Understanding The Surgery

The Nuss Procedure, a minimally invasive approach to correcting pectus excavatum, involves surgeons inserting a curved metal bar under the ribs and sternum to reshape the chest wall.

The bar is inserted through a right-side incision and advanced across the chest under the sternum to a left-side incision. A special tool is then used to rotate the bar 180 degrees, pushing the sternum out to correct the deformity.

Once the bar is positioned and the chest has taken the correct shape, a stabilizer is attached to the bar and connects to the ribs to prevent the bar from slipping.

On average, the bar remains in place for two years, at which point it is surgically removed.

Most patients spend between three and five days in the hospital.

Additional Information

Recovery Time

Most children return to school in a few weeks and resume normal activity after about a month.

The Nuss Procedure was developed at CHKD by pediatric surgeon Donald Nuss in the late 1980s. Through almost three decades of experience and research, Dr. Nuss and his colleagues have refined the procedure, improving outcomes and the lives of our patients.