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Pectus Excavatum Question
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Pectus Excavatum Question

I am a 42 year old woman who had Pectus Excavatum surgery at the age of 5. The chest was opened horizontally and a metal bar or "plate", as I knew it, was placed.  I clearly remember thinking I was to have it removed at some point--my mother doesnt think so.  It has not been removed--and while I experience no issues directly related to the Pectus--I have always struggled with unexplained fatigue and lack of endurance.  (lab tests all normal, and I  run 2-3 miles, four times weekly)  Could there be some co-relation between the fatigue and the Pectus?  And should this plate have been/be removed?
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I am not aware of a specific connection between the surgery and continued fatigue.  As for whether the plate should be removed - I would discuss this with your orthopedic surgeon.  I cannot comment on this without knowing your case.

To further workup for the fatigue and lack of endurance, there are a variety of tests to be considered.  Blood tests looking for anemia, thyroid level, vitamin B-12 level, liver and kidney tests should all be considered.  The heart can be evaluated with a stress test and/or echocardiogram.  You can also evaluate the lung function with pulmonary function tests.

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
kevinmd_
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I also have had pectus excavatum surgery (twice) - once when I was 5 and once again at the age of 18.  It wasn't until the latest surgery that a metal bar was inserted.  I am 41 now and I'm having "twinges" of pain in my left side.  I've got an appointment with a local cardio-thoracic guy, but he's anything like the last guy I spoke to, he'll rush me out the door telling me "you'll be fine".  I am struggling mightily to get medical records from the surgery in 84 as it was done at a military hospital in san diego.

I too believe that this bar in my chest should have been removed at some point.  All of the research that I've done indicates that the bar is usually removed 6 months afterwards.

Where can I find a local (North Alabama) cardio-thoracic surgery who's not afraid to look at somebody else's handiwork?

Thanks.

Richard
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