Pectus Excavatum Surgery (1935)

Key points below

What happens before surgery?

Your child is having pectus repair surgery. Other information to help you plan for your child’s pectus repair surgery:

What happens on the day of surgery?

What happens after surgery?

The Pain Management Team will be involved in your child’s care. 

Day of surgery
Your child will:

be asked to sit at the edge of bed and get out of bed 6 hours after coming to the unit.  A nurse will help with this.
be able to get out of bed to use the bathroom.
be able to eat and drink.
have pain medicines (most are given by mouth.)
start medicines to prevent constipation.
learn breathing exercises with the incentive spirometer (IS). Take deep breaths to keep the lungs open. Use it in both the hospital and at home.
meet with Physical and Occupational Therapy (PT/OT) who will teach your child how to move.
Medicines may be used to help with any post-op symptoms, like nausea.

Day after surgery until discharge
Your child will:

keep eating, drinking and using the bathroom. 
continue to increase physical activity with the nurses and therapists.  Physical and Occupational Therapy (PT/OT) will teach your child how to move and do their self care.
increase activity by walking in the hallway up to 4 times per day and sit in chair 3 times per day.
continue oral pain medicines which include Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Oxycodone, and Gabapentin.
continue medicines to prevent constipation. 
be able to take a shower on the second day after surgery.

Goals to go home

Walk independently in hallway and pass Physical Therapy (includes walking up and down stairs).
Tolerate age appropriate diet.
Pain control with oral medicines.
Continue taking medicines to prevent constipation. 
Your child does not need to poop before going home.
Review medicines with Skywalk Pharmacist.
Review discharge paperwork with nurse.

What happens when we go home? 

Activity limits and weight restrictions are important for healing and to keep the bar or chest in a good position.

Pain and constipation

Incision care

Return to school or work

Your child may go to school or work when no longer taking narcotic pain medicine and their energy level is improved. This will be 2 to 3 weeks after surgery. You may have them start with half days of school, then slowly increase to full days.

Follow up

 You will receive a survey in MyChart to see how the recovery is going.
Your child will need to be seen in the Surgery Clinic 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.  A chest x-ray will be done in the Imaging Department about 20 to 30 minutes before the clinic visit.

Special information for the Nuss Procedure


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has:

  • A fever.
  • A cough or chest pain that does not go away or any trouble breathing.
  • Redness, drainage or swelling at the incisions sites.
  • Constipation or not pooping as they normally do.
  • Trauma or any hitting of the chest.
  • Any change in the way the chest looks.
  • Special health care needs that were not covered by this information.