Pectus excavatum (funnel chest) is a congenital defect that causes the chest wall to appear sunken. It often results in lack of confidence and shortness of breath.
In most people pectus excavatum (funnel chest) presents before the age of one, but in some cases it does not become apparent until the onset of puberty. It is seen four times more frequently in boys than in girls. Patients who have mild symptoms may be helped by physical therapy. If you have moderate to severe pectus excavatum with physical symptoms and serious cosmetic effects, we often recommend surgery. The vast majority of the patients with pectus excavatum are candidates for the Nuss procedure. The operation takes 30 - 60 minutes. During the operation two to three (maybe more) 5 cm incisions is made. A camera is inserted through one of the wholes allowing the surgeon to monitor the procedure and avoid injury to the heart during insertion. Through the latter the specialist will insert 1-2 or perhaps 3 steel bars under the sternum so that it is pressed out into a normal position. Local anaesthetic will be applied to the wounds when the operation has been completed. The wounds will be closed using absorbable sutures, and plasters will be applied to them.