chest pain and scar tissue

does anyone have chest pain near your scar tissue? It can be sudden pain, burning feeling or general discomfort. I have had a recent heart cath, arteries are clean, they did heart mapping and heart function is fine, cardiologist said he didn't feel I would have any heart issues since my double bypass in Dec. 2010. But, I have chest pain on the right side, near my incesion. I can touch it and feel the soreness. It is sudden and can last days or weeks and then be gone. I am having home visits now as I am recovering from another surgery and the nurse suggested it is from the scar tissue. Has anyone experienced this? I have been to the cardiologist several times with the same issue and he said I can experience pain for up to a year but when it happens the question always arises...should I be concerned, is it my heart?

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It's really common to have pain from scar tissue and nerve regeneration for years. I still get it after 2 years. Besides te obvious "zipper" scar there are places where chest tubes are inserted, ribs are spread, etc. If you've had the cardiac tests mentioned and dont have other symptomsI would try to give it more time.

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Hi ... i would definitely persist in getting an answer. I had pain for over a year and a half after bypass, was checked stem to stern, and finally, my internist solved the mystery: my sternum never healed! Had cracks up and down it, and a detached rib. SO, if you feel that your pain is beyond the nerve type pain, toss that idea out to your doctor.

I certainly hope that isn't your situation, but it still amazes me how long it took to figure out mine. In the "find it" box, search for sternal and sternum and you'll see many have this concern.

Good luck!

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I had the same experience as KAKLeon - x-rays showed a couple of healing rib fractures from the surgery, but not bad enough to explain my continued pain. I got to where I could not use my upper body because the pain was searing. My surgeon ordered a CT scan o my sternum just to "put my mind at ease" and the look on his face when he pulled it up for the first time with me in his office was pure shock. He had almost convinced me the pain was in my head but my CT scan showed a clear area of my sternum at the very top where the top 1/2" had never fused completely and a callous had formed that was rubbing with my every move. I had 2 options - they could go in and recut the sternum, file both pieces down and rewire it with no guarantees it would heal any better this time. Or wait it out. I had my surgery 12/30/2007. The incomplete fusion of my sternum was found in May, 2008.

I opted to wait it out. Found a legitimate pain mangement doctor who prescribed a synthetic narcotic to get me through until it finished fusing. It took until November of that year, almost 11 months post bypass. X-rays can miss small things like a tiny gap that can cause a lot of pain.

As long as you are concerned, push for answers until you are satisfied and comfortable with what you are hearing.

Take care -

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I going through the same thing, and although he tries, my cardiologist has not convinced me this is normal or in in my head. I am
seeing a new cardiologist in late Sept.


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If you are having surgical related pain, i.e. pain in chest wall, along scar, etc., this is an issue for your cardiovascular surgeon, not your cardiologist. The cardiologist is by nature of his/her focus most concerned with cardiac pain and may not really try very hard once they determine the pain is not cardiac in origin. It is not uncommon to have pain of various types at any surgical site, such as nerve pain from the cutaneous nerves that were cut during the procedure, adhesions in the scar tissue that can feel like tearing or catching, the bone problems others mentioned. You should follow up with the surgeon to discuss the ongoing surgical site pain.

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thank you all for your replies. I see my PCP in a few weeks and will mention it to him and see if he suggest tests. If it persists, the idea of contacting the surgeon is a good one and I will give that a shot also. I would like it resolved so I can resume exercise once I am finished with my newest challenge, radiation and chemo.

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