At age 17, I sought out the best surgeon for my situation with my pectus excavatum. For as long as I can remember, I had embarrassment whenever I took off my shirt. I have always played sports for my whole life, and throughout my whole experience, I was always too shy to ever take off my shirt. Changing in the locker room was bad, but going to public places like the pool and beaches was the worst. I did everything in my ability to ensure no one would ever see me without a shirt. When I hit 15/16 I convinced my parents to let me join a gym in hopes of improving my condition. Despite 2 years of consistently working hard in the gym, everything about me grew minus my chest imprint.
When I turned 17, I was so fed up with living the kind of life I had with this condition, I had convinced my parents to take me to a specialist to see what can be done. I had originally gone to a doctor near my house in Long Island and after an initial consultation, I was told my surgery would likely be covered by insurance due to the severity. I then proceeded to go through all the preliminary testing required for the surgery. This was spread out over 3 months, and during the middle of the testing, my mother found out from a friend who works in the hospital, that my surgeon at the time had an ongoing malpractice suit. My parents quickly after finding this out, shut down this idea of me getting the surgery. I, for some time, assumed I wasn't going to get the surgery, however, within a couple of weeks, another one of mom's friends recommended Dr. Gorenstein and I was able to follow up with him.
From the beginning, Dr. Gorenstein was both very kind and supportive. Despite being a teenager soon facing major chest surgery, I felt pretty safe/confident by the time of the operation due to my interactions beforehand. For my surgery, I had two titanium bars placed inside my sternum. I spent about 1-2 weeks in the hospital before I was discharged. Post-op required a lot of pain medication, and follow-up appointments, however after about a month I was back to full activities. I did deal with some issues of infection during recovery, however, that was a situation I inflicted upon myself.
Five Years later (I was supposed to get them out the year prior, but with COVID I didn't want to be in a hospital), I finally get the bars removed. I could not be happier with the results, and how it looks. This surgery was truly life-changing and has granted me many moments in life that I would've passed on without it. I often think about how my life would be completely different if I had not gotten this surgery, and beyond grateful I did. I cannot emphasize how great Dr. Gorenstein's work is, and highly recommend seeking him out if you're looking for this surgery/close by. My review of giving Dr. Gorenstein a near-perfect score might seem too good to be true, however, that is really how my experience went with him and his team. He was super knowledgeable and kind and was transparent throughout my whole process. He gave me his email to contact him whenever I needed him, and I never spent too long waiting to hear back from him. My surgery could not have been in better hands, and I wish for anyone getting this procedure to receive the same positive experience I did.