Major complications after minimally invasive repair of pectus excavatum: Case reports

R. Lawrence Moss, Craig T. Albanese, Marleta Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


Background/Purpose: A recently introduced technique allows for minimally invasive repair of pectus excavatum deformity. Successful application of the procedure has been reported by several centers. The purpose of this report is to describe the occurrence of 3 major complications in 5 patients. Methods: These cases are taken from the combined experience of 3 surgeons at different institutions. Operative technique and postoperative management was not uniform. Results: The first complication was cardiac perforation requiring repair. This occurred in an 8-year-old boy who had hemorrhage immediately after transthoracic placement of the clamp. He required urgent sternotomy with right atrial, and right ventricle repair followed by tricuspid valve repair on cardiopulmonary bypass. The second complication is staphylococcal sepsis, bilateral empyema thoracis, and bacterial pericarditis. This 13-year-old boy required bilateral pleural debridement followed 2 days later by open debridement of his heart. The final complication is thoracic outlet syndrome. These patients, age 12, 14, and 15, experienced persistent parasthesias in one upper extremity. One case was further complicated by instability of the bar requiring removal. In the other 2 patients, the symptoms resolved within 4 weeks with the bar in place. Conclusions: Minimally invasive pectus repair is a new surgical procedure. The spectrum and rate of complications is still emerging. Thorough and critical evaluation of the combined experience from many centers is essential to evaluate fully this novel approach to pectus repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-158
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


  • Chest wall deformities
  • Complications
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Nuss procedure
  • Pectus excavatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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