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Frequently Asked Questions

It is not intended that the information offered here about the Pectus Excavatum condition and its treatments replace the advice a doctor or other health professional might give; equally, the information on this website must not be used to diagnose a health problem or condition. Hence, you are advised to consult a health professional to obtain any further information you may need regarding your best treatment option. (for further details: LEGAL DISCLAIMER & PRIVACY POLICY)

PRE-INTERVENTION

What is the best age for surgical treatment of Pectus Excavatum?

The ideal age for intervention in patients with symptomatic Pectus Excavatum is from 8 years old to pre-pubescence, 12-14 years old (adolescents prior to growth spurt). Having said that, it is advisable to have the procedure before the age of 20 so that Pectus Excavatum consequential pathologies (e.g. scoliosis, rib deformities, etc.) neither appear nor worsen.

Is there a maximum age by when Pectus Excavatum surgery using the Taulinoplastia method must be performed?

Although the treatment should occur as soon as possible to avoid possible consequences derived from the condition itself and the psychological problems that may appear, as Taulinoplastia is really simple, adult patients can also benefit from surgery using this new technique.

Is Pectus Excavatum hereditary?

There is a genetic predisposition towards these anomalies. Hereditary Pectus Excavatum has been observed in approximately 35-45% of cases.

Is physical exercise recommendable for an adult with Pectus Excavatum?

It is always recommendable to do exercise, but people affected by Pectus Excavatum are advised to swim or cycle. Exercises to provide muscle mass to the upper body are recommendable to improve your figure aesthetically, though it is necessary to be careful and to ask the experts.

When should a patient have surgery on their Pectus Excavatum?

Surgery will be suggested based on a clinical diagnosis of Pectus Excavatum which fulfils the criteria described on the treatment page for Pectus Excavatum – Taulinoplastia. However, the decision will always depend on the criteria of the surgeon and acceptance of the patient.

What type of deformity – mild or severe – is ideal for treatment with the new implant, Pectus Up?

Surgical treatment of Pectus Excavatum will, in general, be conditional on the physical or psychological criteria that justify the procedure.

In the case of treatment with the new implant, Pectus Up, both mild and severe cases can be corrected with a high success rate, though, of course, this always depends on the individual patient.

Are there success stories with satisfactory results?

Yes. The first case dates back to 2012, with very satisfactory results, with the implant being removed in June 2015. The patient is in rude health with a fully corrected chest.

Since this first case, there have been various patients, with differing degrees of severity, who have had the surgical procedure on their Pectus Excavatum with excellent results.

Among the surgical treatments for Pectus Excavatum, is Taulinoplastia a high-risk surgery?  

No. Taulinoplastia is a genuinely minimally invasive technique which involves an extra-thoracic surgical repairing of the Pectus Excavatum without a high risk. However, as general anaesthesia is used, it is impossible to rule out the patient experiencing a complication as with any other surgical procedure under the same conditions.

Is the patient ‘under anaesthesia’ during the new Pectus Excavatum surgery?

Yes. The patient is given general anaesthesia in a traditional operating theatre. It is possible in the medium term that the operation may be undertaken as a Major Outpatient Surgery process.

POST-INTERVENTION

What is the typical care that needs to take place after a Pectus Excavatum surgery using the new technique?

Care must be taken with hygiene. Do not touch the wound or get it wet. Additionally, the dressing should not be moved until the first check-up, when the surgeon will do so. Twice-daily deep breathing exercises are recommended.

When can I get back to my ‘normal life’ after Taulinoplastia? How long is the rest period and what does it involve?

The younger the patient, the faster the recovery.

After surgical repair of Pectus Excavatum using Taulinoplastia, the patient may return to their normal life about a week after the surgical procedure – though this varies according to the particularities of each individual patient.  Relative rest is recommended for a period of about two weeks. This will consist of walking and a normal life, maintaining a good posture, not undertaking sports activities and not placing yourself in risky situations. You may go to class or your normal workplace, though always respecting the provisos of the surgeon.

What sort of activities should I expect to do? When can I return to sports after surgical treatment of Pectus Excavatum using the new Taulinoplastia technique?

Depending on the evolution of each individual patient, you may do the sports from approximately three months after the surgery. Do not lift weights or carry backpacks during the first month. But keeping away from high risk sports or special sports (swimming, golf, tennis, etc) for a period of about six months.  But always respecting the provisos of the surgeon.

What type of analgesia is necessary after surgery on Pectus Excavatum? 

Analgesia, as instructed, through Ibuprofen or Paracetamol. 

How long do patients who have had the Taulinoplastia Pectus Excavatum surgery tend to remain in hospital?

Patients are typically in hospital for 1 to 4 days following the surgical repair (depending on age and severity of their Pectus Excavatum).

When is the Pectus Up implant removed from the chest? Is it there permanently?

Initially, it will remain in place for 3-4 years but, in some cases, it may need more time or even remain for good. It will always depend on age and, particularly, on the progress of each individual patient and, always, on the criteria of the surgeon.

Is it complicated to remove the Pectus Up implant?

No. It is done on an outpatient basis without the need for a hospital stay, though in the case of very young children they do tend to stay overnight.

Is computed tomography (CT) possible after having a Taulinoplastia Pectus Excavatum surgical procedure?

A CT is possible, though the chest image may be a little distorted (artefacts). MAGNETIC RESONANCE IS NOT POSSIBLE.

Will I have problems going through Security at the airport with a Pectus Up implant?

When going through airport security, it is a good idea for the patient to have a letter from the surgeon detailing the metallic implant in the chest as it will show up in the metal detector.

Does the Pectus Up implant come in a standard size or is it adapted to each patient?

The size depends on the extent of the chest and the degree of Pectus Excavatum – always specific to each patient.

What size scar remains after surgically repairing Pectus Excavatum with Pectus Up?

The typical scar size is some 2-3 cm wide.