Open Repair of Pectus Excavatum With Minimal Cartilage Resection

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Objective:To summarize the clinical experience with a new open repair for pectus excavatum (PE), with minimal cartilage resection.Summary Background Data:A wide variety of modified techniques of the Ravitch repair for PE have been used over the past 5 decades, with the complications and results being inconsistent. Extensive subperiosteal costal cartilage resection and perichondrial sheath detachment from the sternum may not be necessary for optimal repair.Methods:During a 12-month period, 75 consecutive patients with symptomatic PE underwent open repair using a new less invasive technique. After exposing the deformed costal cartilages, a short chip was resected medially adjacent to the sternum and laterally at the level where the chest had a near normal contour, allowing the cartilage to be elevated to the desired level with minimal force. A transverse anterior sternal osteotomy was used on most patients. A substernal support strut was used for 66 patients; the strut was placed anterior to the sternum in 9 patients under age 12 and over age 40 years. The strut was routinely removed within 6 months.Results:With a mean follow-up of 8.2 months, all but 1 patient regarded the results as very good or excellent. Mean operating time was 174 minutes; mean hospitalization was 2.7 days. There were no major complications or deaths.Conclusions:The open repair using minimal cartilage resection is effective for all variations of PE in patients of all ages, uses short operating time, provides a stable early postoperative chest wall, causes only mild postoperative pain, and produces good physiologic and cosmetic results.

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