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Pectus Excavatum Surgery Introduction - Surgery Options and Benefits

Updated on December 27, 2009
the caption below says severe but to be honest this level of P.E would be considered moderate at most but I'm sure proper medical exams may indicate differently, for example pressure on organs
the caption below says severe but to be honest this level of P.E would be considered moderate at most but I'm sure proper medical exams may indicate differently, for example pressure on organs

Quick Pectus Excavatum Overview

 Pectus excavatum is a chest disorder that effects approximately one in every 1000 people. The deformity is easily recognized by the concave , funnel shaped chest.

The sunken sternum can apply pressure on vital organs and restrict organ growth and shortness of breath is very commonly experienced. Pectus excavatum  usually becomes more serious as you grow and you will see end result around your 20's.

Surgery Options

previously , the pectus excavatum surgery options have been rather invasive and required resection of cartilage and bone which can be very painful and requires a long recovery period.

Then came along Dr.Nuss in cooperation with Walter Lorenz Surgical inc developed the minimally invasive surgical procedure and pectus bar implant to remodel the chest wall over a 2 to 3 year peroid. This is the Nuss procedure that everyone with P.E is talking about.

The nuss technique is also known as the "Minimally Invasive Repair of Pectus Excavatum".

Benefits of the Nuss Technique

 Minimally Invasive Operation - This technique requires neither cartilage incision or resection for correction of P.E. There is no need to make an incision in the anterior chest wall, raise pec muscles or reset rib cartliages.

Operating time reduced - The procedure is considerably shorter than the originally used method and now takes approximately 40 minutes opposed to the 4 to 6 hours required for a chest reconstruction.

Minimal Blood Loss - Blood loss is 10 to 30 cc's compared to the 300 cc's from a standard chest procedure.

Quicker Recovery - the average time for a patient to resume regular activities once treated is around one month.

Excellent Long Term Results - studies have shown that the nuss technique will maintain its effect for the long term. 


Other information

 Patient Selection - Generally patients with pectus excavatum are considered for surgery if they are between the ages of 4 and 20 years, when the ribs and cartilage are much more malleable. With this being said now a days surgery has been known to be performed on people as old as 50 , so its never to late if you choose to take the surgery option.

 Before Surgery

before surgery generally there are 3 things that are looked at to consider whether or not surgery is an option, these days surgeons are usually happy to do the procedure just for cosmetic reasons.

1- CT Scan of the chest 

2- Echocardiogram

 3- Pulmonary function studies 


The next hub

I know this hub is very introductory hub to pectus excavatum surgery but the next hub I will write will cover the basic process involved with the Nuss surgery and go into more detail for anyone considering this surgery or needing more information.

hope this stuff helps someone out as I don't see any hubs similar to these ones at all. I will also post some exerices i have used to improve my pectus excavatum appearance.

Also to note , IF your looking for a Surgeon visit , as I keep a quite a bit list of doctors around the world performing the surgery , that people have used and are happy with. More detailed information on Pectus Excavatum surgery can be found at


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    • profile image

      Kishikarin XP 7 years ago

      hahaha I'm so glad im not the only one...*random* umm i was just wondering is this genetic? also is it possible to be pregnant and give birth? or would there be too many complications?...I'm only 17 and not thinking about pregnancy or anything just want to have a heads up for my future y'know hehe any comments would be much appreciated oh oh and I reeeaaaally want to take up free running does P.E restrict you in that sense? i mean i know its got a big physical impact buut I just want to know if i going to collapse after i run for a while loool i know this sounds stuupid but ummm XP and I know i know i can run just very short of breath shortly after hehe .....

    • profile image

      Lewis  7 years ago

      Unlucky man i have pectus man i hate it hopeing for surgery when i have time off college im 17 going to see my GP soon apparently its the most painful surgery there is but i think i can deal with the pain when im this made up for it. cant imagine how good it would be without this curse i could be so confident and so great i just wish it could be feels abit to big for me though this surgery is just looking like its not going to happen nothing is sorta hmm bug happens to me im just ol ordinary lew lew nothing more

    • profile image

      mystery 7 years ago

      i have pectus carinatum i am so worried i have to have surgery soon what are they gonna do to me

    • profile image

      adrian 7 years ago

      i have a sevire case of p.e.

      my doctor said that criopractor could help.

    • profile image

      Kylie 7 years ago

      Hi, I have PE and had an operation when I was 17 I am now 38, as it was really severe as it started at the top of my rib cage all the way to the bottom and I could fit two fists into it and it was more to the left hand side making my left breast smaller it was a terrible thing to grow up with now both my daughters and son have it there's aren't as severe as mine and it's looking like that they won't need surgery I would suggest to keep checking on it as you can become very self conscious to this day I still do good luck with what you decide

    • profile image

      VivekSri 7 years ago

      It is amazing to know that people are so unique their ways, and you too have come up with rare observation and study. Kudos for you.

    • expectus profile image

      expectus 8 years ago from Land Downunder

      It really depends on how deep the P.E becomes as she grows up , I know a few girls with mild P.E and it really doesn't effect them and its only slightly noticeable when wearing a dress top.

      but then its more noticeable on skinny framed less busty girls and can definitely make them self conscious.

    • profile image

      Michelle 8 years ago

      Thanks a million for your reply as I'm finding it impossible to get info on this for my daughter, shes been to see a surgeon and he said its not pushing on any organs which is brilliant but Im wondering does every girl reqire surgery for cosmetic reasons is there any girls/women that have P.E that haven't had surgery that you know of that P.E hasn't affected them physologically?

    • expectus profile image

      expectus 8 years ago from Land Downunder

      Hi Michelle sorry for the late reply, usually people with mild-moderate P.E don't require surgery unless its pushing on the heart or other surrounding organs and causing poor blood circulation and breathing problems.

      As she grows its important to make sure she has good posture as it generally gets a bit deeper as you get older. Its hard to tell if she will definitely need it but a lot of girls/women get it for cosmetic reasons.

    • profile image

      Michelle 8 years ago

      My daughter is 6 years old and has a mild-moderate form of P.E im wondering is their anybody with mild-moderate that would still require surgery im worried about her development as she comes into her teens and I would definitley get her covered now for the op in the future if I know she will definitley need it Please advise..

    • expectus profile image

      expectus 8 years ago from Land Downunder

      i'll take a look see if there are any in south australia, but the surgeon in Melbourne is a good option, otherwise finding a general orthopedic surgeon in your area could help

    • profile image

      dragon boy 8 years ago

      i cant find any that's in south australia

    • expectus profile image

      expectus 8 years ago from Land Downunder

      yeaa its pectus carinatum or excavatum :P I know of a doctor in melbourne been doing it for ages alex auldist at the royal childrens would definitely do it for you , very experienced.

      you can find more doctors in your area, goto and look for the doctor list. as far as the price it varies a lot depending on insurance cover but I hear medicare pay for some of it

    • profile image

      dragon boy 8 years ago

      sorry its not pectus curriculum. i have the pectus excavatum x] .

    • profile image

      dragon boy 8 years ago

      hey im 15 and i have pectus curriculum and it really fusses me =[. I want to have this nuss procedure done but i don't know where to get it. I live in South Australia. Also wat would the price be ?

      thax =]

    • expectus profile image

      expectus 9 years ago from Land Downunder

      Hello, thanks for the comment, i have also written an hub about things to do after the surgery the address is the most important thing about recovering and getting the most benenfit from the surgery is to do the exercises and deep breathing that the doctor will instruct you to do. Without a little bit of maintenance your sternum could sink in a little, you can even start the deep breathing exercises now

      I would be interested to know if it is the ravage procedure or not as I have not heard of many surgeons still doing that procedure, where abouts are you having it done

    • profile image

      michael 9 years ago

      I am 32 and i have finally found a doctor that will repair my pectus and scoliosis. i got my insurance to cover it and most likley i will have the surgery before the end of February. any advise you have for the recovery would be great; and i will also post after the procedure. from what i understand thus far i will be repaired using the ravage procedure. though i cannot be sure until after consultation with the surgeon.


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