Pectus Excavatum, also known as ‘sunken chest’ or ‘funnel chest,’ is a congenital deformity characterized by a concave sternum or breastbone that can compress or displace the heart and lungs, resulting in chest pain or shortness of breath.
To correct this condition, Wesley pediatric surgeons Kimberly Molik, MD and Mark Saxton, MD perform a minimally invasive procedure called the Nuss procedure.
The Nuss procedure requires only three small incisions, one under each arm and the third for a thin scope that allows the surgeon to view inside the chest. Through a series of maneuvers, a customized curved stainless steel bar is positioned behind the sternum but on top of the ribs on either side of the sternum, using the chest wall as a base of support. The bar pushes the sternum to its proper position as it sits entirely under the skin and soft tissues. The bar is left in place for three years while the chest remodels itself to the normal contour. The bar is then removed during an outpatient procedure.
Shortly after surgery, patients will notice improvements in breathing, comfort and stamina. Patients are back to school or work in one or two weeks, and back to strenuous activities, including competitive sports, in just eight weeks.
For more information about this procedure or to schedule a consultation, call Wesley’s Pediatric Surgery Clinic at (316) 962-2085.