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Pectus excavatum treatment corrects the shape of the bone in the middle chest, namely the congenital deformity of the sternum. Pectus excavatum, most commonly known as funnel chest, is a deformity of the thorax that is marked by the median or lateral depression of the sternum. Nearly 1 to 2% percentage of the population is affected by pectus excavatum, being more common in boys than in girls. It is one of the most common types of congenital chest wall abnormality, with an estimated occurrence in between 1 and 300 and 1 and 100000 births.
Thoracic custom-made implants with CAD technology is the solution used for pectus excavatum. At present, it is used as a benchmark procedure at Centre for Surgery because it is easy and reliable. What these implants do is compensate for the congenital deformation. This innovative technique can also help correct breast deformity and asymmetry. Thanks to 3D technology, significant complications are avoided altogether.
These are the long-term results of treatment for pectus excavatum:
- The aesthetic outcome is polished. The edges of the custom-made implantable prosthesis are concealed.
- Setting up the 3D implant is easy. The 3D reconstruction fits perfectly into the patient’s anatomy.
- Low risk of hematoma
- Little pain that can be treated with analgesics, so the patient can be comfortable and functional.
- Management of complex cases
Improved exercise tolerance
Pectus excavatum treatment is reserved for people who are not happy with the way their chest looks and are, thus, concerned with their body image. To be more precise, the surgical procedure addresses young people as well as adults who suffer from psychological discomfort. The treatment equally addresses people who have trouble exercising due to shortness of breath. The heart or lung function is not affected, but there have been peculiar cases.
Patients like the ones mentioned above make good candidates for pectus excavation surgery. Besides having the desire to improve the appearance of the chest, it is necessary to be in good health. To be more precise, patients should not have major medical problems. Unacceptable patients are those with illnesses that raise the risk of the surgical procedure, like poor nutrition, uncontrolled diabetes, obesity, and disorders of healing.
During your consultation at Centre for Surgery, the thoracic surgeon takes the measurements of your chest and find out what your aims are. Following the visual examination of the chest, the corrective implant to be used is decided upon. The thoracic surgeon measures the extent of the pectus excavatum with the help of a CBCT scan. No healthcare practitioner embarks on a surgery without having a 3D scan of the patient. The 3D scan increases the predictability of the surgical procedure and allows the surgeon to see the interior of the chest. After your body has been scanned, unique implants are made to fit your anatomy.
May people do not want to undergo pectus excavation surgery, thinking that it is an invasive procedure. You too will be surprised to find out how simple the surgical approach is. Pectus excavation surgery takes place under general anaesthesia and it takes about 1 hour. Surgical repair is an elective procedure, meaning that it requires approval prior to proceeding. The surgeon makes a 7-cm vertical incision across the chest and prepares the locus to the size of the 3D custom-made implant. The implant is introduced in the locus under the muscle, remoulding the bone to a flatter shape. The implant is not visible from the outside. The closing of the surgical procedure is realised in 3 planes with absorbable intradermal sutures.
As with any surgical procedure, there is a specific recovery time. The total duration of the hospitalization is 3 days. The surgical procedure is painful only a few hours afterwards. It is expected that you can get out of bed and walk the day following the pectus excavatum surgery. There is no need for post-operative care. Only a surgical dressing is required for a couple of days and you will have to wear a compression vest for a month. You will be discharged when you are comfortable on pain medication and you are eating and breathing normally. Engaging in sporting activities is not allowed for 3 months following the procedure. You cannot play games or go back to work. You have to get a sick leave for 15 days.
Despite the fact that pectus excavatum surgery is minimally invasive, it can have certain negative outcomes. Examples of minimal complications include:
- Persistent post-surgical pain
What is the best age for pectus excavatum treatment?
The ideal age for surgical intervention in patients suffering from pectus excavation is between the ages of 18 and 24. However, surgical correction for chest deformity can be realised on adults too. There is no maximum age when it comes to benefiting from this innovative technique.
When should I have pectus excavatum treatment?
The medical practitioner is the one who decides when it is the right time for pectus excavation treatment. Thoracic implants are recommended based on a clinical diagnosis of the surgeon.
How do I care for the surgical incisions?
After surgery, you have to take good care of your surgical incisions. Yu can shower every day as long as you wash the incision area gently. Applying a small amount of soap and rinsing is enough. You are not allowed to immerse yourself in the hot tub for at least 4 weeks. Examine your surgical incisions daily, until they close completely.
Will there be scars?
Scars will improve over the course of a few days. Surgical incisions heal well, so you do not have to worry about permanent scars.
Who will be my surgeon?
Your doctor will be the first one you meet during your initial consultation at Centre for Surgery. They will be the same person performing the surgical procedure, looking after you and providing you the care that you need.