)

  9. 9 Anonymous
    June 6, 2012 at 4:14 AM

    Hi my son is 5 weeks post op, would love to hear an update? Thanks for posting this, you are helpng many. When I read about your regrets I too remember having those just a few weeks ago, and I remember my son going into a type of depression, I had to force him to walk. I don’t know how things will turn out but the ‘unknown’ and pain can be regretful.

  10. June 6, 2012 at 4:16 AM

    Hi my son is 5 weeks post op, would love to hear an update? Thanks for posting this, you are helpng many. When I read about your regrets I too remember having those just a few weeks ago, and I remember my son going into a type of depression, I had to force him to walk. I don’t know how things will turn out but the ‘unknown’ and pain can be regretful.

  11. 11 st
    October 17, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    i am a 47 year old male, and all of my life i have had this sunken chest and only recently did i find out that i have pe…. never knew pe existed… just thought i was screwed up… difficult times, but i am strong and i have achieved much in my personal and professional life. however, i do not like my pe… not at all. i am considering the surgery, but i too am doing much, much research and i will proceed with great caution, balancing pros and cons. not related to pe, i too have suffered sever, chronic nerve pain. related to my c-spine, so unfortunately i know about pain…bad, bad, terrible nerve pain, but this pe recovery scares me. funny thing, some pe patients report great short-term recover and others bad long-term recovery. this i will flush out with my surgeon… what is typical…. what not and why… may not be able to be answered. perhaps a good sign for me… my surgeon stated my pe level is not severe and short in length, fairly easily correctable, but he and i will discuss this further.

    any thoughts ?

  12. 12 Me
    March 15, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Just ran across your old log/diary. I’ve dealt with this my entire life too. I just recently am having breathing difficulties and what appears to be pressure on my heart. Your log is the first unfavorable results (pain wise, and slow healing) that I’ve come across. I’m 36yo and a slow healer myself. I’m hoping you can email me back and let me know how long it actually took you to recover, and if you are pain free at the moment. A bit frightening actually!

  13. 13 Anonymous
    May 8, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    I’m 32 years old and hav huge PE. I’m scared about recovery pain and backbone implications. Sorry for my english.

  14. 14 joe
    February 13, 2015 at 7:39 AM

    Hello, i wanna say thank you for sharing your experience with everyone. I started crying while reading your entries. i had the nuss procedure done 2 weeks ago. the pain is so mind-numbing, the thought of eating a bullet has occurred daily. The hospital drained 800 ml of fluid from my right lung today, that was a new kind of pain, but not as intense as everything else has been. i was asked the same question by the x-ray tech, to remove the bar around my chest. i just looked at him, then lifted my shirt. my surgury was a little more complex then your average nuss. in addition to those incisions on my sides, i have one going down the center of my chest too. also, they put a metal plate on my lower right side, i guess my ribs did not develop all the way. I need to know that it gets better…

  15. 15 Anonymous
    March 15, 2016 at 10:37 PM

    Hi. I am 29, I had the nuss procedure done when I was 16. I remember the pain, the depression, and the fact that it didn’t even work. I still have a severe PE. I had one metal rod in me for about 6 weeks, then I got an infection and they removed it. So, back to square one. The rod did not fully correct the PE anyway, I would have needed at least two of them for the procedure to actually work. I remember feeling so upset and depressed, I just wanted them to remove the damn thing, and the pain was so intense I didn’t even care about aesthetics anymore. I didn’t like the surgeon either, I think he knew he had failed. I don’t want to scare people, but you need to know what you are getting into before you go through such a life changing experience. I remember feeling a metal rod move in my body as I raised my arms. I was under the impression the recovery would not be that bad, and that the results where guaranteed. But they aren’t. That being said. I am considering trying some other type of procedure. But I will definitely do my research this time and think REAL HARD about what I am getting myself into. For those of you currently in the rehabilitation process, don’t worry, the pain and the depression will fade. I know it’s terrible while it lasts, but hang in there, there is light at the end of the tunnel, you will get your body and your mind back.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s




Archives


%d bloggers like this: