Sunken chest syndrome, called pectus excavatum, affects about one out of every 1,000 children. It is a malformation in which the ribs and chest wall appear indented or sunken toward the spine. At Baptist, a thoracic surgeon performs a minimally invasive procedure called the Nuss procedure to help treat sunken chest.
In the procedure, a small incision is made on each side of the rib cage. Next, a curved, custom-shaped, stainless steel rod is woven through the rib cage beneath the sternum. Once in place, the rod is rotated, turning the curved portion against the chest wall, and pushing the ribs and chest out. The rod is secured to the chest wall with sutures and wire and left in place for about two years.
The theory behind this procedure is similar to correcting misaligned teeth with braces. The bar acts as an internal brace and the deformity is corrected over time.
At Baptist thoracic surgeon Michael Koury, MD, performs this procedure.
If you would like to be treated for pectus excavatum at Baptist, the first step is being seen by one of our physicians. To request a referral to a physician at Baptist, call the Baptist Health Line at 601-948-6262 or 1-800-948-6262. Or, you can request this referring using our online form.
Request a physician referral online.
If you still have questions about pectus excavatum and how it is treated at Baptist, please call our Health Line. Nurses and other professionals there can help you decide your next steps. Call 601-948-6262 or 1-800-948-6262. Or, use the "Contact Us" link at the top of this page to send us your question. Health Line hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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