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Questions about: Pectus excavatum (Nuss procedure)
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As children grow, the chest depression can become more pronounced. The minimally invasive Nuss procedure can correct the 'funnel chest'.

Why you might need it

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 procedure can be performed from 16 years of age to 25 years, and a referral by GP is necessary to secure an initial consultation.

How much does it cost?

A fixed price for this treatment may be available on enquiry and following an initial consultation.

If available, you can trust Spire Healthcare to provide you with a single, fixed price so there are no surprises1. Interest free finance may be available through our carefully chosen partner, Zebra Health Finance Ltd2.

We're here to help you with making these important choices, so you're then free to concentrate on your treatment and on getting back to being you.

1 Please read our patient terms and conditions for full details of what's included and excluded in your fixed price.

2 Interest free finance (0% represented APR available) through Zebra Health Finance Ltd.

Who will do it?

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.

All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.

Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-speciality surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.

Before your treatment

You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.

We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.

Preparing for your treatment

We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.

For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.

Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.

The procedure

The Nuss 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.

Aftercare

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.

The consultant will follow up the patient at two weeks and six months.

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.

Important to note

The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.

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