Nuss Procedure for Pectus Excavatum: A Comparison of Complications Between Young and Adult Patients

E.R. de Loos*, A.J. Pennings, L.M. van Roozendaal, J.H.T. Daemen, M.H. van Gool, T. Lenderink, M. van Horck, K.W.E. Hulsewe, Y.L.J. Vissers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background. The Nuss procedure is the gold standard surgical treatment for pectus excavatum in young patients. Its use in adults has also been described, although it may be associated with increased postoperative morbidity resulting from higher chest wall rigidity. This study aimed to examine the risk of complications after the Nuss procedure in adult patients compared with young patients with pectus excavatum.Methods. This single-center retrospective cohort study evaluated all patients who underwent the Nuss procedure between 2006 and 2018. Patients were stratified by age as young (<= 24 years old) and adult (>24 years old). The primary end point was the occurrence of perioperative or postoperative complications, subdivided into major (Clavien-Dindo class Ill a or higher) and minor (less severe than Clavien-Dindo class III). Between-group differences were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U and the chi(2) test with post hoc analysis.Results. A total of 327 participants were included, 272 in the young group (median age, 16 years; interquartile range [IQR], 15 to 18 years; range, 11 to 24 years) and 55 in the adult group (median age, 32 years; IQR, 27 to 38 years; range, 25 to 47 years). The median Haller index was similar between groups (young, 3.7; IQR, 3.2 to 4.4 vs adult,3.6; IQR, 3.0 to 4.3; P = .44). The median follow-up was 34 and 36 months, respectively. The incidence of major complications was comparable between young and adult participants (P = .43). Minor complications occurred more often among adults (young, 4% vs adult, 11%; P = .002). Chronic postoperative pain was the only minor complication with a significant difference in incidence (young, 1% vs adult, 7%; P = .008).Conclusions. The Nuss procedure is a safe surgical treatment for pectus excavatum in both young and adult patients. The risk of major complications is comparable. However, adults more often have chronic pain. (C) 2021 by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-911
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021




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