The Nuss Procedure
The Nuss procedure has received coverage in recent national publications for the benefits it offers children with pectus excavatum, or “funnel chest.” The Nuss procedure provides not only a potential physical benefit of improved cardiopulmonary function, but there also is a psychological advantage of improving child self-esteem. In addition, the Nuss procedure has all the benefits of a minimally invasive procedure while correcting pectus excavatum.
Providing all the benefits of a minimally invasive procedure, the Nuss procedure can often be accomplished in under an hour and generally requires two incisions, each about one inch long. During the procedure the depressed sternum is popped into place and then supported with a specially designed metal bar. Use of a minimally invasive thoracoscope assures protection of the heart and lungs.
General recovery time for the procedure is a hospital stay of four to five days. Most children return to school in a few weeks and resume normal activity about a month after the operation. The support bar is generally removed between two and four years after the surgical procedure and can be completed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia.