After the Nuss procedure, a lot of patients and their families have a lot of uncertainties. One of the most commonly asked questions is about bar movement and dislocation.
In the following brief video presentation, pediatric surgeon Fizan Abdullah, M.D., Ph.D., responds to this question straightforwardly.
He explains this to all patients seeking an answer and unsure whether the bodily sensations they experience following surgery are normal.
According to Dr. Fizan, pectus excavatum patients may feel the bar in their chest and feel it move after undergoing the Nuss operation (1). Patients can sense the bar moving within the stabilizer, which is expected because the bar allows for some chest flexibility movements.
He mentions that the patients say that what they sense is not that uncomfortable during this period.
However, since each person’s experience is unique, it’s good to talk with your surgeon and be clear about to what extent the bar movement is expected.
Patients’ experiences of Nuss bar moving inside
We should appreciate how simple and relieving it is to read about other people’s experiences today. As a result, I discovered many things I can sum up as one thing in common with most patients.
There is a widespread concern that any bar movement in the chest could indicate a total displacement, which causes the anxiety they experience throughout this process. That may result from insufficient info from the doctors before the surgery and not enough questions asked before and after the surgery.
However, Reddit is where everyone unapologetically shares their experience, so here are some patients’ stories that may help you.
A patient who underwent surgery four weeks ago talks about feeling the movement of the bar in his chest (2). He says that that sensation does not hurt, but it is uncomfortable and only makes him nervous that he might have made a mistake and dislocated the bar.
There are many cases of something like this.
Another patient adds that occasionally, it takes a sneeze for one side to become rigid while the other is not (2). This patient says this causes pain, but after it’s over, it adjusts.
Some of them said they immediately requested an X-ray to see if something was happening because of the bar movement feeling. Still, they received a response from their nurses and doctors that it could be entirely normal, which was comforting.
If bar movement in your chest happens, know it can be expected. However, if you’re worried, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your surgeon, and do not panic.
Apart from the well-known post-surgery risk of displacement and rotation of the bar in the chest, this minimal movement of the bar may be within normal limits and expected.
Of course, I recommend you always seek those answers from professional people. Even though the internet is a perfect place to share personal experiences, find like-minded people, and see that you are not alone with such a problem.
Still, for the critical issues that appear and bother you in that postoperative period, it is best to solve them through communication with the doctor who monitors your deformity.
And another crucial topic that I want to mention is the fear of the entire postoperative period. I understand that fear is natural, but please keep it within healthy limits.
Know that worrying about a potential risk causes additional problems. Try to remain calm no matter what occurs. That is why these stories exist, to assure you that everything is solvable.
If you are someone who has already gone through this, I encourage you to share your story to help each other. You are welcome to do so in the comments section below. Thank you for reading. Take care!
- Pectus Excavatum Surgery: Will I Feel the Bar? | Q&A – YouTube [Internet]. [cited 2022 Dec 19]. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jueWlpo8FK0&ab_channel=JohnsHopkinsMedicine
- Do you feel your Nuss bars shift on occasion? : PectusExcavatum [Internet]. [cited 2022 Dec 19]. Available from: https://www.reddit.com/r/PectusExcavatum/comments/ra381f/do_you_feel_your_nuss_bars_shift_on_occasion/