View Full Version : Thoracoplasty......now or later?

21st October 2004, 01:43 AM
Thanks Jonny.... And about that removing rib thingy.. has anyone done it? If you have pix plz post them.

21st October 2004, 01:48 AM
Usually when you have an anterior surgery, they remove a rib for two reasons: 1) so they can get through more easily, 2) so they have some bone for bone graft to sprinkle between your vertebrae so they fuse. I had my rib removed and it hasn't bothered me - you can feel a bit of a dip along my side, but you can't see it. And usually the rib grows back. Although mine hasn't yet. :roll: But I lost a rib and it didn't bother me one bit.

21st October 2004, 11:02 AM
Toni has had wonderful results from her thoracoplasty and the very first pictures in the Gallery are of Floral Gypsy's post thoracoplasty back.It looks fabulous.If you're feeling very brave there are pics of Jenn's(Jaedyn) chest tube while in place but it doesn't look pretty.

21st October 2004, 11:39 AM
I'd go for the thoracoplasty too, while you're at it. I didn't have one and sitting in a chair is way uncomfortable because I can't sit straight. I'm thinking of having it done at a later time, I love how the left side of my back looks, but then there's the right side with hump messing it all up. It'll be some extra discomfort but you'll easily forget that once you get to see the results

21st October 2004, 12:26 PM
Okay, so being since my curve is 70... they mey not be able to reduce it that much after the rods are in. So maybe getting thoracoplasty is a good thing for me to do........ has anyone ever gotten this done?

21st October 2004, 06:21 PM
there are people who've had this done, they'll reply later :-)
Don't worry about the degrees of your curve because they might be able to reduce it a lot. It depends on how flexible it is. Like my top curve wasn't as flexible as the bottom one so it's been reduced from 60 to 20.

21st October 2004, 06:56 PM
I had the anterior release of discs, followed by the posterior fusion with Isola instrumentation. After the very long surgery, I woke up with 6 tubes in my body... 3 IV's (2 in the wrist, one in the neck), the chest tube, the catheter and a tube my back to drain blood out of the wound. Every time a tube went out, it felt like a little victory! :-)

21st October 2004, 06:57 PM
And usually the rib grows back

You mean they dont put the rib back once they have used it?

21st October 2004, 07:16 PM
They need the rib - they grind it up and use it as bone graft - put between your vertebrae to make them fuse. Nothing works better than your own bone :-) I woke up from the anterior with 2 IVs, an A-line, a chest drain, an oxygen mask, and a few hours later a catheter was put in. I woke up from the posterior with 3 IVs, an A-line, the same catheter, and an oxygen mask.

Guaranteed you will try to rip the mask off when you come round :-D

21st October 2004, 07:18 PM
sounds lovely!

21st October 2004, 07:24 PM
Oh and one more question, can you not keep whats left of your rib?

21st October 2004, 07:26 PM
70 degrees is a pretty large curve, looks like you'll be even taller after the op then huh.
Toni and Charlotte have had thoracoplasty surgery - there is lots of info about it in these forums if you want to look it up.

21st October 2004, 07:28 PM
Originally posted by Jonny@Oct 21 2004, 06:16 PM
Guaranteed you will try to rip the mask off when you come round
Oh yes! :hammer: I also I got oxygen through my nose for a couple of days. And a "clip" on one of my fingers to measure the O2 saturation of my blood.

21st October 2004, 07:32 PM
Yees, me too! :D I can scan my hospitalpics if anyone wants to see.

My rib is starting to grow back, as I'm more than a year post op. It doesn't grow THAT fast, Jonny :roll: :D

21st October 2004, 07:33 PM
Oy, Ivy, I had a thoracoplasty too :angel:

Becky, there won't be anything left of it, as they need more than one rib's worth of bone ;-) they use extra bone substitute. Even if they did have bone left over I don't think they let you have anything that isn't metal and stuff - it'll go mouldy!

Liv, I had an oxygen sats clip too, and 3 electrodes on my chest (that fell off), and the oxygen tube up my nose :-)

21st October 2004, 09:26 PM
Well i think i might do the thoracoplasty ..... now describe the type of brace you had to wear after the thoracoplasty please.

22nd October 2004, 12:23 AM
Check the gallery - my post-op brace is there. I don't think a thoracoplasty affects the kind of brace you have.

22nd October 2004, 02:24 AM
From what i heard... its cloth around the bottom so you can wear normal pants and its just a hard shell not going up far at all! Its doesnt seem bad so i might to the thoracoplasty....

22nd October 2004, 06:24 PM
You see the two braces I had... either kind could be given to you post-op, and you'll have to wear one whether you have the thoracoplasty or not.

22nd October 2004, 09:27 PM
I heard from a nruse practioner that most people don't have to wear a brace after sugeory................................

23rd October 2004, 12:27 AM
It depends how conservative your doctor is. Many people don't need braces after surgery, but I had mine for almost 2 months 23 hours a day, then at night for another 4 months i think? I would have had it for longer if it hadn't been for my hip. Luckily he decided it could be doing me more harm than good and let me out. My doctor is pretty conservative though. I wasn't allowed to lift more than 10 pounds for a year. And even this summer, a year after surgery, I wasn't allowed to go backpacking.

One of the benefits of the brace is that your waistline comes back more quickly. i'm not sure about this, as I didn't need a thoracoplasty, but I don't think that would make you need a brace.

I had my surgery 15 months ago and I haven't noticed my rib growing back at all. I don't mind though. I think it's cool and it only bothers me if something pokes me right there.

23rd October 2004, 12:57 AM
It also depends somewhat on whether you have an anterior procedure - whether you have posterior surgery or not, having anterior for part of it seems to make having a brace much more likely, and it seems to be unusual to have anterior only without having a post operative brace. I had a brace after my first surgery, which was a/p, but after my revision surgery, which was posterior only, I didn't.

23rd October 2004, 01:25 AM
I had the anterior release/posterior fusion too - Jonny was right. But I didn't wear a brace after surgery. So one day they went in through my side, removed my rib, collapsed my lung (I presume) and removed four discs. That took about 3-4 hours. After that surgery I had a cather, 2 IV lines in my hands, oxygen prongs, a chest tube, and oxygen monitor that clipped onto my finger and little stickers on my chest that monitored my heart. Then a week later (I went home for 2 nights between the surgeries, but I don't reccomend doing that. Stay in the hospital and let them take care of you) they went in through my back and did a fusion with CD instrumentation. They didn't use my rib though, my doctor doesn't like that he says ribs aren't very good bone. That surgery took about 8 hours and they did a wake-up test halfway through, but I don't remember that. After that surgery I had three or four IV lines (one was in my neck), a catheter, a draining tube at the bototom of the incision, oxygen prongs and monitor, and another heart monitor thing. I actually found it quite painful when they removed the chest tube, but it didn't last long. They other tubes didn't hurt at all when they were removed.

I got very good correction, they were only aiming to correct my bottom curve (my top curve is cervical) and they corrected it from 90 degrees to the mid 50s. My top curve is still about 60 degrees but it isn't progressing as fast as the bottom one was so I'm happy just to leave it. I don't really want a fused neck.

I didn't have a thoracoplasty. I kind of wish I had but not enought to go and get one done now! I don't think my rib's grown back either, but I don't mind. It makes a nice little barometer!

23rd October 2004, 11:51 AM
im having anterior surgery, and i asked the consultant whether i would need to wear a brace after the op and he said no!

23rd October 2004, 11:54 AM
It's entirely possible that that is because of the length of fusion and the particular rod system that your doctor will be using that you just won't need any additional stabilisation :-)

23rd October 2004, 11:58 AM
yeh, coz its only mild, i cant imagen them putting a big rod in, thats my next question though, 'how big will my fusion be?' now that i know all about the sizes of fusions!!!

i know it wont be anything like those hugh fusions some of you have!

23rd October 2004, 09:54 PM
My doctor said I would have had a brace no matter which surgery I had. He did, however, say I wouldn't have had to wear it as long if I'd had the posterior surgery.

23rd October 2004, 11:44 PM
I didn't have a brace after my anterior surgery, he said I didn't need it. But I had to be extra careful then :angel:

24th October 2004, 01:55 AM
I didn't need a brace after my anterior surgery. I hated all the tubes, most of them hurt like h*** coming out. The chest tube didn't bother me, though.

24th October 2004, 02:38 AM

24th October 2004, 07:48 AM
heh... I asked for a brace when I was at my ortho on Tuesday. He acknowledged my desire to have some support when I'm sitting up or standing, but he didn't want to get a brace fitted for me because that would put more pressure on my ribcage and further compromise my pulmonary function. On the 12-hour drive home, my mother suggested I ask my primary care manager about those crutches that have the wrist-cuff things on them, like Dr. Weaver on ER uses. I can lean on them when I get tired, but they won't rub against my sides or my arms like regular crutches (these (http://www.medmarketplace.com/images/listings/320.jpg)). I can see Dr. Cyr's point, but I can't help but think a brace would help me...

24th October 2004, 11:51 PM
November 10th is getting closer and now i'm still confused on what i wanna do...

24th October 2004, 11:53 PM
Oh I wish I could pass on some words of wisdom but I've never had surgery. :(

25th October 2004, 04:54 AM
you're just choosing whether or not to have a thoracoplasty right? If your rib hump bothers you at all, I would have it. I didn't have one, but I think it would be worth the pain right afterwards to not have a rib hump the rest of your life. Just my thoughts of course.

25th October 2004, 05:17 AM
Agreed... a rib hump is not fun. If there was some way to get rid of mine, I would do it. But my back is far too gone to fix it surgically. That's why we're just focusing on treating symptoms (lung capacity).

25th October 2004, 12:30 PM
Very true.. my rib hump does bother me alot.... but see i'm wondering if i can just get the normal scoliosis surgeory done without the thoracoplasty. Then after surgeory i'll decide if i want the thoracoplasty.

25th October 2004, 02:12 PM
If it already bothers you, why wait? You might as well recover from everything all at once if they can do it all at once.

25th October 2004, 03:30 PM
I'd agree with Kimberly.A thoracoplasty on it's own is still a big operation,might as well do it as you're under anaesthetic anyway.It will also mean less scarring as they would have to do a new incision to do a thoracoplasty later on or reopen the old scar and make it look messy.

25th October 2004, 05:02 PM
Yes. If it bothers you, you should do it while you're at it :D The only thing is though, atleast that's what my surgeon said; a thoraco or costoplasty shouldn't be done on people under 18 :roll: So he refuses to do anything on me before that.

25th October 2004, 06:38 PM
Originally posted by sins@Oct 25 2004, 03:30 PM
I'd agree with Kimberly.A thoracoplasty on it's own is still a big operation,might as well do it as you're under anaesthetic anyway.It will also mean less scarring as they would have to do a new incision to do a thoracoplasty later on or reopen the old scar and make it look messy.
oh great.. I was hoping it wouldn't mess up the scar. See lindzi, this is why you should ask for it, so you don't regret it later! (No doc of mine ever mention that was an option for me, and I didn't ask)

25th October 2004, 07:07 PM
Just a note of caution!
I discussed a thoracoplasty at my last appointment in September and the surgeon said that one of the reasons I couldn't have it was that my curve was unstable and that it should be done on a fused stable spine.
Chele's orthopaedic surgeon sent her to a thoracic surgeon for thoracoplasty and he refused to do it saying it should only be done on a fused spine and I remember a girl on a previous site saying that she had a thoracoplasty on an unfused spine and within weeks the spine had curved from forty to sixty degrees and needed fusion surgery.
Just a thought !!!

25th October 2004, 07:19 PM
If you're feeling very brave there are pics of Jenn's(Jaedyn) chest tube while in place but it doesn't look pretty.

i just had a look at that pic and do they all go in through your back because i imagined it going through the front, and are they all that big?

25th October 2004, 10:32 PM
No Becky, they're not all like that.Check out kaja's and Martha's scar pics as I suspect they're closest to what you'll be having done, given the location and degree of curvature.Although the surgery is called anterior it's because they need to get at the front of the spine.This is done usually through the side and not through the front of the abdomen.

25th October 2004, 10:37 PM
Yeah. Your waist actually looks kind of what mine did pre-op :D Wii. My tubescar is almost gone, and always covered by my bra anyway.. :roll: And I have them icky white dots next to my big scar, as I had staples :-o It's only 20cms, which my surgeon said was quite small.

26th October 2004, 01:18 AM
your waist looks a lot like mine did too. But that would make sense, as my curve was in the same place as Kaja's. I think my scar's a bit longer than kaja's, but not much.

26th October 2004, 01:33 AM
This is a little of topic, but how long are peoples scars? Mine's 10 inches. My tube scar isn't nearly as high up as yours sounds like it is. What exactly do they do when they do thoroplasty?

26th October 2004, 01:36 AM
I'm not positive, so someone correct me if i'm wrong on this.

For the thoracoplasty, I believe they basically chop off the back of your ribs.

As for the length of my scar... *goes off to measure it*

and my tube scar is right on my lowest rib.

26th October 2004, 07:12 PM
i think iv confused ppl! i meant the chest tube, are they all that big and do they all go in through the back, because i imagined them going in through the front.

27th October 2004, 02:00 AM
oh! my chest tube went in through the front. i don't have a picture of it, but my scar is about an inch long.

27th October 2004, 07:38 PM
it leaves a scar aswell!!!! iv already got enough scars from being clumsy, i got a big one on my hand from scolding hot water (i poured the kettle over my hand by accident)

27th October 2004, 07:41 PM
You can barely see my tube scar :D It's just a small dot, with a thin 0,5cm line over it :P And it's almost under my arm!

27th October 2004, 09:31 PM
OMG I HATE DONATING BLOOD! i had to donate it for my own sugeory and omg its horrible... i assume all of you's had to do it too. I felt sooooo light headed after it!

27th October 2004, 10:03 PM
I didn't do it, but I took a few bloodtests :P

27th October 2004, 10:16 PM
Now... lets say i don not get thoracplasty. BUT after surgeory i notice that my ribs are sticking out..... can i get thoracplasty after scoliosis surgeory?

27th October 2004, 10:43 PM
Yes you can. But I would do it while I'm at it :D Haven't we discussed this before? :roll:

27th October 2004, 10:44 PM
lOl i think ...but i forget...

28th October 2004, 12:00 AM
i really would suggest getting it at the same time. Unless you want to deal with two doses of pain... the thing is, you'll be on serious pain meds after the surgery. So most likely they'll mask most of the pain anyways. if i'm making any sense.

Becky, my chest tube scar is bigger than most, i think, because I didn't get it stutched up afterwards. I just had a bandage slapped on. So it healed like a scab. it's really not a big deal scar though. It's about the size of a scar you'd get if you got a few stitches from hitting your head on a table or something like that.

28th October 2004, 01:25 AM
Yah Marti u are making sense lOl.

28th October 2004, 01:30 AM
woohoo! that's a first ;-)

28th October 2004, 01:31 AM
I didn't get stitched up either, just had a greasy (airproof) plaster, and *contorts self to have a look* my chest drain scar is less than an inch across. Mine went in through the middle of my side, a couple of inches under my anterior scar.

They put in a stitch to stop it coming out when they first put it in, but they didn't stitch the wound up after.

28th October 2004, 01:31 AM
Actually it makes lots of sense.... but i dunno if i wanna go through wearing the brace for 6 months.. i'll like HAVE to actually wear it or my ribs will grow back funny.

28th October 2004, 01:34 AM
Whether you wear a brace or not shouldn't affect the thoracoplasty at all, because the muscles around the ribs guide them towards each other to heal. But you will want to wear one to protect your back when you lean against things (posterior fusion and thoracoplasty makes it feel very very battered and numb in places) and you WILL need to wear it all the time because if they make you wear it, there's a risk your spine won't fuse properly if you don't. (pseudarthrosis?)

28th October 2004, 01:37 AM
this makes sense... ... ... and i'm liking what i'm hearing. So i'll want to wear the brace and i'll have to... it sounds all good.

28th October 2004, 01:39 AM
Would you really have to wear it all the time for six months? that seems really long to me...

28th October 2004, 01:56 AM
Well thats what a nurse practioner told me. She said its like cloth at the bottom so i can wear normal plants and the hard part doesn't go up very far.

28th October 2004, 02:05 AM
You can wear normal plants? :-? well, if that's your thing, I'm not going to stop you 8)

I was told 6 months at an appointment pre-op by a doctor who wasn't my surgeon, but when I went into hospital my surgeon said 3 months.

28th October 2004, 02:18 AM
i meant "pants"

Amazed Jean
28th October 2004, 03:17 AM
Lindzi What are you panting for again? I forgot?

29th October 2004, 01:00 PM
lol!!!! I love that word pants! when I was in the states i was like I need my trousers washed or whatever....and can I use your toliet (insted of bathroom or restroom)

29th October 2004, 01:17 PM
This is what my back looked like 6 months before my first surgery, when I was ten:


This is what it looked like six months before my last costoplasty (OK OK it's a stupid picture, it was taken at a Playboy Bunny night at my favourite club! :P ):


And this is what it looks like now:


Good eh :monkey:

29th October 2004, 01:18 PM
Your back looks perfect, Toni :-D

29th October 2004, 01:30 PM
Yep :D It's such a fantastic correction that I'd advise anyone to have a costoplasty, so long as it doesn't mess with their lung function! See, I don't even have a problem wearing low-backed dresses.....OK I've got scars, but they are small and neat and I don't care who sees them :-)

29th October 2004, 01:36 PM
Wow, your back is so beautiful!! :clap: :niceone: :clap:

*A very jealous Flem* ;-)

29th October 2004, 01:48 PM
Yes, scars look extremely cool! :D I'd like a posterior scar, as my tiny anterior one is very hard to show off :cry: ;-)

29th October 2004, 04:01 PM
Originally posted by Kaja@Oct 29 2004, 01:48 PM
Yes, scars look extremely cool! :D I'd like a posterior scar, as my tiny anterior one is very hard to show off :cry: ;-)
if it was possible you'd get some of mine, I have enough inches for all of us :-)

29th October 2004, 10:52 PM

29th October 2004, 11:09 PM
Oh cheers Lindzi! hehehe :D I made that! I've still got it....haven't worn it since that night though!


29th October 2004, 11:23 PM
I love the playboy bunny!

anyways back to the topic..

31st October 2004, 03:29 PM
OKay... everyone here has been saying how thoracplasty is worth it and stuff. And i've been talking it over with my friends and family and it will be worth it. So i've made my decision! I'm going to get thoracplasy done!

Thanks for everyones support!! :D

31st October 2004, 04:22 PM
Brilliant Lindzi!! I couldn't recommend it more. We're all here to help you through it, and I'm sure you'll be delighted with the results! :D

31st October 2004, 05:46 PM
YAY! I said all this yesterday, but yeeees it would be worth it :D

31st October 2004, 06:16 PM
YAY! Congrats for making a decision... decisons are always hard.

31st October 2004, 07:46 PM
I'm so glad you are getting it done and over with! You'll be so glad you did it later! And good job reaching an informed decision (you went to people who know to ask opinions... wise plan).

2nd November 2004, 02:04 AM
OKay lol i tryed to put my sugeory date in the SSO calender and it won't work... could someone pretty please be a doll and put on November 10th "Lindzi's Surgeory." Thankies! :angel:

I have 6 more days left... i'm leaving cuz the hospital i go to is in Toronto and i'm leaving for Toronto on November 9th... with high hopes of everything going okay, with all the support i'm getting here i must say i feel 100% better about this whole ordeal... cuz before i got told about this site i was worried and confused etc etc and i didn't even know a surgeory date or anything yet! So thanks for ur bundles of support and friendship! :angel:

2nd November 2004, 02:26 AM
should i ask my doctor about thoracoplasty when i go to see him in december
my rib hump stick out alot hurts very much , i cant even wear a bra as it gets in the way
my rib cage looks so weird but its hard to typ what it looks like lol

2nd November 2004, 03:23 AM
Hmmm i think i would.....

2nd November 2004, 05:34 PM
Thanks Lindzi i think i will ask him about it in december

2nd November 2004, 08:04 PM
You can certainly ask him Dee but very few if any surgeons will do a thoracoplasty for you unless your spine has been fused first.You run the risk of removing and weakening the supporting structures for the spine and you may find it will curve very quickly,making fusion surgery necessary.Sins

3rd November 2004, 12:59 AM
Are you going to Toronto Sick kids hospital? cos sum ppl where talking about it on Spinekids and how good it was....
im so glad that you are getting this surgery lindzi....it'll be good for you!
I'm kinna scared about it, but im glad your not, it'll be ok....keep us posted hun x

3rd November 2004, 01:20 AM
Yah! Sick Kids Hospital thats the nameee! Its an awesome hospital everyone there is very nice. And yes i am scared but i'm getting so much support that i'm more confident than ever.

3rd November 2004, 02:16 PM
COOL!!! who is your surgeon? I have been told that hospital is very good...and a girl just had her surgery (18th oct) and it went very well....so your in safe hands! :)

3rd November 2004, 07:18 PM
i wish i could go in the kids hospital, but im classed as an adult!

5th November 2004, 01:29 AM
Im also classed as an adult....if I was 1year and a half younger I would b on the childs list, and therfore have my surgery quicker....

5th November 2004, 05:05 AM
Dr.Hedden is his my surgeons name

5th November 2004, 05:57 AM
yah kids get in way quicker. Like my mom just phoned for an appointment and she got in for the 15th of november! I was so shocked!

5th November 2004, 01:41 PM
ooh....that was the name of the surgeon that did a girl on spinekids...I think, I can check it out for you....he is really good i have heard!

5th November 2004, 05:06 PM
OKay haha. Yah he is good.... he makes sure that like you understand everything that their going to do. etc ect.

31st March 2009, 05:42 AM
Looking back.
i'd just like to say.. i should have gotten thoracplasty done.......
too all who happen to read this
trust me it sure would be worth your while.
I can notice my ribs twisted a bit lately, bothers me.

31st March 2009, 05:43 AM
ps... i forget my PASSWORD.
therefore im apparently a guest at the moment.
anyone wanna help me out w. this haha?
mucho thanks