n Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Clinical experience of repair of pectus excavatum and carinatum deformities

Volume 24, Issue 8
  • ISSN : 1995-1892
  • E-ISSN: 1680-0745



We present the results of surgical correction of pectus excavatum (PE) and pectus carinatum (PC) deformities in adults, and also report a new method of sternal support used in surgery for PE deformities.

We present the results of 77 patients between the ages of 10 and 29 years (mean 17) with PE ( = 46) or PC ( = 31) deformities undergoing corrective surgery from 2004 to 2011, using the Ravitch repair method. Symptoms of the patients included chest pain (15%) and tachycardia (8%). Three patients underwent repair of recurrent surgical conditions.
All of the patients with dyspnoea with exercise experienced marked improvement at five months post operation. Complications included pneumothorax in 5.1% ( = 4), haemothorax in 2.6% ( = 2), chest discomfort in 57% ( = 44), pleural effusion in 2.6% ( = 2), and sternal hypertrophic scar in 27% ( = 21) of patients. Mean hospitalisation was eight days. Pain was mild and intravenous analgesics were used for a mean of four days. There were no deaths. Results after surgical correction were very good or excellent in 62 patients (80%) at a mean follow up of three years. Three patients had recurrent PE and were repaired with the Nuss procedure. In three patients who underwent the Ravitch procedure, a stainless steel bar was used for sternal support instead of Kirschner wire.
Pectus deformities may be repaired with no mortality, low morbidity, very good cosmetic results and improvement in cardiological and respiratory symptoms.

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