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Question:

Should I have my sternal wires removed?

I have undergone a CABG in 12.07.2013 in Mumbai, India. After six weeks, suddenly a boil was visible on the incision in the chest. After four days, the boil broke and pus-like liquid started coming out. A culture test was conducted and reports were normal. The doctor who performed the CABG operation started treating the wound. Since last four weeks, the pus-like liquid has not stopped and also there is good amount of pain in the chest ribs. The doctor advises that this is all because of a reaction of the steel wires used to join the sternum and now the wires will have to be removed and then all your problems will be cured. He intends to remove the wires in about a week from today. Please advise ASAP. 

submitted by Ravindra from Mumbai, India on 10/9/2013

Answer:

by Texas Heart Institute cardiovascular surgeon, Denton A. Cooley, MD  Denton A. Cooley, MD, FACS, FACC, FCCP

Stainless steel, which is an alloy, may impart tissue inflammation from a mild electromotive force, mostly speculative.  I endorse removal of the wires if the sternum is stable.  You may find more information about this question by looking at similar questions which have been previously answered on this website.

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Updated October 2013
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Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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