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Lookup NU author(s): Dr David Crossland,
Professor Sir John BurnORCiD,
Dr John O'Sullivan
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Background: There are no data comparing patient attitudes to sternotomy and thoracotomy scars following surgery for congenital heart disease (CHD). Methods: Two hundred and one patients with a scar from CHD surgery (105 sternotomy, 36 thoracotomy, and 60 both scars) had a structured interview to explore attitudes to their scar. Results: Comparable proportions of each group reported that they did not like or hated their scar (23/105 [22%] sternotomy, 9/36 [25%] thoracotomy, 17/60 [28%] both scars). Significantly more patients stated that they where embarrassed by and/or their choice of clothing was affected by a thoracotomy scar (20/36, 56%) than those with a sternotomy scar (36/105, 34%), p = 0.04. This was also seen when comparing sternotomy alone with both scars (36/105 [34%] vs. 34/60 [57%], p = 0.008). Conclusions: Adults who have undergone surgery for CHD are more likely to have a negative attitude to a thoracotomy than a sternotomy scar. Before a change in surgical approach is considered based on patient preferences, the acceptability and psychological impact of the different scars following surgery needs formal study.
Author(s): Crossland DS, Jackson SP, Lyall R, Hamilton JRL, Hasan A, Burn J, O'Sullivan JJ
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon
Print publication date: 01/04/2005
ISSN (print): 0171-6425
ISSN (electronic): 1439-1902
Publisher: Georg Thieme Verlag
PubMed id: 15786007
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