Mended Hearts Open Forum

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  • 1.  Three years after bypass, discomfort persists.

    Posted 02-20-2023 08:15


    Three years ago I had bypass surgery (5x). Today, I still have an odd sensation in the left side of my chest. Not pain really, but a feeling as though there is an internal tug. Like something in there is clamping down. It seems more pronounced than a couple years ago & I'm constantly aware of it and concerned. My cardiologist tells me this can be normal as that area has been altered. But it is still very concerning. I'm over 60 but otherwise healthy.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Any input would be welcome. 



    Dan Brennan
    Graphic Designer
    Madison WI

  • 2.  RE: Three years after bypass, discomfort persists.

    Posted 02-20-2023 09:43
    Hi Dan,

    I have not experienced anything abnormal or out of the ordinary since my sternotomy in October; however, I have heard similar stories as yours from time to time. Have you asked your cardiologist to order you a chest ex-ray? I would, simply for pece of mind.  

    (Mitral valve re-repair)

  • 3.  RE: Three years after bypass, discomfort persists.

    Posted 02-20-2023 14:46

    Hi Dan,

    I also had a CABGX5 but mine was 8 months ago. I do however think I feel something similar to what you are experiencing.

    The left side of my chest inside, not from the exterior, mainly from my sternum to about the outside edge of my pectoral muscle feels stiff

    internally. I described it to my wife as it feels something like 'cardboard' inside. It's a bit rigid but still flexible and

    it feels weird. I told my doctor the same exact description and he said it is the result of healing and some scar tissue

    forming. Healing and regenerating nerve tissue can also cause random sensations.

    I have had a cardiac MRI and it does show scar tissue on my heart from the heart attack but a chest xray or

    CT scan of the chest would not show scar tissue clearly if at all. From past experiences I agree with my

    doctor's opinion. He also said it may be some time before it starts to feel normal for me.

    Have a good day,


    Larry Carlson

  • 4.  RE: Three years after bypass, discomfort persists.

    Posted 02-21-2023 05:15

    Dan snd Larry,

    Five years ago, I also had a CABGx5 after a heart attack.  Beginning s few months post surgery, I started feeling a similar tightness in my left pectoral area, almost like muscle tightness that would feel better when I would stretch it, even though I didn't believe that I had pulled the muscle.  I also realized that the surgeon had removed my left mammary artery so he could use it as a graft for my left anterior descending coronary artery and that the feeling might be related to scar tissue formation and healing.  My cardiologist confirmed my suspicions and the sensation eventually went away sometime over the next year or so.

    Best regards,


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ