Pectus Carinatum Treatment at CHKD
If your child has been diagnosed with pectus carinatum, turn to the world-class specialists at CHKD's Center for Chest Wall Repair in Norfolk, VA.
Pectus carinatum is a condition of the chest wall in which the sternum and rib cartilage protrude outward. It occurs more often in boys and typically becomes more pronounced during early adolescence.
There are many treatment options for pectus carinatum, including non-surgical bracing and surgery. CHKD’s Center for Chest Wall Repair is renowned for treating deformities of the chest wall and can help you select the best treatment option for your child based on his or her specific needs.
The Dynamic Compression Brace
In 2009, surgeons at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters began to offer the Dynamic Compression Brace. This brace, developed in Argentina is more comfortable for children to wear and avoids the skin breakdown that occurs with traditional braces. With the brace, our young patients are more inclined not to abandon treatment.
The Dynamic Compression Brace uses a precise amount of pressure needed to reshape the chest without causing skin breakdown or so much discomfort that the child will not wear the brace. A special device measures the pounds per square inch (psi) that the brace exerts, which is adjusted monthly as the chest slowly assumes a normal shape.
The Dynamic Compression Brace is not a good alternative for young people who require more than 7.5 psi compression to achieve correction.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
At CHKD, our pediatric surgeons perform minimally invasive surgery to correct the condition. The surgery, based on the Nuss procedure, introduces a curved bar through small incisions made on either side of the chest. The bar is placed under the muscles of the chest and over the sternum, immediately depressing the chest protrusion. The bars are anchored to the ribs with special stabilizers and remain in place for several years so the chest cartilage can harden in the correct position.
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