Recent experiences with minimally invasive pectus excavatum repair “nuss procedure”

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Abstract

Objective: To review the new technical modifications and results of 668 patients who have had pectus excavatum repair utilizing the minimally invasive technique. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of 668 patients undergoing minimally invasive pectus repair from 1987 through July 2004. Since 1997, a standardized treatment pathway was implemented. Preoperative evaluation included computed tomography (CT) scan, pulmonary function tests, and cardiac evaluations with electrocardiogram and echocardiogram. Indications for operation included at least 2 of the following: progression of the deformity, Haller CT index greater than 3.25, mitral valve prolapse, cardiac compression or displacement, pulmonary function studies that indicate restrictive or obstructive airway disease, previous failed open or minimally invasive pectus repair. Technical and design modifications since 1998 have included routine thoracoscopy, the use of an introducer/dissector for creating the substernal tunnel, elevating the sternum, and routine use of a wired lateral stabilizer and polydioxanone suture (PDS) sutures around the bar and underlying rib to prevent bar displacement. The bar is removed as an outpatient procedure in 2 to 4 years. Results: In 668 patients undergoing minimally invasive pectus repairs, single bars were used in 78.1% and double in 21.7%. Lateral stabilizers were applied in 99.8% and were wired for further stability in 71%. Bar shifts before the use of stabilizers were 14.3%, which decreased to 4.6% after stabilizers were placed and 0.8% with a wired stabilizer and PDS sutures. Results were excellent in 78.5%, good in 13.1%, fair in 4.7% and failed in 3.7% after more than 1 year post bar removal. Conclusion: The minimally invasive technique has evolved into an effective method of pectus excavatum repair. Modifications of the technique have reduced complications. Long-term results continue to be excellent.

Read at the Fifty-seventh Annual Meeting of the Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery, Educational Lecture, Sapporo, October 20–22, 2004.