Pre-operative Screening & Evaluation

At the Pectus Center at CHKD specific testing is required. Before surgery can be scheduled, we will gather information and perform some tests to help us evaluate the severity of your child’s pectus excavatum and decide if surgery is the correct option.

The testing and information we need includes:

  • medical questionnaire
  • pectus questionnaire
  • a copy of chest CT films and a written report
  • a print (not video) copy of a cardiology evaluation which includes:
    • EKG rhythm strip
    • echocardiogram results
    • printed cardiology evaluation
    • pulmonary function testing raw data from a cardiology evaluation

Your child’s age is an important factor for evaluation. For children under 6 years of age, we do not recommend that you have any testing done prior to your child’s initial appointment. The first appointment with us will include a complete physical and evaluation of the chest deformity as well as detailed information regarding pectus excavatum, the pectus evaluation process and surgery. Testing, if needed, will be scheduled closer to the time of surgery. Children under age 6 will be approved for surgery only if the pectus deformity is severe and the child is developmentally mature enough to follow the post-op restrictions on physical activity. Corrections at this age are very rare.

For children over age 6, you can begin by discussing your child’s pectus condition with your primary care physician. If you provide the list of the preliminary tests needed, your physician should be able to facilitate all of the tests for you. This will help ensure that your insurance will cover the testing, and your doctor will understand what you are interested in doing and why.

You can also schedule your child’s evaluation and testing at CHKD. At the first appointment, we will examine your child and determine whether testing is needed. If necessary, we will schedule all of the testing for another day at CHKD.

The Pectus Center evaluates and performs the Nuss Procedure on patients through age 25. Because we are a pediatric facility, we do not operate on older adults.

Once we have received the test results and information from you, one of our doctors will review the information. Our Pectus Program coordinator will contact you to discuss whether your child is a candidate for surgery. A consultation can then be scheduled. If you are traveling from out of town, consultation and surgery dates can be scheduled close together to avoid multiple trips.

Continue: The Operation