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Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2008 Jan;32(1):105-10. Epub 2007 Sep 5.

Aesthetic treatment of pectus excavatum: a new endoscopic technique using a porous polyethylene implant.

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I Unit of Plastic Surgery, Istituto Clinico Humanitas, via Manzoni 56, Rozzano 20089, Milan, Italy.



Pectus excavatum is the most frequent malformation of the rib cage. Functional aspects associated with this malformation often are absent even in adults not involved in competitive sports activities. Overall, these patients often live with extreme psychological discomfort when the malformations are minor. Traditionally, the correction of these malformations has been geared toward interventions that modify the architecture of the rib cage. However, all these interventions, even the most recent, involve considerably invasive major surgery. In fact, optimal results are not always achieved with corrective surgery using the insertion of silicone prosthesis, and patients often experience complications.


To correct intermediate and modest pectus excavatum in a stable manner and with the least amount of invasiveness, the authors developed a camouflage technique that uses porous prostheses made from high-density linear polyethylene. This material is generally used for reconstruction of the brain case. Between February 2001 and March 2006, in the I Unit of Plastic Surgery of the authors' Institute, 11 adult pectus excavatum patients with no previous cardiorespiratory symptoms underwent the authors' surgical technique. The average patient age was 29 years.


Surgical repair was successful in all cases, and the average hospital stay was short. There were no complications during the follow-up period. The described approach repairs nonfunctional pectus excavatum in the adult with satisfying aesthetic and stable results, short hospital stay, and high patient popularity ratings.


The best therapeutic option for pectus excavatum, especially with intermediate or moderate severity, is still controversial: thoracic surgery or camouflage surgery with implant? Trying to address those issues we propose a new technique by a multidisciplinary, not aggressive approach using a high density linear polyethylene implant and Omentus flap and the early analysis of our data.

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