Sternal Wire Removal?

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Homeskillet

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I am considering getting my sternal wires removed since they bother me at the top of my sternum. How painful was that for those of you that have had it done, and how long was your recovery?

I would imagine that they have to put you under general anesthesia, which, for me, means a catheter since anytime I have ANY general anesthesia I cannot urinate for 3 days at a minimum.

Your thoughts?

Thank you in advance!
 

Warrick

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Yes its a general but I dont think it takes very long, like half an hr,
it was instant relief for me, incisions top and bottom, back to work the next day
 

Agian

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Warrick;n885929 said:
Yes its a general but I dont think it takes very long, like half an hr,
it was instant relief for me, incisions top and bottom, back to work the next day
Is the anaesthetic half an hour, or the procedure itself?
 

honeybunny

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I had a knotted wire removed as an outpatient, local anesthesia, that took maybe two minutes. It had not broken through the skin but was protruding and unsightly. 1-1/2 years later, I have another one but have not gone back because the first one cost $750. The protrusion is annoying but not $750 worth of annoying.
 

DanielB

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One of my wires hurt me from the start and I got immediate relief after they were removed. Mine was done with general anesthesia as an outpaient procedure which, as I recall, had me in first thing in the morning and home by the afternoon.. The recovery was mostly waiting for the incision to heal, so I was back to normal activities in a few days.
 

pellicle

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honeybunny;n885932 said:
I have another one but have not gone back because the first one cost $750. The protrusion is annoying but not $750 worth of annoying.
was that because you didn't have "health care"
 

Homeskillet

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Whew! Very relieving. Thank you for every response.

Kind of odd that this would pop up after a year & 6 mos. post-op. But, the wires are definitely becoming quite the issue. I can feel them just under the skin - esp. at the top of the sternum. I would surmise that removal of the wires would make another OHS a bit easier on the surgeon.

On another note, one thing that infuriates me is that they left my pacer wires in, which thus prevents me from being able to have an MRI should I ever need one. But, they were afraid to pull them out of my heart being on Coumadin (don’t ask me?).

Thank you again. I put a call in to my surgeon’s nurse to get the ball rolling.
 

tom in MO

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Homeskillet;n885945 said:
...I would surmise that removal of the wires would make another OHS a bit easier on the surgeon.

On another note, one thing that infuriates me is that they left my pacer wires in, which thus prevents me from being able to have an MRI should I ever need one. But, they were afraid to pull them out of my heart being on Coumadin (don’t ask me?).

Thank you again. I put a call in to my surgeon’s nurse to get the ball rolling.
Per making it "easier" I've been told that when they open you up for another OHS, the wires can be readily clipped and removed with no problem.

I am surprised they didn't remove the pace maker wires. For me, mine were removed when I was on warfarin before I left the hospital. It was an easy simple job that felt kind of unusual, not often you "feel your heart" directly as you watch an intern pull a wire out of your chest. There was no blood or risk of injury, so I'm not sure why being on warfarin would be a problem.
 

honeybunny

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If I remember correctly, I believe it was the full cost. Local anethesia, then literally 2 minutes to clip the know and maybe another 2 to put in a couple of stitches.
 

pellicle

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Hi

tom in MO;n885985 said:
Per making it "easier" I've been told that when they open you up for another OHS, the wires can be readily clipped and removed with no problem.
I guess that this would depend on how long its been since you were opened up ... the body tends to grow over things, for instance my wires from my 1992 operation were simply cut through because ripping them out would do more damage. Here is an X-Ray of mine showing them still there.

What appears to be double images is in fact my old wires

[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","height":"1024","width":"561","src":"https:\/\/c2.staticflickr.com\/8\/7251\/8168266981_d63a28c4ee_b.jpg"}[/IMG2]

In particular the bottom one (where half is left behind) and the second bottom too ... some wires are simply double (because my surgeon is like that).

So as many posters here are old when they have their first surgery (not less than 30 like say, Superman, RyanVS, me ...) they tend to think only in this light; NB first surgery at >50 yo, and probably one redo due to SVD.



I am surprised they didn't remove the pace maker wires.
I recall another poster here has said that when they went to remove them that they seemed stuck and retracted back in. As I understand it pacemaker wires are left lying around in you after the next pace maker is fitted.

Indeed if you look around my x-ray you'll see an amount of junk lying around (well and the valve) which are additional sources of harbor for infection on later surgeries (I hope you don't get to know about this in detail)

There was no blood or risk of injury, so I'm not sure why being on warfarin would be a problem.
because they were removed early before any tissue attached to it ... the body grows tight around stuff inside, like ivy to a wall. Also, when the sternal wires are removed they are simply nipped at the twisted point with side cutters and pulled through. Go get a bit of wire of similar guage and nip it with side cutters ... feel those sharp edges? Well they'll be dragged through that wound channel (as well as any bacteria that might happen to be in there with it) and may cut something on the way being draged through. It may not, but it may ... thus the term "risk"

I had my top 2 wires taken out subsequently to both my 1992 (due to the iritation described in one of the posts I linked elsewhere when skillet asked of wires becoming pronate and it hurting when anything touched) and my 2012 debridement surgery (where they were deemed an infection risk)

YMMV
 
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pellicle

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honeybunny;n885988 said:
If I remember correctly, I believe it was the full cost. Local anethesia, then literally 2 minutes to clip the know and maybe another 2 to put in a couple of stitches.
thanks for the clarification and extra datails ... (it makes me glad I live in Australia (or Finland))
 

guybaxy

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After 5.5 years post surgery for Mitral Valve replacement, I got a cellulitis rash and a scan identified that deep to the scar was a complex fluid collection, so went straight to St Vincent's Sydney where they whipped out 4 wires under a general and put me in a vacuum pump drain and IV Flucox for 11 days and finally closed me up. They could not grow any cultures for any of the swabs but the initial IV antiobiotics couldmhave masked the infection. Stitches out tomorrow. I think they were concerned the wires would spread any infection into the sternum bone.
 

Agian

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After 5.5 years post surgery for Mitral Valve replacement, I got a cellulitis rash and a scan identified that deep to the scar was a complex fluid collection, so went straight to St Vincent's Sydney where they whipped out 4 wires under a general and put me in a vacuum pump drain and IV Flucox for 11 days and finally closed me up. They could not grow any cultures for any of the swabs but the initial IV antiobiotics couldmhave masked the infection. Stitches out tomorrow. I think they were concerned the wires would spread any infection into the sternum bone.
Pel has a lot of info on this sort of thing.
 

pellicle

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... They could not grow any cultures for any of the swabs but the initial IV antiobiotics could have masked the infection. Stitches out tomorrow. I think they were concerned the wires would spread any infection into the sternum bone.
if you were on antibiotics before any swabs were taken then its highly unlikely they'd be able to culture anything

if it was the same bacteria as me it was propioni bacteria and that's notoriously hard to culture (meaning its often missed)

all good now?
 

maggiemay

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Iwires removed am considering getting my sternal wires removed since they bother me at the top of my sternum. How painful was that for those of you that have had it done, and how long was your recovery?

I would imagine that they have to put you under general anesthesia, which, for me, means a catheter since anytime I have ANY general anesthesia I cannot urinate for 3 days at a minimum.

Your thoughts?

Thank you in advance!
I have had my st Jude aortic valve now for the last 26 years, I had to have the sternal wires removed under general anesthetic, 8 years ago, they became unstable and had to be removed. I did have quite a bit of pain afterwards but it is soon forgotten, mind you they may have different ways of doing the procedure my op was 8 years ago. I am now 86 years of age and so grateful that my life was saved at 60 years of age.
 

rosalia

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I had one broken suture that bothered me for a whole year before someone took it seriously enough to get it fixed. There was a lot of mistaken reasons as to why it hurt, but the x-ray clinched it.
Basically, my surgeon fit me in between two OHS's over his lunch.. yes I was under, but it took only a few minutes and I was back to work the next day. Not sure about having the whole set removed, though, as it would certainly be a bigger incision... I haven't had any issues since, and my surgery was November 16 2015
 
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