Chest Reconstructuion – Nuss Procedure

This is a completely off topic post about my personal life.

I’m now back at home after one week at hospital due to chest reconstruction.
Since my teens I’ve got Pectus Excavatum, a chest deformity where the chest bone is deformed and gives the chest a concave appearance.
Pectus affects about 1 out of 1000 people.

In my case, the PE was not only cosmetic, it also gave me chest pains when deep breathing and also putting pressure on my heart.
When I was a teen, the only way to fix the problem was to cut the ribcage open and cut everything off and then rebuild a new chest.
That alternative wasn’t very appealing to me so I did not do anything about it at that point.

However, now some 20ish years later, I found out about the Nuss procedure, a procedure where you implant a steel bar into the chest, putting preassure on the chest bone and ribcage from the inside and thus forcing a correct shape.
The Nuss procedure have apparently been around for some 10 years, but I guess there are no newsletters for that kind of information ;-)

The reason why I write this post is because I found it very hard to find information regarding Nuss for adults, e.g. information about how long I should expect to be off from work, and what results to expect from the procedure.

So here are some facts.

Age: 34
Pectus: Mild/Medium
Procedure duration: 1.5 H
Time in hospital: 6 days
Pain after procedure:  Way less than expected, was up and walking the day after.

Current status: 9 days since procedure and I feel quite OK with some occasional pain spikes.
Putting on socks or getting in and out of the car is extremely painful.
And don’t even think about sneezing ;-)

Before images:


As can be seen on the “before images”, my chest bone was sunken into my chest by some 2-3cm.

After images one week post op:


These images are taken 9 days after the procedure.
The steel bar was inserted just below my man-boobs (where the tape is).

I will now have the bar for about 3 years before it is removed and hopefully the bones have been re-shaped by that time.

After images, 4 months later

Changed my diet after the surgery, got rid of the worst parts of the pot belly.


I guess I can’t get through airport security checks anymore…

Two years later

2.5 years later.

Pretty much back at the strength and size I was when I was 20.
Benchpressing 140kg with the nussbar inside :-)



Genetic Programming: Code smarter than you!

Here in sweden there are currently circulating some email with a challange about solving a math puzzle.
It’s nothing special really but the mail goes something like this (translated):
(Don’t blame me for the claims in the quote, it’s not my words)

It’s said that only people with an IQ over 120 can solve the following problem:

If we assume that:
2 + 3 = 10
7 + 2 = 63
6 + 5 = 66
8 + 4 = 96

How much is?
9 + 7 = ????

The mail contains an excel file with a password and can only be opened if you know the answer to the above.

Just for the hell of it I entered the problem into my old genetic expression evolver:

The application is based on genetic programming and does use genetic crossover and a real population (unlike my EvoLisa sample).

The problem was described like this:
problem.Cases.Add(new Case(2, 3, 10));
problem.Cases.Add(new Case(7, 2, 63));
problem.Cases.Add(new Case(6, 5, 66));
problem.Cases.Add(new Case(8, 4, 96));

The first and second arguments are variable values and the last argument is the expected output.

And here is the output of the application:

As you can see on the screenshot, the application have solved the equation in 250 generations (a few milliseconds).

That’s probably faster than you solved it ;-)

If it makes you feel better, I didn’t solve it at all, I go into fetus position on the floor when I see math problems ;-)