Posthorax Vest | Patient Education | Heart & Vascular Institute | Cleveland Clinic

What is a Posthorax Vest?

Your doctor may have prescribed a special vest for you to wear after your surgery. This vest is called a Posthorax Support Vest.

Your breastbone (sternum) will be split during your operation and held together with steel wires. The wires are very strong, but the vest offers extra support to keep your sternum stable and keeps the 2 sides from rubbing together as the bone heals. It also helps reduce the amount of pain you have as your sternum heals.

Your sternum will be completely healed in about 6 to 8 weeks. You should wear the vest every day during the healing process. Keep the vest on all the time, except when you shower or sleep.

Before Your Surgery

Your nurse will measure you for your vest, fit it to your body and show you how to wear it.

It is a good idea to wear your vest for a while before your surgery so you can get used to the way it feels. The vest should feel comfortable, but you will feel light pressure on your chest from front to back.

Make sure you remember to bring your vest to the hospital when you come for your surgery.

After Your Surgery

You should start wearing your vest as soon as possible after surgery.

You do not need to make any adjustments to the vest; simply take it on and off using only the front buckle and Velcro. Let your nurse know if the vest feels loose or too tight, or if you need help wearing the vest.

Wear the vest while you are in the hospital, and every day until your sternum is completely healed. Your doctor will let you know when you can stop wearing the vest.

Note: Not all patients are prescribed a Posthorax vest. If you have questions or would like to discuss the use of the vest, please speak to your surgery team.