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Brother having pectus excavatum surgery

My brother has finally been told that he will need surgery to fix his pectus deformity. I have been against surgery for a long time but the doctor pretty much told us that he should do it now while he is young (16) or he will have problems as an adult, especially if he strives to be an athlete (which he will be doing). I really have not been around any family member or friend who is undergoing surgery so this is all new to me. My brother is constantly asking me how much it will hurt and questions of the sort and it really makes me scared for him. To make matters worse, he will be in the hospital for a week after the surgery. I am basically looking for any tips or advice in handling all of this. Most importantly, I want to hear suggestions on what to do to make his hospital stay better. I know he will be knocked out some of it but I really would get depressed being bored and alone in a hospital room. Thanks to everyone for all suggestions in advance!
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:49 AM Potato is offline  
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tenk_immortals
 
My family works it so that the person in the hospital is never alone. I recommend the same.
Old 07-02-2008, 09:16 AM tenk_immortals is offline  
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dia
 
I'm not sure why you are against the surgery itself but I would be completely for it. The self conciousness of having that must be abhorent(sp?). I'm not sure if it causes him any real pain but having something like that fixed couldn't be a bad thing.

Just visit him and bring him stuff. Things to occupy his time and distract him from time spent there would be important. Being in the hospital from my experience really isn't that big of a deal granted I've never been in there for a week.

I would assume they are effectively rebuilding the chest cavity. With that, I'd also assume that the pain will be substantial but more than likely he will be on a morphine drip and will enjoy that more than anything. I tell my 5 yo son that pain is only temporary and that it will go away soon and it works on him. No matter how bad the pain is, it's better than being dead.
Old 07-02-2008, 09:17 AM dia is offline  
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Kotetsu
 
What reservations do you have against the surgery?

Furthermore why are you scared? Don't be. Concerned maybe but leave the fear behind. He needs your strength more than ever right now. As far as keeping him from feeling alone is concerned try to get a steady stream of family members in there so that he knowns he's loved and cared for. Of course...a bit of alone time never hurt anyone either. Even at times like this. It allows one to reflect and self discover during times of difficulty.
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:25 AM Kotetsu is offline  
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Don't be scared. He needs you to look up to or else he'll be scared as shit.

There have been numerous surgeries in my family ranging from brain surgery to open-heart to kidney transplants. I've developed an indifference to them knowing that the final outcome will be either positive or negative. 100% of the time it's been positive. Go in with an attitude that everything will be okay and it will reflect to your brother.
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:13 AM Assyrian is offline  
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fat asian chick
 
once they give him all the pre surgery pills he wont even care. seriously
Old 07-02-2008, 11:04 AM fat asian chick is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kotetsu View Post
What reservations do you have against the surgery?

Furthermore why are you scared? Don't be. Concerned maybe but leave the fear behind. He needs your strength more than ever right now. As far as keeping him from feeling alone is concerned try to get a steady stream of family members in there so that he knowns he's loved and cared for. Of course...a bit of alone time never hurt anyone either. Even at times like this. It allows one to reflect and self discover during times of difficulty.

My beginning reservations were from my brothers reasoning to have the surgery. From previous visits, doctors told us it was not affecting his body at all and the only reason for surgery was for cosmetic purposes. If he needed the surgery just to look better, furthermore just under his shirt, then that is something I simply would have been upset about. However, they have finally said that it would affect his future health so I finally have given into it.

I guess I got scared reading about the procedure and hearing how painful it can be. They said the first 3 weeks will be hell for him and that is pain I wish I could take for my brother. I can't though and that bothers me. I plan to show how much I care by being by his side for as much as I can be.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:33 AM Potato is offline  
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Clock
 
the 3 weeks of pain will make him much more confident in bed for the next 80+ years.
Old 07-02-2008, 12:08 PM Clock is offline  
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Gren
 
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the 3 weeks of pain will make him much more confident in bed for the next 80+ years.

depends on the severity of his condition atm... i'd be self-conscious of a scar on my chest as well
Old 07-02-2008, 05:49 PM Pokeman Master is offline  
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dia
 
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depends on the severity of his condition atm... i'd be self-conscious of a scar on my chest as well

Chicks dig scars, man.

Anyways, a cavity > a scar.
Old 07-02-2008, 06:57 PM dia is offline  
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renegade4box
 
Any chance of posting either pics or a description of how bad his is? I have this as well but I was told that mine is very minor compared to the typical case. The surgery for it looked way too intense, especially for how minor I considered mine. Some of my friends have this condition as well (wtf, something in the water?) and I'd be curious for them as to how this turns out.

If his is only minor I may recommend what worked pretty well for me. I started working out/weight training like crazy. My dad is/was a part time personal trainer, so he set me up with a good gym membership, diet, and workout routine. After about a year of that, I could barely notice any sign of the deformity, though when I slowly faded away from my good habits things changed.
Old 07-04-2008, 03:53 PM renegade4box is offline  
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thomasandrew
 
I have pectus excavatum and had surgery to correct it around the same time as your brother. There were two options. One was to cut out all the cartilage that connects your ribs to your breastbone which is extremely invasive and painful. The other was to correct it with a bar, which is supposed to be less painful, but with more of a chance of the deformation re-occurring. I don't want to make you scared, but the recovery was by far the most painful experience i've ever had in my life. It's pretty much the equivalent of having all your ribs broken and waiting for them to heal. I think the total recovery was about 2 months. I was able to start moving around after about 3 weeks. The older you get, the more painful the procedure will be i've heard. I'm really glad i had it done though because my chest looks a ton better than it did before.

Secondly, the scars are under your arm-pits and are very hard to notice. The scare tissue would be more extreme had i gone with the other option I mentioned.
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:13 PM thomasandrew is offline  
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I have pectus excavatum and had surgery to correct it around the same time as your brother. There were two options. One was to cut out all the cartilage that connects your ribs to your breastbone which is extremely invasive and painful. The other was to correct it with a bar, which is supposed to be less painful, but with more of a chance of the deformation re-occurring. I don't want to make you scared, but the recovery was by far the most painful experience i've ever had in my life. It's pretty much the equivalent of having all your ribs broken and waiting for them to heal. I think the total recovery was about 2 months. I was able to start moving around after about 3 weeks. The older you get, the more painful the procedure will be i've heard. I'm really glad i had it done though because my chest looks a ton better than it did before.

Secondly, the scars are under your arm-pits and are very hard to notice. The scare tissue would be more extreme had i gone with the other option I mentioned.

I figured for such an operation they'd have you on tons of pain meds throughout recovery...
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:51 AM adm01 is offline  
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I figured for such an operation they'd have you on tons of pain meds throughout recovery...

Yeah, while I was still in the hospital, I had morphine through an epidural. After I was out of the hospital I was on Oxycontin, but you have to understand that there were times between doses where the pain was unbearable. Also, i might be different, because I tried to stop taking the medication as soon as possible because I'm not a fan of pills. Anyway, even after I stopped taking the meds, any hickup, cough, laugh would be unbearable for the duration of the recovery period.
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Old 07-06-2008, 08:44 AM thomasandrew is offline  
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Damn, I was pretty good about the whole thing until thomasandrew's post. Despite that, I thank you for being honest and sharing it. You said you still would have done it anyway so that does make me much more comfortable with it.

He will be having the surgery with the bar being inserted. He continues to be scared about the pain but I keep telling him about the morphine. Hopefully everything goes as planned, it is happening in a week and a half.
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:08 AM Potato is offline  
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