I am new to this group and am glad to have found a place to get some questions answered by other patients, instead of Drs. I have been symptomatic since I was a child with my left arm veins bulging and arm turning reddish purple everytime I play piano, do dishes etc. This February, my arm started feeling swollen, tight, heavy constantly so I headed to the ER on the advice of a Dr. friend. Unfortunately, I went to a hospital where the attending physician was completely unfamiliar with TOS. After finding a clot in my subclavian vein, he threw me into ICU and had me panicked that I was on the brink of death. He did a veinogram, clot buster and then proceeded to pressure me into letting him place a stent in my subclavian vein. I was released a few days later and within 8 days was symptomatic again. I saw the same Dr. as an outpatient, in which he did an ultrasound and told me the stent had failed (been compressed) and wanted to place a second one. At this point, I decided to get a second opinion and the second Dr. said in no way was a stent ever indicated for my condition and that a stent would always "fail" when placed between two bones, my clavical and first rib.
I continued blood thinners for a month and then Dr. took me off and I felt pretty good for several months.
Now, 5 months later, I am completely symptomatic again. I have found a good vascular Dr. in San Diego who did another veinogram and helped relieve the pressure/ clotting with ballooning the vein. He is recommending first rib resection due to my anatomical issues and ongoing symptoms. Unfortunately, the stent only complicates things as my vein will never be able to fully open again with the crushed stent in place.
My question is this... Can anyone speak to the different approaches used in rib resection surgery? This Dr. enters via the clavicle area but he did tell me that other physicians use a transaxillary approach. I am scheduled to get a second opinion up at UCLA, but can't see that Dr. for over a month for a consult. My San Diego Dr. is stating the longer I wait, the more scar tissue and damage to the vein I risk.
Thanks for any input!!
Like many others in this group, I've struggled with pain and failed attempts for relief for three years. On my own, I recently saw a local thoracic outlet syndrome expert. He's a really good surgeon, but was perhaps too quick to diagnose me. In order of severity, my symptoms are (all on the right side):- Neck Pain (where the neck meets the back).- Chest tightness/pressure- Light Headed -...