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British Heart Foundation
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Sore sternum 10 weeks post op

Hello,

I'm 10 weeks post heart op and my sternum still feels sore, especially at night, and my lung capacity still feels a lot less than it was. I will mention it at cardio rehab but wondered if I'm just being impatient to improve?! I've been walking a lot, which seems to make ribs worse, and I didn't think that would affect them. Any advice?

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Hi Jane I'm 16 weeks post op and my sternum is still sore been advised to try bio oil. As for your breathing be patient you've just had major surgery.

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Thanks, was thinking of getting bio oil anyway as it's supposed to help the scar become less obvious.

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Hi there, still early at ten weeks. The walking and the rehab will be helping and yes it could be a reason why it's worse as any exercise is likely to jar your whole body.

Try some breathing exercise, breathe in for say 3 seconds to start old it for 2 then breath out for 5 seconds, really try and empty your lungs. Do this sitting down a couple of times a week and gradually built the time up to 8 seconds in and 11 out, also gradually increase the number you do it but start slowly.

Good luck

Mark

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Thanks Mark, will do!

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Hi Jane, I am 19 weeks post bypass and still have some soreness especially if I lay on my right side at night. I like you want the pain and discomfort to go away but I think its a slow process and I read somewhere that it can take up to two years to feel perfectly 'normal'. Patience is not my thing! Have you seen your cardiologist? When I left hospital I had a certain amount of fluid on my lungs. I had an xray at around 8 weeks and my cardiologist said it was all now clear. The cardio rehab team should be able to advise. Best of luck x

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Thanks Wiltsgirl, think I've just got to be patient for the sternum to get better. As far as the lungs are concerned, I did get sepsis after initial post surgery and had 1.5 litres of effusion drained from around my heart. Felt like my lungs were flat as pancakes and they still feel a little like that. I've had several scans since and it is clearing up. Don't start cardio rehab until 14th (GP surgery didn't pass my notes on, so fell through the net). I'm sure that will help, but trying to continue deep breathing and walking in the meantime.

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Sounds like you had a tough time, wishing you all the best and rehab hopefully will help,xx

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Thanks for your kind words I'm sure cardio will make a big difference xx

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Hi there

I done triple by pass operation 14 weeks ago but you believe me you will get better takes times I am returning work last week light duties another 3 months

Give a least 1 year you should get better

Good luck

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Thank you - hope work's not wearing you out too much! I start back on light duties too, next week.

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I am just doing office work at the moment or post inspection property. But very hot weather not good for us making me very quick tired. So watch hot weather and drink plenty of water.

I am also joined gym exercises good for you

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I’ve never found any issues with walking a lot but my body is used to it even wen i get soreness or breathing issues. I can had issues wen chilling and wen walking before. As if it’s going to come wen it wants watever I’m doing.

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True, I had a day resting yesterday, and was just as sore as I was when walking a lot. Think I should just get back on full dose of paracetamol instead of just night an d morning and that'll help!

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Good advice about taking deep breaths and a much walking as you can manage

Rehab will defo hep with giving you confidence knowing what you can and can’t do

I too had a few issues with my lungs and liver after AVR and bypass 4 months ago and lungs still feels a little crackly but now turned a corner and sternum has started to feel more normal as the swelling has gone down and scar is healing well and for the first time able to sleep on left side to painful on right coz of bypass

You’ll be amazed how as the weeks go by how you improve I thought at one stage it never was going too but

Onward and upwards and good luck

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Thanks Wigg, that's encouraging to hear. Glad you're on the mend after your complications!

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I am 10 werks after surgury too.sleeping is the big issue for me currently. If i get 4 hours in one go thats good, and very stiff when i wake up

I had first rehab last week and felt fine after but the next day was spent on sofa as no energy. My sick note runs out in 2 weeks so i think another 4 week block needed then back to work on hopefully reduced hours

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If it's any consolation I turned a corner a few weeks after posting that question. I guess time is the great healer, as they say. Still get a bit twingey but I suppose that'll pass in time too. My first rehab class wore me out too, and even yesterday I came home from rehab and slept for 3 hours! Guess I just needed it. Hope you get a decent sleep soon, just make sure you make yourself as comfy as possible. All the best!

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