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Nuss FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding The Nuss Procedure

Q: What age is best to have the Nuss procedure ? 

A: The best age to have Nuss procedure is around 13 and the reason for that is simply that most young adults go through their greatest growth spurt around that age, so the aim is to repair this deformity prior to when it becomes most profound, deepest and symptomatic. But the Nuss procedure can be applied to any age, from as young as 10 to as old as 58 (oldest know case).  

 

Q: How do i know if i am a candidate ?

A: You know that you are a candidate if you have an indentation in your anterior chest wall that can not be fixed by the preselected physical exercises or adequate braces. In that case, one need series of tests to determine the severity of that indentation. The first and most important area in analysis is the determination of one’s severity score or otherwise know as the Haler Index. A CT scan of the chest or MRI allows those measurements to be made and determined the level of severity. The next area is the analysis of pulmonary and cardiovascular functions and an EKG. And lastly, in some patients because of their overall body appearance, they may have tray of Marfan’s syndrome and that requires a geneticist to do an overall analysis of the patient to determine if they are one in the one of the 500 pectus patients that may have Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disorder.  

 

Q: Is it very painful ?

A: The Nuss procedure does involve some discomfort, but that is regulated through the use of intervenience medication, oral medications and immediately post op, the use of epidural catheter. This combination of medications, will relive the majority of pain for most patients.  

 

Q: How long is the hospital stay ?

A: The hospital stay varies from patient to patient and is usually from 5 to 9 days, depending on the complexity of the procedure. Postoperative appointments are required once every six months.

 

Q: When can i get back to normal activities, especially sports i enjoy ?

A: The average period is around 3 months, however during that last month if the patient is feeling better and the physical therapy is allowing, that some light activities can be performed.  

 

Q: What are the biggest risks that can occur with the Nuss procedure?

A: Like any operation, there are potential complications. With the Nuss procedure there are predominantly two -bar migration and infection.However, both are extremely rare and if the patients sticks to the physical therapy and medication prescribed by the medical personal there should not be a problem.