Review Detail

Surgeons 28631
Great result, quick recovery
Overall rating 
 
9.9
Ease of Correspondence with Doctor 
 
9.5
Doctor's Friendliness and Courtesy 
 
10.0
Clarity of Doctor's Explanations 
 
10.0
Accuracy of Doctor's Predictions 
 
10.0
Doctor's Apparent Knowledge of Procedure 
 
10.0
Doctor's Availability During Recovery 
 
9.5
Rate Your Cosmetic Outcome 
 
10.0
Would Recommend to Others 
 
10.0
I had surgery 4.5 weeks ago at age 38. You can tell from my age I‘ve come a long way: after developing p.e. at age 13 I initially wanted to get surgery at age 17 but was of course discouraged by the Ravitch procedure that I was offered. Since I didn‘t have any issues (I remained physically active and even studied sports science with a daily exercise routine of about 4-8 hours in my 20s) I decided against surgery. Time went by and even though I had never been at peace with the way I looked I stopped thinking about my chest that much.
At age 33/34 I remember clearly I had my first moment of dizziness during workout while doing some reverse butterflies – I guess because of the pressure that particular exercise puts on the chest. My exercise tolerance started declining, sometimes I would be feeling pretty much okay, sometimes I had to stop after 10 minutes. When jogging I would feel strong fatigue after finishing and quite often feel dizziness during the days I had gone running before. Of course, these experiences also left a mental mark, especially when knowing the heart visually beats against the sternum and is somewhat restricted in its activity. My self-confidence decreased and I went through a period of 1-2 years where I wouldn‘t really do any sports. At age 36 I started again and took things a little more easy. That pretty much worked, but I was nowhere near the point I had been a couple years ago. Also, riding a bike turned out to stress my body most, with my heart beating the crap out of me during the first 500 meters and fits of dizziness whenever I stopped (e.g. at traffic lights).
I finally decided to do something about my state of health, went to see Prof. Schaarschmidt and agreed on the surgery to be executed a couple of months later (due to work schedule). I thought it was really helpful to have somebody encourage me to undergo the procedure, especially because I was promised the operation would still be okay at my age while I was already entering an age range that would make things much more difficult in the future.
About the actual procedure: I received one bar on a Wednesday morning. Yes, by now you probably know the first days are an adventure of its own. After surgery, the drugs didn‘t really do what they were suppossed to and I felt nauseous and rather weak all the time. The peridural didn‘t do anything for me (apart from numbing my legs all the way down to the ankle) so all I could do was wait, do my breathing exercises and start walking. I was able to get up on day 1 after the operation, on day 2 I managed to walk approximately 200m. I did my breathing exercises almost every hour (as recommended by Prof. Schaarschmidt and the staff) and quickly made progress. Look at your recovery as a marathon you really want to win – it‘ll help you summon the energy it takes to make your body follow your will again.
By day 6 I could already walk around quite normally and took walks outside of about 45 minutes (afterwards I crashed my bed for 10-15 minutes). On day 8 I was allowed to go back home (I felt really good and - apart from receiving some painkillers from time to time - there wasn‘t really any use in staying). Of course that was only possible because I live in the proximity of the hospital. On day 12 I returned to have my stitches removed.
By day 9 I rode my bicycle again, I think around day 14 I went jogging for the first time. By day 15 I started going to the gym to do some workout on ergometers (e.g. the rowing machine) and, I can assure you, each time I went I made progress – same will happen to you!
Today, 4.5 weeks after surgery, I still wake up once or twice during the night. This is not due to pain but rather to feeling uncomfortable - the pressure on the chest grows throughout the night. However, I barely feel the bar anymore. I stopped taking the minor doses of ibuprofen I was still on (2x200mg/ day) about 1.5 weeks ago. It‘s great!
What did the surgery do for me? Apart from the obvious bliss of looking normal I have no problems with dizziness anymore and I just feel more energetic. Yesterday I had an extended bike trip of about 2 hours at a fairly high speed and felt like I could be going longer.
Prof. Schaarschmidt did an awesome job, for which I would like to cordially thank him! His experience and precision during the procedure most certainly allowed my quick recovery. All nurses also were a great help in getting to feel better and were also quite experienced with the Nuss. I never felt like my questions were left unanswered.
It was a life-changing decision and if you feel like your p.e. is giving you a hard time I would like to encourage you to think about getting the help that is available to you.

Your Pectus Information

Condition
Pectus Excavatum
Pre-Surgery Haller Index
unknown
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