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 10/09/2013

by Denton A. Cooley, MD

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.