Nuss procedure for Pectus Excavatum

Spire St Anthony’s Hospital offers a full range of treatments for pectus deformities including specialist minimally invasive surgery (the Nuss procedure) for a common chest deformity, Pectus excavatum.

Pectus excavatum
Pectus excavatum (funnel chest) is a condition that affects the breastbone (sternum) and the ribs. It is one of the most common anomalies of childhood, one in every 1,000 children has some form of the condition and it is more common in boys than in girls.

The condition is caused by growth of excess connective tissue between the ribs and the breastbone. Pectus excavatum does not affect growth or development but as the children grow, the chest depression often becomes more pronounced and may cause some symptoms such as shortness of breath on exercising and exertion. By adolescence and young adulthood the person may also experience psychological features associated with negative body image.

The Nuss operation
The procedure is carried as a minimally invasive or keyhole operation. Two small incisions are made on either side of the chest wall followed by the careful insertion of a curved steel bar under the breastbone, the bar is then fixed in place. It immediately corrects the pectus excavatum, it is not visible from the outside and stays in place for around two years and is then removed.

The immediate recovery time in the hospital is 3-5 days, with one night in the high dependency unit. Attention is paid to post operative pain relief and advice on how to move about to maintain the position of the bar. After discharge, the patient is expected to slowly resume normal but restricted activity, such as heavy lifting or strenuous exercise. Follow up is typically at two weeks and then again at six months and prior to removing the bar.

Bar removal
The pectus support bar is removed after between 2-3 years. It involves a short general anaesthetic and can be performed as a day case procedure with resumption to normal activities within a few days. 

The Nuss procedure at Spire St Anthony’s Hospital
Consultant surgeons perform the Nuss procedure for Pectus excavatum at Spire St Anthony’s Hospital. The hospital offers a full paediatric service for adolescent patients seeking this treatment. To find out more about this procedure call us on 0208 335 4646 or complete our form on the right-hand side of the page.

About Mr Hunt

Mr Hunt is an experienced specialist thoracic surgeon who provides a high volume comprehensive thoracic surgical service with a special interest in minimal access keyhole (VATS) surgery, thoracic oncology (cancer), chest wall deformities, chest trauma, clinical research and teaching. He collaborates with many colleagues at St. George’s Hospital including regularly operating with surgeons in ENT, Neurosurgery, Orthopaedic and General surgery as well as running a joint Paediatric-Thoracic surgical clinic.Mr Ian Hunt Cardiothoracic surgery Consultant, Sutton, private hospital specialist.

Mr. Hunt works with physicians and oncologists from hospitals in SW London, Surrey and West Sussex including St. Richards (Chichester), Epsom, St. Helier’s, East Surrey, Ashford & St. Peters, St. Luke’s Cancer Centre (Guildford) & the Royal Marsden Hospital (Sutton).

Mr Hunt is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at St. George’s Medical School, University of London and Royal College of Surgeons Surgical Tutor at St. George’s Hospital NHS trust. He is actively involved in clinical research, training and education at undergraduate and postgraduate level as well as mentoring consultant colleagues from the UK and Europe in advanced VATS techniques.
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