Chest pain after thymectomy

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Submitted by Dr T on March 20, 2011 – 11:23am

I’m 48,had TAHBSO for endometrial ca (stage1) then Thymectomy (benign thymolipoma) both surgery 2008. Nov2010 had sternal wire removed due to constant nerve pain. Feb2011 thought I had heart attack, as the pain started from left arm radiating to my heart, searing or tearing kind of pain. Prior to that, been having left arm pain/weakness pre and post thymectomy.  My cardiac surgeon says I need to see neurologist. Doctors (a cardiologist & another specialist) thinks its nerve related, I’m worried as they told me nothing can be done if its nerve/tissue or muscle related pain. Your advice, pls. Thank you

Did your pain disappear after the sternal wire removal? Usually, there is local pain touching the area ( and there are a number of wires). In your case, it doesn’t sound like the wire had anything to do with the pain you experienced. As far as chest pains are concerned, there are many explanations, but neuro pains don’t come to mind. A thymectomy is usually performed for a condition known as myasthenia gravis (usually diagnosed & treated by neurologists), not a “benign Thymolipoma”. If successful, you should have noticed improvement of your symptoms at the time. The Thymus is an organ that changes after age 9-10 into mostly fatty tissue (which is what a lipoma is), and doesn’t rquire removal! Read more about chest pains:
I don’t understand why nothing can be done, it just requires more investigations.
Hope this helps,
Dr T

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