Going Home after a NUSS Procedure


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Nicki Mitchell, MSN, CPN


  • Your child should be up and walking as he or she is able. It is common to hear an occasional popping sound as the ribs slide along the bar. — If there is a loud popping sound and it is very painful, call your child’s surgeon right away. Your child may need to have an x-ray.
  • Increase activity slowly. Take your child for a walk every day and walk a little longer distance or a little faster every day.
  • During the first few weeks, your child may tire easily and need frequent naps.
  • No contact sports for 3 months. Your child can run, throw a ball, and do other physical activities once the surgeon says it is okay. This is usually around 6 weeks after surgery.
  • No swimming for 4 weeks after surgery. Your child needs to be off of narcotics for at least 48 hours before swimming.
  • No lifting greater than 10 pounds for 3 months.

Follow-up Care

  • Call the surgeon’s office today for a follow-up appointment for 2 to 3 weeks after your child’s surgery. The surgeon needs to see how your child is doing after the surgery.
  • Before you leave the hospital, fill your child’s prescriptions. Make sure you have enough of your child’s medicines to last until your child sees the surgeon again. If not, tell your nurse or surgeon you need prescriptions. Refills for narcotics usually cannot be called into the pharmacy and may require a paper prescription signed by your child’s surgeon.

This packet is addressed to parents who are taking home a child after the NUSS Procedure, a surgical treatment for Pectus Excavatum. It details how to slowly ween a child off medication, encourages parents to keep their child active, and when to schedule follow-up appointments. It is especially relevant to my research because it highlights a few areas of discomfort as a child returns home after surgery.