I had a quintuple bypass about 2.5 years ago. My chest is often sore and the skin around the incision is usually tender to the touch. I am concerned that I might get some heart symptoms but will not be able to recognize them by confusing them with the soreness. Is there anything I can do?
Have you talked with your cardiologist recently about this soreness? If not, I would call him or her and explain the soreness. Also, if you've been having any shortness of breath with or without exercise, make sure to let the doctor know that as well.
I would be interested in what others who've had heart surgery have to say about this soreness. I know my Mom (who is now 82 years old) still rubs her chest sometimes (she had triple bypass back in Dec. 2007) and when I ask her if she's OK or having chest pain, she says she's not having any pain or pressure, the incision "just feels a little funny" and rubbing/massaging it helps.
I do know that about a month after my Mom's heart surgery, she was also rubbing her chest and I asked her if it felt like incision pain or chest pain. At first she hesitated/wasn't sure and then said, chest pain. Ended up hospitalized for a few days for an arrhythmia and medication adjustment.
Is this tenderness and soreness new, or have you had it off and on since your heart surgery? If it's new since you've last seen your cardiologist, I think it's a good idea to have a check up just to make sure everything's OK.
I have had the soreness likely from day one - it is not new. I expected it to go away, but it has not. If I set at my computer for too long or sit in a funny position while watching TV, I notice it more. I have no shortness of breath anytime. I keep thinking the soreness will go away. My cardiologist has no easy fix for it he says.
I had mine in sept 07 and sometimes it feels overly itchy, sometimes hot like it's burning and sometimes quite sore to the touch. Personally I think it's the nerves which were cut for the surgery, it's as though some signal pain instead of hot/cold and sometimes they transmit heat signals instead of feeling being touched.
Thanks, Ed. My surgery was in Oct 2007. What you describe is like my symptoms. I also heard that it could be from cutting the nerves. Of course, I can live with it. What concerns me, however, is not being able to discern if I am having trouble again. It may be that I will have to rely on shortness of breath or my regular checkups to catch any future problems. In fact, my arm hurt a little and my left pinkie was numb a couple of days ago so I went to see my doc. My ekg was normal. I did do a nuclear stress test yesterday and did well (but have not seen the results yet). I am also going in for an ultrasound tomorrow. If I don't hear from my doc today, my guess is that the pictures did not show change from two years ago when we did a baseline stress test. That will give me an all clear I believe.
I can tell you that if any part of your bypass develops problems you will not be able to dismiss it as anything else, it will be really obvious. My bypass failed after 3 months, all 3 vessels became ineffective, and the sudden impact shocked the life out of me. I was walking home at the time and was suddenly on my knees gasping for air. I honestly believed my time was up. Angina was very strong, but strangely enough, it seemed to settle down after a couple of minutes. I was then back in exactly the same condition I was prior to bypass surgery. Thank God the collaterals that developed to feed my LAD hadn't closed down, or I would be playing a harp in the clouds now.
I think I need to add a little more detail here though, as I've probably scared the wits out of you. For about three weeks, I noticed how I was gradually becoming more short of breath when walking up hills and doing exercises at rehabilitation. I kept telling them something didn't feel right and they said everything I'm going through is normal. Even the surgeon said everything is fine, I just need to get fit again. So, you do get a gradual early warning at first but if you feel anything is wrong, don't listen to anyone saying it's all normal. Only you know your own body.
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