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On the Day of the Surgery
After Surgery Your child will stay in the hospital for two to three days following surgery. During the hospital stay, he/she will:
Recovery: What to Expect in the Next Few Weeks
Alternative Names: Sunken chest
Question & Answer
What does the procedure involve?
Under general anesthesia (completely asleep), three incisions are made in the chest. The first two incisions are used for insertion of the supportive bar. The third incision is used to insert a thoracoscope (small camera) into the chest. This instrument gives a clear field to visualize placement of the bar. Once the bar is in place, the surgeon affixes it to the ribs on either side and closes the incisions. This bar will remain in place to help support chest development for about two years and will be removed in an outpatient procedure.
How long is the operation?
While it may vary based on each case, most surgeries are completed in two hours.
How long will my child stay in the hospital?
Normally, two to three days.
What is the recovery time?
Most children recover in six weeks, but precautions must be taken during exercise/sports. The bar will be removed in an outpatient procedure in about two years.
What age is best for performing pectus corrective surgery?
We advise that patients are about 12 years of age or older. This surgery is recommended for children who are symptomatic from their pectus and are starting puberty and their major growth spurt. However, if the case is extremely restrictive or the child is mature enough, the surgery can be performed at an earlier age.
Is there a danger in waiting a couple of years before letting my child have the surgery?
Pectus excavatum is not normally a life-threatening condition. Your child’s symptoms may get worse over time, which should be taken into consideration. This is not an emergency surgery, so parents and children have time to prepare for the procedure.
My child is very active and participates in many sports. Will he/she be able to continue playing soccer and similar sports after surgery?
We encourage patients to be active. Patients can return to some sports after three months. Remember that the bar is in place for about two years. While this is a short period of time, it may seem like an eternity to your child. Please encourage them to engage in sports that are approved by the pediatric surgeon.
3000 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27610