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"help for 15 year old having chest pain after having heart surgery at 8 months old"

ZocdocAnswershelp for 15 year old having chest pain after having heart surgery at 8 months old


She has seen numerous doctor and a psychiatrist. She takes ibprofen tylenol percocet naproxen valium without relief. She cries in pain. Last year she had some broken wires removed. She conplains of midsternal pain raidating down to epigastric area. Sharp pain that comes and go. Any suggestions ?


I am sorry to hear about your child's symptoms. I strongly encourage you to discuss this case with both the surgeon who performed the procedure and a pediatric cardiologist for additional input, as it is not possible to provide an accurate answer without a thorough, in-person evaluation. Although I do not know the details of her prior procedure, open heart surgery typically involves sawing through the breastbone and spreading the ribs to provide an adequate view of the heart. It is very common for patients to be in exquisite pain after the procedure. However, it is uncommon for them to have pain this long after the surgery. It will be important for her doctors to determine if she has had any migration of wires or other material implanted in the procedure that could cause her pain. It is possible that nerves feeding this part of her chest never fully healed and are causing constant pain and irritation. A blockage of one of her coronary arteries is unlikely at her age, but given her history, this should be excluded by performing a thorough history, physical exam, and EKG. It is very concerning that such a young patient is requiring chronic opiates, NSAIDs, and sedatives to control her symptoms. These are not long term options and can result in both opiate and sedative addictions. After ensuring she is not suffering from a cardiovascular issue, I encourage her to see a pain specialist, who can help determine if she would benefit from therapy with safer medications or non-pharmacologic options.

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