Recovery Images in the Galleries
arrival from the hospital, J was very nauseated. To make matters
worse, vomiting was very painful. Fortunately in a couple of days
his pain was under control and would not have to take the heavy
medications that were making him feel sick. At first it was difficult
to get in and out of bed and we stayed with him at nights in case
he had to get up.
week after surgery
the 6th and 7th days J was showing significant signs of recovery.
He was able to get around independently and started to take interest
in his favorite activities. His appetite was improving as well.
The only difficulty he encountered was when he had to cough.
His top ribs on the left side appeared to be swollen. Initially
he felt pain in the area. He placed some ice on it to keep the swelling
Two weeks post surgery
was examined by his surgeon at the two weeks post surgery appointment.
His results were good with his recovery on schedule. The doctor
removed the surgical tapes and cleaned the cuts. J was reminded
about having to continue the breathing exercises and to work on
improving his posture, which he still found to be a challenge. His
heart was still in the right side of the chest but of importance
was that it now had enough room.
J was feeling better but was reminded to take it easy. He was getting
frustrated with not being able to sleep on his sides and decided
to try the couch, sleeping propped up for a few nights.
One month post surgery
is feeling almost normal again. He still has trouble getting comfortable
for the night but he is able to sleep on one side with the support
of some cushions. He is getting restless and would like to become
more active. The doctor suggested walking but J doesn't like to.
He did not mind going on the elliptical trainer in the gym. He seems
to have an easier time with his breathing although he did not push
himself to the limits. He has also been playing basketball with
a friend, running around a bit. But he found that his chest was
sore from shooting baskets.
We went to the pool and he enjoyed swimming around. It was amazing
to see him in public with his shirt off.
weeks post surgery
surgeon was satisfied with J's recovery. He suggested that J start
getting into an exercise routine to build up his upper body muscles.
He got right down on the floor with J to demonstrate the correct
way to do push-ups.
He was inquiring and taking notes on sleeping habits, general well
being, pain or discomfort, level of activity, breathing and self
perception with the 'new chest'. He examined the chest for bar position
and explained that the flared ribs will become less noticeable in
the coming year.
We received and discussed the photos taken during surgery. The doctor
provided a letter of explanation about the Pectus Bar in J's chest.
He recommended that we send away for a Medical Alert charm.
Everything seemed to be in order. A routine chest ex-ray was ordered
and J was dismissed until the 6 months post surgery check up.
months post surgery
has continued to recover and feel more comfortable each day with
the bar in his chest. He joined a competitive swim team with daily
training of 2 and a half hours. He suffered a couple of weeks of
aches and pains while getting into shape, that his coaches felt
were normal. Initially the stabilizers caused some minor discomfort
At first J was concerned that he would not be able to keep up but
soon realized that he was no longer experiencing the pre surgery
breathing and stamina difficulties.
No longer self conscious about his chest, J began interacting more
confidently with peers. He even ventured off to school dances, which
he had avoided completely in the past in fear of 'being found out'.
J also began sharing his pectus experience openly with friends.
months post surgery
chest has began to show significant changes with the daily swim
training. He had gained muscle on his arms and chest. The bar had
settled as well, leaving a small dip on the bottom. The surgeon
confirmed that this was not a concern and cosmetically it contributed
to adding definition to the chest muscles. J's posture continued
to remain a problem requiring frequent reminders for correction.
Old habits are difficult to break. His flared ribs have improved
Overall the correction provided good physical and cosmetic results.
It was evident that the pre surgery breathing difficulties have
been resolved. J regained the stamina and athletic agility he had,
prior to the years of pectus changes.
J had continued interest in sharing information with others through
posing for pictures to document his development and occasional exchanges
on the forums.
year post surgery
is still swimming 2-3 hours a day and feeling great from the regular
training. He has not had any problems with the bar so far. It doesn't
seem to limit his activities in anyway. Cosmetically his chest looks
great with a bit of lower p.e. remaining but over all good symmetry
and finally some muscle build. He still requires reminders about
posture, bad habits are difficult to break. Recently J underwent
a one year follow up Pulmonary Function Test and the numbers were
in the normal range "no evident obstruction" - a considerable
improvement on the pre surgery test which identified "abnormal
volume loops", "upper airway obstruction" from the
"chest wall deformity".
Pulmonary Function Analysis reports, before and after corrective
year post surgery
has made it to junior olympics in the US fall/winter swim session.
He has placed high and has become one of the top regional swimmers.
Cosmetically he further improved the look of his chest through
the training. He continued to have a slight dip of lower p.e.
but with good muscle tone it had the appearance of added definition
rather than a deformity. Posture continued to be a problem but
not significant with the athletic appearance.
the later part of the second year, J began to experience some
muscle pains from the stabilizers during weight training. He
began to look forward to having the bar removed. With completion
of the two years with the Nuss bar, his surgeon advised to have
the 'hardware' removed. For further information, select the post
bar menu item.