Pectus Excavatum PostOperative Care - Maintaining Chest Appearance after Surgery

This hub will go through the details of post operative care. The things you should do after having the surgery to speed up recovery and to get the full benefit of the pectus excavatum surgery. 

Patients will kept well sedated on the first 1 to 3 days for pain management and to prevent bar displacement. Medications and therapies depend on the patient's response to pain and may include the use of ephidural catheter, or morphine.

Patients are usually discharged from the hospital when they can walk unassisted and have become used to the bar. 

Recommended PostOperative Protocol

Day 1 & 2:

- Out of bed with assistance

- NO chest or wasit bending

- NO twisting

- NO log rolling

- Deep breathing  , every hour when awake

Day 3:

- Out of bed with minimal assistance

- No chest or waist bending

- No twisting

- NO log rolling

- Deep breathing every hour 


After Discharged from Hospital

 Once you are discharged from hospital it is very important to maintain good posture and limit activity for the first month until you have gotten used to the bar. Regular activity can be recommenced within 4 to 6 weeks. 

When returning to regular exercise its important to remember these points

- Frequent walking will help you become accustomed with the bar

- Deep breathing exercise performed twice a day , every evening and morning to really expand the chest and get the full benefits of the surgery.

- No wasit bending, twisting or log rolling for first 4 weeks at home

- Keeping a straight back and no slouching for the first month

- No heavy lifting for two months following the surgery

- No contact sports for the first three months following surgery 

I hope this hub helps people decide whether or not surgery is for them after seeing what it will be like to recover and the amount of restrictions you must follow afte the surgery. The next pectus excavatum hub will be on the bar removal procedure.

just reminding you to smile:)
just reminding you to smile:)

More by this Author

Comments 25 comments

Tara 6 years ago

First thank you for the advice on the exercises, my doctor is mad cause I'm not healing as fast as he would like, so i'll try those. I had the nuss procedure done about a month ago and am still in a considerable amount of pain. I'm 24 and currently am just taking Ibprofuen (which doesn't work)for the pain. Is there any exercise to relieve the pressure a bit just to relax for a second. I still can't sleep through the whole night because I wake up and have to rotate myself, how long is that going to last? Why is it the worst in the mornings? That's when I feel major pain.

expectus profile image

expectus 6 years ago from Land Downunder Author

Tara - how long has it been since you've had the surgery , it can be quite painful for sometime as it is physically pushing your sternum out. Have you tried lying on your back with a pillow under your knee's or on your side with a pillow between your knee's? as these two positions help you sleep with good posture.

Definitely keep up the deep breathing exercises it can help speed up the recovery and get your body used to having a more normal sternum. It is probably more painful in the morning due to the fact that your muscles have been resting all night and are now cold and you need to warm them up before they loosen up and get comfortable.

You can start the day with a hot shower to heat your body up and muscles many sports people do it in order to get there bodies moving in the mornings.:)

boy 6 years ago

I have a slight dent on the right side of my rib cage ... And it is visible ... but its only on one side ... and the other side is fine ... the right side is bent inwards just like pectus ecavatum ... I want it to be proper ... will an operation be necessary ?

expectus profile image

expectus 6 years ago from Land Downunder Author

there are many non surgical options including bracing which can be very effective at bringing in flared ribs.

Max 6 years ago

Anyone know how long after establishing new independent medical coverage can you qualify for this surgery? thanks.

expectus profile image

expectus 6 years ago from Land Downunder Author

Max - that would a question for your insurance provider but for my insurance company it was around 6 months due to the costs

Max 6 years ago

So, how was the surgery? are you happy with the results. Do you have before and after pics? Video? :) I've seen some youtubes of guys with good results. I am older, so I wonder if I might as good results. Thanks :)

profile image

stewy005 6 years ago

umm do you know how much the surgery may cost

Rob 6 years ago

I have Pectus excavactum and I want to get rid of it. Is the surgery for it life threatning? And how much would it cost?

Josh 6 years ago

Im 15 i had it done was worth it hurt like a motherfucker though hahaha was up walkin round on my own perfectly fine afer the op on the very same day id had it done even though had to have two ops cos my surgeon punctured my lung it was really worth it cos my chest was so deep got some great drugs for it took them while to find any drugs that worked on me had to put me on strongest stuff they had which made me really high spent hours chattin on bout weird shit to my nurses until they took me off it hahaha

expectus profile image

expectus 6 years ago from Land Downunder Author

Max - I saw a surgeon about 3 months ago, and he said he would perform the surgery for me but I was considered very mild,

stewy005 - it depends on insurance, and country but I hear around 20,000 US or a lot less with insurance in some cases you barely pay anything

Rob - surgery is generally for those who want the cosmetic results from the surgery or they are having trouble breathing or problems with chest pain.

Josh - hehe sounds like fun Josh, hope your chest holds its position and you get the most out of it

Billie 5 years ago

I'm 19 female i'm pretty sure i have severe pect. exc. my boobs are a whole cup size difference sometimes i have painful breathing and feels like my ribs are stabbing me. I can actually get my hand under the left rib cage and its discusting and im scared of sergery should i just deal with it.

Daniel 5 years ago

Hey I have PE and I'm 16. Almost 17. I'm wondering how painful the nuss procedure is and is it pain in the bone? As apposed to muscle? I have the type of PE where one side of my chest has pushed the right side down causing it to be depressed like boy's, do you know if its possible to get the nuss procedure for that?

Dave 5 years ago

Sal, if your son is diagnosed with PE, then there aren't any exercises that can prevent it.

Surgery, (the Nuss Procedure is newest and minimally invasive) is the only option.

Results may vary, consult your doctor.

Lancer 5 years ago

Hey just wondering the cost of the procedure, i want to get the most out running and hiking and i think the compression makes it slightly harder since i have less stamina than i should. I am 23 so wondering how muhc of a improvement the surgery will have

max 5 years ago

I was wondering if this surgery will help improve certain back problems and posture? I have researched the nuss procedure and Im very interested. Im 18 years of age

Tyler 4 years ago

Hi I was wondering will I be able to lift weights after the surgery I'm a workout freak and Im just wondering if I will be able to workout how long will it take to recover from the sugery thanks :)

Craig 4 years ago

Yeh I'd also like to know how long after the surgery will you be able to weight train/gym? I've built my chest pecs up but the pectus excavatum doesn't help the overall look. Mine's semi-bad I'd say.

Gabrielle 4 years ago

I have a dent on the right side of my ribs it hurts sometimes when I take deep breaths ill have sharp pains there or when i stretch and the skin color always looks like its bruised is that bad?

Daniel 4 years ago

Hi guys I'm 21 this year and did my NUSS procedure during December 2011. It's been 4 mths now. Looking back, to those who are concern abt pain, it really depends on your attitude and threshold. I was put on epidural for 3 days as it really was painful. (couldn't do much as sitting up) but I was determined to get moving ASAP (it really sucks to be trapped in bed) so I tried my best, n was discharged after 5 days. It really depends on how well u cope with the pain, I did military service before n was kind of a fitness nut so I guess I had a lot of perseverance n determination. It can really be a bitch at times though, the pain, especially when the muscles around your chest area awaken n have to recover, simple activities like getting out of bed or changing your shirt or coughing or even sneezing can really e very painful ( I couldn't sneeze for 2 whole mths becos whenever I took a deep breath to sneeze, it really was very painful) however as with time, the pain would subside, like I said, perserverance is key in this. I have started jogging n lifting weights alrdy. ( to those gym goers, don't even think of bench pressing for at least another 6mths) my doctor told me that , he says it would strain the bar. Some things to take note, you would tend to naturally slouch until u become conscious of it, I suppose it's due to the weight of the bar bearing down in front, I had to keep that in mind constantly. Keep doing deep breathing exercises, that's must, there were times I felt like I was semi-suffocating becos my normal breathing didn't seem to give me enough air. I found a quick remedy, just take slow but deep breathes to fill n expand your lungs. And lastly, for those with PE and wanna do this, you are NOT ALONE ! All of us here had it before , so don't hesitate if you wanna do it, to be frank, if u really want changes aesthetically, this surgery is the only way to go, since it really does something to your bone structure. However don't expect your chest to be 100% perfect like other peoples chests. We were bored with this deform, the surgery, lemme say AGAIN, this surgery only corrects it to a certain degree, I would say my Chest looks 90% better than b4, but not fully perfect, heck, I might consider further inprovements to further the correction. It's a bonus if it really turns out great. And furthermore, there are The surgical scars to deal with ( not that much of a problem though) Nevertheless don't let this discourage you, trust me, if u really want change, the NUSS procedure is the best option at the moment.

mechele 4 years ago

My 13 year old son had surgery on 6-25-2012 and was released on 7-1! He looks great! And feels great! Thank you Dr brown at Cincinnatis childrens hospital

martellawintek 4 years ago

yous ok steven if your still in need of them this is there contact

filling address , they have 20% discount now,just say myself-martellagift him out

Tyler 3 years ago

Will the Nuss Procedure correct asymmetrical pectus excavatum where one side of the chest protrudes farther than the other side

profile image

dedolence 3 years ago


I recently (6mo ago) had a modified Ravitch, but I'm displeased with the results. Any advice for how I should proceed? Should I be contacting other surgeons while the bones are still healing, or wait it out? It definitely won't get any better... Thanks!

PS Here's how I look right now. As you can see my chest is still clearly depressed. Admittedly it's better than it was before, but I am still very disappointed. Cheers.

Julian 23 months ago

Hi im 15 and my parents wont want me to do the surgery so right now im trying the exercises that u did , i just wanna know would the exercises pay off in like a month to 3 month time?

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article