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The Nuss Procedure for Children with Pectus Excavatum (Funnel Chest)


What is the Nuss procedure?

The Nuss procedure has received coverage in national publications for the benefits it offers children with pectus excavatum, or “funnel chest.” The purpose of the procedure is to realign a depressed sternum and support it with a specially designed metal bar. The Nuss procedure provides not only a potential physical benefit of improved cardiopulmonary function, but also a psychological advantage of improving a child’s self-esteem.

Why choose Children’s Hospital Colorado?

The surgeons at Children’s Colorado are dedicated to pediatric care and often use minimally-invasive surgical techniques to lessen the pain and discomfort of surgery for children.

What to expect

The Nuss procedure has all the benefits of a minimally invasive procedure. The 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 supported with a 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 one 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.