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First Pectus Up patient in America

MY LIFE BEFORE SURGERY

What was your daily life like before the operation?
Before starting the treatment and learning about Pectus Excavatum, my daily life was inconvenient. Going out anywhere became stressful because the shirt adhered to my body and made the concavity noticeable.

– Which activities were you not able to perform or did you have to modify/adapt/ or stop doing due to the affectation?

Any kind of activity which required something physical since my breathing was slightly restricted, as if wearing a belt around my body at chest height.

– Did you have any physical alterations caused by the affectation?
Yes, my ribs. Due to the affectation they got deformed in such a way that they were pointed outwards. Even my backbone was visible on my back as if something was flipping it. It looked like it was getting out of my skin.

– Did you suffer any emotional impact caused by the affectation?
Yes, a low self-esteem; going to the pool was an entire challenge for me. I did not wish to go anywhere because my deformity was too notorious and I struggled trying to hide it.

– Did you consider surgical treatment before learning about Pectus Up?
For 3 years I was a non-operable case for some doctors. When I learned about my deformity I started investigating along with my parents and the only technique we came across was with the Nuss bar; we considered it very unsatisfactory until we met a thoracic surgeon who became our guide in our path towards the Pectus Up method.

– If the answer was “no” in the previous question, what did stop you from taking the decision?
I learned from reading testimonials that it required a long recovery and suffering great pain. Even my Pectus Up surgeon, who assisted in my surgery, who is my primary surgeon and who does also perform the Nuss method, told me about young people having it and the great post-surgery pain they suffered.

– Which was the main reason why you decided to undergo surgery with Pectus Up?
When we met my current Thoracic Surgeon, he told us about this new method which he had just learned about at a Congress in Spain and we were very excited about the idea. He explained all the process without giving details but we could not find the way I could undergo surgery here in Mexico, so they kept insisting on its authorisation by the COFEPRIS, so that the plate could enter in Mexico. I only had my check-ups until the method and the plate were accepted.  Although I felt a bit scared for being the first person in Mexico undergoing this method and with no testimonials to talk to, this fear vanished when I read the ones on their webpage.

SURGERY WITH PECTUS UP

– How did you learn about Pectus Up?
Through my pediatric surgeon. He told us about Pectus Up and the truth is that since I learned about this method the Nuss technique was discarded for me.

– Operation experience. How could you describe your level of satisfaction?
Very good, the experience was exactly as described; the slightest pain, fast recovery and returning to normal life so fast was the most amazing thing. It was as if I had not undergone any surgery.

– How would you rate the level of pain from 1 to 10?
o    Recently operated: 5
o    After a few days: 4
o    After 1 month: 0

– What was your recovery like?

After a few days of the operation: Very quick. It was a bit difficult getting used to the new way of life, of taking lots of care to prevent accidents and caring for the wound.

After a few months: It looked as if I hadn’t undergone surgery. I perform my activities as I did before.

– Which issues have improved since the operation?
From health aspects to emotional ones. From the first day after the operation I felt my breathing much longer, although up to then my lungs were used to short breathing and I’ve had to practice breathing exercises. Emotionally speaking, my self-esteem is higher than ever; I’m no longer annoyed for wearing shirts which are a bit tight.

– Woud you recommend Pectus Up to others affected by Pectus Excavatum? Why?
Definitely yes. It is a minimum pain procedure, minimum stay at hospital, the recovery is extremely fast and the way you can go back to normal life to your activities is extraordinary. It is as if you had never undergone surgery.