Chest tightness/numbness/hypersensitivity

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BasinBoy25

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Feb 5, 2020
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Does anyone have experience or the problem of chest tightness and numbness and hypersensitivity all at the same time? I had open heart valve and aorta replacement surgery a month ago and have these odd sensations in my pec (one side is worse than the other). The surgeon's office said that this happens from time to time as the nerves there were nerves that were cut as the sternum was cut open. I was hoping that once the drains and wires were removed and the bandage covering came off the feeling would return to normal--no such luck. Anyone have similar "odd" sensations after surgery? Any help or advice to provide is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

LoveMyBraveHeart

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My fiance had similar sensations. There is still some numbness from time to time and he had his aortic valve re-replaced in August. He would complain for zingers burning for about 8 or so weeks after surgery. He was able to get relief from lidocaine patches (no menthol!) and plain lidocaine cream. I remember after all of his OHS, he would complain of his "titty" hurting :LOL: usually the left side, but occasionally the right as well. They put you in some very unnatural positions in order to access what they need to within your heart, so it's not surprising. He also got gabapentin for his nerve pain after surgery which seemed to help a great bit. Though, the nerve pain was in his leg from an unsuccessful attempt to repair the valve he had placed in December of 2018.

While having the drain tubes and wires removed help dull the acute pressure and pain while in the hospital, nerve pain/healing is a different battle. It takes your body awhile to re-situate tissue back to where it was, or where it will be from here on out.

Speaking from experience with my own surgery, burning, tingling, and zinging, happened at my insicions and also in the tissue surrounding them. Nerves are a funny thing! After about 4 months of healing, the scar tissue was very near fully developed and now I am numb at my incisions.

It sounds like your recovery is going pretty well, congrats on being a month out. Soon it will be all part of your distant memory and you can get on with your life as usual!
 
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gerrychuck

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Keep in mind that nerve regrows at about the same speed as hair, so it can take a while for numbness, etc to resolve after the superficial nerves are cut. The nerve tissue beyond the cut dies, leaving the pathway intact, so it starts regrowing from the cut end, has the find the pathway, and then re-innervates along the pathway as it regrows. Usually the freshly innervated areas are hypersensitive at first, then return to normal, so each area progresses from numb to hypersensitive to normal over the course of the process. Very normal part of post-surgical recovery no matter what part of the body is operated on🙂
 

tom in MO

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Does anyone have experience or the problem of chest tightness and numbness and hypersensitivity all at the same time? I had open heart valve and aorta replacement surgery a month ago and have these odd sensations in my pec (one side is worse than the other). The surgeon's office said that this happens from time to time as the nerves there were nerves that were cut as the sternum was cut open. I was hoping that once the drains and wires were removed and the bandage covering came off the feeling would return to normal--no such luck. Anyone have similar "odd" sensations after surgery? Any help or advice to provide is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
I had similar weird feelings and was told it was "nerves" by the cardiac rehab nurse. They went away slowly. Small sum to pay for continued life. My sternum wires are still in. Some people have had difficulty with the sternum wires and have had them removed.
 

Warrick

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I had a lot of discomfort and pectoral pain with my wires, Ive read somewhere that the electricity in your body may react with the wire being conductive, I had mine out after 12 months and the majority of the pain went away so well worth it!
 

Warrick

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Came across this tonight and thought this was interesting but not for the sqeemish..
Sternal wire removal-

Although I know my wire removal was certainly not a full length procedure like this one, just two small incisions top and bottom, guess depends on the surgeon but its nothing to fear, and mine were removed with an INR of 2.1 I might add.
 
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pellicle

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Good lord. As much as it sucks coming out of anesthesia.... thank god for it.
yep ... so next time you watch a historical movie where sailors are holding a guy down so that they can amputate a gangrene lower limb you'll know what people went through.


Black Sails is a great series if you can stomach some of the violence

Anyway as recently as my wifes grandmothers time people had teeth taken out to prevent death from caries (usually not considered to be directly an issue but I believe endocarditis is the often cause of death from that sort of infection).

The best you could hope for was a drop of oil of cloves

Sometimes doing a degree in a subject (microbiology) one learns some interesting specific history.

One of the things I learned from living in Finland (which saw development arrive historically slower than Sweden or even St Petersberg) was how right I am about how soft we have became so quickly. My own mother grew up on a remote sheep property in the depression (perhaps as bad in rural Australia as the Midwest, but not the dustbowl).

Tell you what ... read Grapes of Wrath.

Best Wishes
 
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Amy

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Tell you what ... read Grapes of Wrath.
I have. I can never forget how they took jobs picking peaches for five cents a box. Worked hard all day and with the dollar they earned and were just able to buy a little, but not enough, food for the whole family for just that night. Aye yi yi. The things humans have gone through.
 

pellicle

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I have. I can never forget how they took jobs picking peaches for five cents a box.
or the mother who's baby was still born and chose to suckle the old man so he'd get another day of living.

We've lost sight of most that's important in our quest for "the easy life"
 

tezza

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Came across this tonight and thought this was interesting but not for the sqeemish..
Sternal wire removal-

Although I know my wire removal was certainly not a full length procedure like this one, just two small incisions top and bottom, guess depends on the surgeon but its nothing to fear, and mine were removed with an INR of 2.1 I might add.
Man, if I had seen that before I had my wires removed, I probably wouldn't have done it! But I only had a couple of bandaids and massive bruising to show for it, so there must be different ways of doing it. So far, this time round, the wires are very flat, and I can't even feel them, so maybe he tried harder to get a neater result, so he didn't have to remove the wires again, lol!
 

pellicle

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But I only had a couple of bandaids and massive bruising to show for it, so there must be different ways of doing it
that's about what I had , and I expect its the same ... nip with side cutters and wrench with pliers.

The longer they're in there the more they are stuck ... see my X-Ray showing previous surgical "leftovers"


notes:
  • what appear to be double images are older wires from my earlier surgery (perhaps the 1974 one)
  • the top two are gone now ... in this case due to infection clearing from post-surgical infection
  • mechanical valve tube casing visible as they are sintered with ratio-opaque material for visualisation.
  • second set of wires (1992) removed because my hobby / sport (Aikido) caused them to pronate and they were pressing noticably against the skin (any strikes there really hurt too).
 

tezza

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that's about what I had , and I expect its the same ... nip with side cutters and wrench with pliers.

The longer they're in there the more they are stuck ... see my X-Ray showing previous surgical "leftovers"


notes:
  • what appear to be double images are older wires from my earlier surgery (perhaps the 1974 one)
  • the top two are gone now ... in this case due to infection clearing from post-surgical infection
  • mechanical valve tube casing visible as they are sintered with ratio-opaque material for visualisation.
  • second set of wires (1992) removed because my hobby / sport (Aikido) caused them to pronate and they were pressing noticably against the skin (any strikes there really hurt too).
I had mine removed about 2 years post surgery...got to the point I couldn't stand the seat belt across them, and anytime they got bumped it became very painful. Because I am so thin, they were quite noticeable lumps. I was surprised that I only had a couple of bandaids afterwards, but the bruising was way worse than the original surgery. But oh boy, what a relief to have them out. Never looked back.
 

pellicle

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got to the point I couldn't stand the seat belt across them, and anytime they got bumped it became very painful.
Same, doing aikido meant I was often getting thumped there.
Also I was told that it's common in active people because the sternum is quite a flexible bone and the wires can work out.

Good riddance I say.

I hope your cognitive stuff is coming back. Mine was a few months.
 

esvaja

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ann arbor michigan
Does anyone have experience or the problem of chest tightness and numbness and hypersensitivity all at the same time? I had open heart valve and aorta replacement surgery a month ago and have these odd sensations in my pec (one side is worse than the other). The surgeon's office said that this happens from time to time as the nerves there were nerves that were cut as the sternum was cut open. I was hoping that once the drains and wires were removed and the bandage covering came off the feeling would return to normal--no such luck. Anyone have similar "odd" sensations after surgery? Any help or advice to provide is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
YES YES YES! Last time I had none of this stuff in 2011. I'm going back to CC this friday with those complaints & about the gosh darn pain & breathlessness.
 

Chuck C

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yep ... so next time you watch a historical movie where sailors are holding a guy down so that they can amputate a gangrene lower limb you'll know what people went through.


Black Sails is a great series if you can stomach some of the violence

Anyway as recently as my wifes grandmothers time people had teeth taken out to prevent death from caries (usually not considered to be directly an issue but I believe endocarditis is the often cause of death from that sort of infection).

The best you could hope for was a drop of oil of cloves

Sometimes doing a degree in a subject (microbiology) one learns some interesting specific history.

One of the things I learned from living in Finland (which saw development arrive historically slower than Sweden or even St Petersberg) was how right I am about how soft we have became so quickly. My own mother grew up on a remote sheep property in the depression (perhaps as bad in rural Australia as the Midwest, but not the dustbowl).

Tell you what ... read Grapes of Wrath.

Best Wishes
It makes one very glad for the incremental advancements in science, which brought us incremental improvements in medical standards of care, that brought us modern anesthesia.

Then there are those who think like this:

"I know a guy, who knows a guy, who read on the internet that his doctor had two patients who went under anesthesia and then had to "come back" and died suddenly. So, he no longer uses anesthesia for any of his patients."

I'll choose modern science and peer reviewed published survival data in making my choices, thank you.
 
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