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The information contained on this page is provided as general health information and is not intended to substitute as medical advice and direction from your physician or health care provider. Please direct any questions related to your health care provider. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency center.


Pectus excavatum repair - series

Normal anatomy

Pectus excavatum is a deformity of the front of the chest wall with depression of the breastbone (sternum) and rib (costal) cartilages

Normal anatomy

Indications

Repair of pectus excavatum may be recommended for:

  • Improved appearance (cosmetic repair)
  • Improved breathing (respiratory function)
Indications

Procedure

While the child is deep asleep and pain-free (using general anesthesia), an incision is made over the breastbone (sternum). The deformed cartilage are removed and the rib lining is left in place to allow re-growth of the cartilage. An incision is made in the sternum and it is repositioned. A rib or metal strut may be used to stabilize the sternum in normal position until healing occurs in 3 to 6 months. A chest tube may be placed to re-expand the lung if the lining of the lung is entered.

Metal struts are removed 6 months later through a small skin incision under the arm. This procedure is usually done as an outpatient.

Procedure

Aftercare

Hospitalization for 1 week is common. Vigorous activity may need to be restricted for 3 months.

Aftercare