"My CABG operation was in April this year (2016). Although my health has greatly improved, and the incisions in my skin have healed completely, my sternum has not. The wires holding my sternum in place seemed to have stretched or loosened considerably, causing me to despair of my sternum ever uniting.
The advice I was given after the operation was to avoid using my hands to stand up, not to lift heavy things, and to hold a rolled up towel to my chest when I coughed.
But no physical supporting device was offered, and it was only mentioned after months of complaining by me to the three doctors who I was seeing (my GP, my Cardiologist, and my Cardiac Surgeon).
Last week my Cardiologist reacted to my saying it was getting worse and asking if any kind of elastic brace was available, by referring me to a new surgeon for advice, and he also mentioned that some tests were being done on a device that sounded like yours.
I looked on the internet and found several devices, but yours looked the best by far. It seemed to fit between devices which didn't seem to give enough support and looked as it they would roll up, and other devices that seemed like scaffolding, and would be unwieldy, uncomfortable, and very noticeable, and some could not even be worn under clothes.
I only just received the Qualibreath on Monday of this week (today is Thursday) and I find it does give me reassuringly firm support. The gap in my sternum, which had developed into approx 1.5 cm (estimated by feeling it with my hand) has reduced to about 1 cm or less. I hope this will continue. I can wear it under my clothes during the day and it doesn't seem to be noticed..
It hasn't stopped my chest from the frequent "clicking" when I move, and even when breathing sometimes, especially in bed, but it does seem to be a little less, particularly in bed, and I am sleeping better. Time will tell if it is able to stop it completely.
I find it a bit uncomfortable during the extreme summer heat Australia is currently experiencing, but I wear it for about 21-22 hours per day, including while I am sleeping.
The handles are useful for adjusting the device, and also for keeping the device flat against my skin, and stopping it from rolling up.
I find it does cut into the areas under my armpits a bit over the day, but having it off for a while in the evening when I am sitting relatively still is enough to recover. Still, if you would provide the armpit padding your website suggests, I would be very grateful.
Overall I am quite pleased with the device as it seems to have stopped the deterioration of my condition, and restored my hope that my sternum will eventually unite.
I wish I had known about it sooner so I could have worn it immediately after the surgery.
Perhaps you might like to check back with me after more time has passed to see how I am going. Thank you."
Sans Souci, NSW Australia
"I had bypass surgury 3 years ago and I am still in pain..They said they crushed my cartilage that hooks the ribs to the sternum.. I have tried other rib braces to no prevail and no relief but Ibought the QualiBreath sternum thorax brace and it helped with the pain and gave me some relief....I would recommend this brace to anyone who has rib or chest problems.... It is very secure . Thanks"
"My dad went in for a very unexpected triple by pass a couple weeks ago. I grabbed him a Qualibreath and had it on standby at St. Boniface. He didn’t end up putting it on until he got home a week post surgery. As soon as he put it on you could see the relief on his face, he literally took the heart pillow and tried to throw it and asked me to remove it from the house as he never wanted to see it again lol
He has been wearing the brace consistently only taking it off for laundering purposes and showering. His words exactly “the peace of mind I feel wearing this is incredible”.
My dad had a discharge meeting the other day and I can honestly say that 2 weeks post op he looks a million times better then the pillow totters that were there for their meetings.
Just wanted to say thanks!"
"QualiBreath worked out great for me and I am doing great. My surgeon even let me start driving two weeks earlier than expected. I wore QualiBreath during my stay in hospital (5 days) and for about two weeks after I got home. I think it really helped with my posture by keeping my back straight. I also think the support the QualiBreath provided helped with my walking therapy because I was able to start walking "hospital floor laps" as soon as I got out of ICU. Also, I rarely used the "cough pillow" hospital provided because QualiBreath gave me the protection and support I needed. Only issues I had were that QualiBreath had been put on me "inside out" in operating room, so my sister (who had read instructions) put it on me properly in recovery room and all was well. I also had to train nurses to keep EKG wires outside of QualiBreath. Nurses and other staff were very interested in QualiBreath and asked lots of questions. Thank you so much for helping make my recovery go more smoothly and, I believe, more quickly."
D. M. Houston, TX
I had a quadruple heart bypass on the 3rd and I am wearing a QualiBreath - Sternum and thorax support vest from @Qualiteam_srl and love it.— Rich England Orton (@richengland1) September 11, 2014
A QualiBelly support device was sent to a patient rather than flowers following an emergency surgery for a burst appendix. This is what she wrote back the next day:
“Don't know how to thank u. Why are all hospitals not giving this to their patients with incisions. I was finally able to get out of bed in less than two minutes as opposed to ten and didn't have to find a way to hold my stomach with a pillow and try to maneuver myself up without falling out of bed all at the same time. This should be made mandatory :):):). Thank u. I owe u one and so does the rest of my family who didn't have to listen to me groan endlessly. “
C. G. Oakville, Canada.
“Doris, I did a stupid thing Monday last week, and fell out of a tree from which I was removing branches. It was a 5 meter drop. So I have a few broken ribs and a fracture through the tibial plateau. For what I did, I got amazingly minor damage, and there is nothing to do but wait while the fractures heal (and avoid load bearing on the leg). But the most painful thing is the rib fractures especially when I try the deep breathing they wanted me to do to maintain lung function. So I thought of you and QualiBreath..... I confess I was somewhat skeptical about the ability of support garment to limit pain, but it really does. It's not an exaggeration to say I am amazed! So I am really impressed with what you have achieved in the QualiBreath, and wish you all the best with it.... Best Wishes, Bill"
Bill H. - Oxford, UK
"I just wanted to let you know that 3 weeks ago, I broke my 5th rib on my right side. Very painful. The ace bandage wrap the doctor gave me did not give me much comfort so I used a Qualibreath instead. It worked AWESOME. It was also very comfortable and was easy to wash. The bars on the front were also a savior when I would laugh or sneeze, which was the most painful events. Thank you for inventing this product!!!"
Mike C. - Sycamore, IL
"My dad says he really likes how effective QualiBreath is in providing support for his sternum, especially when he coughs."
J.C. Cardiac OR nurse. NY
"I utilized a 'QualiBreath' in the study and this is the most appropriate product on the market. It is adjustable, washable and has been shown to reduce the sternal gap on Ultrasound. The subjects in the study also rated it highly on a number of parameters."
Dr. Doa El-Ansary, Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPT) - Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences - The University of Melbourne
"I have had surgery for scoliosis which means a large part of my spine has been made stiff. This means that a huge part of my daily work load is transferred to the lumbar region which makes me tired and sore in that area. Some days are worse than others, but in relation to my studies where I need to sit down for longer periods of time, it can be quite tough to stand it, which is why I need to take painkillers or lay down for a while. I tried the QualiBelly abdominal and lumbar belt for the first time on a long flight and experienced how it relieved the soreness and supported my own tired muscles. And when I recently wrote an exam assignment where I had to sit down for long periods, the QualiBelly supported me even when I was tired. I do not use the belt every day since my own muscles should not be dependent on it, but it is a great relief to have it available for use when it simply is not possible just to lay down and rest. I am really happy with this product."
M.V. Aarhus, Denmark