During the Nuss post-surgical period, the patient must be careful because even the simplest actions, such as laughing, can be very discomforting and painful.
The Nuss procedure is done to correct the pectus excavatum deformity. It is fixed in a process that involves inserting bars. With their help, the chest repositions to a flattened position in two to three years.
However, the main issue with this procedure is that it frequently provides many difficulties during the postoperative period.
Laughing can be a problem Post-Operatively
Although this subtitle may sound naive, you must know that such basic things are an obstacle for many patients. Not only laughing but sneezing and coughing can also cause discomfort.
One of the most dangerous side effects of the Nuss operation is bar displacement. Research has shown that the incidence rates range from 1.8 to 16.6%. Some patients feel like their bar is dislocating in their chest with each laughter.
Although the percentage numbers and the chances of injury are small, it is still necessary to be very careful because bar dislocation can cause life-threatening problems requiring emergency surgery.
The first 30 days after surgery are when it happens most frequently, which is why those first 3-4 weeks post-operatively are the hardest.
Patients share their experiences and say that when they laughed in that initial recovery period, they felt like the bar would snap with every laugh.
It can be worrying and annoying.
Some people that shared their postoperative pain while laughing stories said the pain went away after three months, while others said that it lasted up to 11 months for them, only to disappear entirely after a year.
Of course, this leads me to conclude that it is an individual experience, although the first months can be disturbing for many patients.
Please, don’t fear the possible risks
Of course, being restricted in daily activities is a huge obstacle, which for many, can be a point that would make them decide not to undergo surgery.
I agree that this is difficult, but one must be very careful and fully respect the postoperative period for everything to end as it should.
The pain will pass, and it should not be a reason to avoid such a step, especially if you have a severe deformity and the operation is the only solution for you.
The danger that the bar could displace is always there, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it would happen just from laughing.
Any possible carelessness, such as participating in contact sports before you’re cleared to by your surgeon, will be a lot riskier thing to do than simply laughing.
Share Your Concerns
If you are currently thinking about having a Nuss operation or are presently going through that postoperative period, I think the best thing for you is to first talk with your loved ones.
It would be helpful to talk to your friends and family and discuss the possible risks you will undergo and that they need compassion for you.
As weird as it sounds, it can get to where you may need to avoid some of your favorite people in the coming period to avoid having too much fun with them because it can be risky in the first few weeks.
But today, thanks to the internet, we can always stay in touch with each other and never feel alone.
The most important thing is to be in an environment that supports you and helps you overcome difficult times. So, whatever happens to you will be easier on you and your loved ones.
After it’s all over, there will likely be a great gathering to compensate for the lost time socializing.
- Sa YJ, Lee J, Jeong JY, Choi M, Park SS, Sim SB, et al. A clinical decision-making model for repeat surgical treatment of pectus Bar displacement: distance measurement after nuss procedure. Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery. 2016 Jan 19;11(1):16.
- One_Yogurt_2360. What are the chances of bar displacement whilst laughing, I feel like the bar is going to snap every laugh [Internet]. r/PectusExcavatum. 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 11]. Available from: www.reddit.com/r/PectusExcavatum/comments/zemlkj/what_are_the_chances_of_bar_displacement_whilst/
- (Nuss) When will laughing/coughing stop hurting? [Internet]. r/PectusExcavatum. 2018 [cited 2022 Dec 11]. Available from: www.reddit.com/r/PectusExcavatum/comments/8u3amo/nuss_when_will_laughingcoughing_stop_hurting/