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Health Information For Parents
The Ravitch procedure is a surgery to correct severe pectus carinatum and pectus excavatum. It’s typically used for patients 13 to 22 years old.
Pectus carinatum is a condition in which the breastbone (sternum) juts out. Pectus excavatum is when the breastbone is caved in. These conditions happen because several ribs and the breastbone grow abnormally.
Pectus carinatum and pectus excavatum can be mild or severe. Severe cases may cause problems with the heart and lungs.
The Ravitch procedure has several steps:
In the months after surgery, the cartilage grows and keeps the breastbone in the new position.
Your child will need pain medicine and rest after the surgery. He or she will need to stay home from school until prescription pain medicine isn’t needed. It may take 6 months or more for your child to return to all activities he or she did before the surgery.
For about 6 weeks after the surgery, your child should:
Your child should not play sports that could cause injury to the chest (such as football, soccer, and baseball) until the surgeon says it’s OK.
Check with your surgeon if you have any questions about what activities are safe for your child.
There are risks with any surgery, including bleeding, infection, and problems with anesthesia.
Specific risks for the Ravitch procedure include:
Call the doctor if your child has:
Children with pectus carinatum or pectus excavatum can feel self-conscious about the way they look. The Ravitch procedure can improve the way the chest looks and help a child’s self-esteem. Although the recovery time can be difficult, most kids are happy with the results.
Pectus excavatum is a deformity of the chest wall that causes several ribs and the breastbone to grow abnormally, giving the chest a “caved-in” appearance.
Health care providers sometimes suggest that kids use a vacuum bell to help correct pectus excavatum, a condition that causes a caved-in chest.
Pectus carinatum, sometimes called pigeon chest, is a deformity of the chest wall in which the chest juts out.
Pectus carinatum, sometimes called pigeon chest, is when the chest juts out. Sometimes it’s treated by wearing a brace.
The Nuss procedure is a surgery to correct severe pectus excavatum. Itâs considered “minimally invasive” because only a few small cuts are needed.
Poland syndrome is a condition where a child is born with missing or underdeveloped chest muscles.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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