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J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino). 1999 Oct;40(5):725-31.

Surgical correction of pectus excavatum and carinatum.

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Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Carolinas Medical Center and The Heineman Medical Research Foundation, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.


The author presents three decades of experience in the management of anterior chest wall deformities. During this period more than 800 operations were performed on patients with pectus excavatum and carinatum. In this series, there was no death and serious complications were rare. The author believes that the principles on which surgical treatment of pectus excavatum should be based are as follows: (1) bilateral removal of the "culprit" costal cartilages, (2) adequate mobilization of the sternum and correction of the sternal positional deformity by transverse osteotomy, (3) stabilizing the corrected position of the sternum with a substernal "hammock" support. Using this technique the author developed new surgical techniques for the correction of different varieties of chest wall deformities: Pectus excavatum, asymmetric pectus excavatum, pectus carinatum with xiphoid angulation, horizontal pectus excavatum, asymmetric pectus carinatum, chondrosternal prominence with chondrogladiolar depression, and recurrent pectus excavatum. The present method applied for correction of pectus excavatum utilizes the above principles and a substernal Marlex mesh support with bilateral muscle coverage. For carinatum repair, the author routinely uses positional correction of the sternum and sternal shortening. Patients who have significant pectus deformities should undergo surgical repair, preferably between one and eight years of age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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