Your Journey Through Pectus Excavatum Repair

Christina Bates (RN MSN CPNP) and Emily McKenna (RN MSN CFNP)

Caregiver and Patient Guide to Pectus Excavatum

What to Expect at Home:

  • Child will experience discomfort
  • Child might have problems sleeping
  • Child will need 24 hour care to 1-2 weeks after discharge (additional caregiver may be necessary)

Activity Restrictions After Surgery

  • Do not raise arms above head for 2 weeks
  • Activity restrictions for 12 weeks
  • No actiivies that have the potential for chest trauma (i.e. football, wrestling” for 6 months
  • Sleep on back for 12 weeks
  • Sleep in raised elevation (recliner or wedge pillow) for 406 weeks
  • No driving for 6 weeks

The symptoms of pectus excavatum are often related to the severity of the defect and may include:

  • Difficulty taking a full breath
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Pain in the chest
  • Decreased ability to tolerate exercise or keep up with peers

Some patients with pectus excavatum have no symptoms or minimal symptoms and seek treatment to correct the appearance of the chest.

Pain Management

  • Integrative Care/Hollistic Health (massage therapy, healing touch, music therapy)
  • Pet therapy
  • Child Life

Physical Therapy

  • Surgical Precautions
  • No lifting/pulling with arms
  • No bending/twisting of trunk
  • No rolling in bed or sleeping on side
  • No arms past 90 degrees

This article examines Pectus Excavatum from a hospital’s perspective. It outlines the entire NUSS procedure post and preoperative. This presentation is given to all parents whose children are going through the NUSS procedure at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. It is especially helpful for my research because it breaks down the long recovery process in a semi-detailed format.