Most children can go home the same day. Here is what to expect when having the bar removed:

The Day Before Surgery

  • Your child may need to have special breathing tests.
  • Your child cannot have anything to eat or drink after midnight.

The Day of Surgery

  • The incisions to remove the bar will usually be in the same place that was used to insert the bar. There are no stitches on the outside, just small paper bandage called a steri-strip.
  • A local anesthetic (numbing medicine) is used at the incision sites. This will help decrease the amount of pain after the operation.
  • A chest x-ray will be done after the bar is removed.

After Surgery

  • Your child will be admitted to the post anesthesia care unit (PACU).
  • Your child will have an IV for pain medication until they are awake enough to take liquids.
  • Ice chips and sips of fluids will be given once your child is awake and able to swallow without problems.
  • Your child can be discharged, if there are no problems, once they are awake and comfortable and a chest x-ray has been completed.
  • You will be given a prescription for pain relief medication that your child will need for two to five days following the procedure.
  • Your child may bathe two days after surgery.
  • Your child may return to normal activity without restrictions 10 days after surgery.
  • Your child may return to school, daycare, camp, or work within several days.
  • Pectus excavatum posture and deep breathing with breath-holding exercises still need to be done twice a day.

CALL THE DOCTOR IF ANY OF THESE PROBLEMS DEVELOP

  • Fever.
  • Persistent cough.
  • Chest pain, especially with deep breaths.
  • Redness, drainage, or swelling at the incision sites.
  • Any breathing difficulties.

Follow-up Appointments

  • Local patients will need to make an appointment with the surgeon for follow up in two to three weeks.
  • Out-of-town patients may need to be seen by the surgeon the day after surgery. A follow-up appointment in two to three weeks with your primary care physician to check the incision is optional.
  • Patients need to return one year after bar removal to check that the chest is growing normally and to check for normal  lungs function.