A pectus anomaly is a deformity of the sternum (breastbone).
The University of Michigan is a nationally recognized leader in reconstructive surgery. Our team of board-certified plastic surgeons and medical specialists guide our patients through every step of their pectus surgery to ensure the best results possible.
Is Pectus Surgery Right for You?
A pediatrician can identify a pectus anomaly in patients at a young age. At the University of Michigan, we treat patients of all ages, from childhood through adolescence and well into adulthood.
Pectus surgery is best for patients who are otherwise in good health, without active diseases or serious, pre-existing medical conditions.
About the Procedure
Typically, surgical treatment of pectus anomalies such as pectus excavatum (sunken chest) are performed by experienced thoracic and plastic surgeons working together to rebuild, restructure or reposition the sternum, and then improve the cosmetic appearance of the tissue and skin affected by the surgery. However, depending upon the patient’s anatomy, plastic surgeons can perform the entire pectus surgery by using a surgical implant in a minimally invasive procedure that will require less hospital time and a quicker recovery.
Your surgical options depend on the severity of the problem, whether you are female or male (because your anatomy affects how the surgery can be performed), your needs and expectations, and whether you have other health issues.
Thoracic/Plastic Surgery Combination
If you require thoracic surgery, your plastic surgeon will work closely with your thoracic surgeon to give you the best possible outcome.
If you are a candidate for pectus plastic surgery alone, we will create a custom implant for you using a three-part process:
- Develop a custom implant (office visits, plaster cast, mock-ups and fine tuning)
- Backgrafting around the implant insertion area
- Touch up if needed
We perform this procedure endoscopically. The incision is minimized and hidden and leaves little scarring.
Note: Chest surgery is very specialized. Either surgical option may entail more than one surgery and revision.
If you’re interested in pectus surgery, we’ll first have you come for a personal consultation with your plastic surgeon. You will have the opportunity to discuss your goals and the results you would like to achieve. Your surgeon will work with you to reach an understanding about what you can expect from this procedure and the long-term benefits. Every patient is different, and your surgeon will choose the surgical technique and treatment plan that is right for you. During your initial consultation, you should expect to:
- Provide a complete medical history. Include information about any previous surgical procedures; past and present medical conditions; and all medications or herbal supplements you are taking.
- Have your surgeon examine your sternum. He or she also will take measurements and photographs for your medical record.
- Discuss possible risks and complications.
Preparing for Your Surgery
After your consultation and decisions about surgery, we will give you preoperative information that explains everything you should do and know before your procedure. Your surgical team will instruct you on how to prepare. You should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery. You also may want to make arrangements for someone to help you out for a day or two while you heal.
We use general anesthetic so that you will sleep and remain comfortable throughout the procedure. Local anesthesia with intravenous sedation is also an option for some patients.
You may have a drain after your surgery and/or may have to wear a compression garment. We will give you complete information about these items and what to expect during your recovery. It is very important that you follow your surgeon's instructions. This will promote healing and improve progress towards your new physical appearance. Also, it is important that you attend all follow-up appointments so that your surgeon can assess your long-term results and answer any questions or concerns.
Your procedure will take place in the University of Michigan Hospitals state-of-the-art surgical suites and recovery areas. Most of these procedures are outpatient surgeries.
We conduct all pre-operative and post-operative visits at Domino’s Farms where our patients enjoy personalized care in a private office atmosphere.