Article Abstract

Pectus bar removal: surgical technique and strategy to avoid complications

Authors: Hyung Joo Park, Kyung Soo Kim

Abstract

Background: Pectus bar removal is the final stage of the procedure for minimally invasive repair of pectus excavatum. Based on our experience with one of the largest scale data, we would like to address the important issues in pectus bar removal, such as appropriate duration of bar maintenance, techniques for bar removal, and strategies to avoid complications.
Methods: Between September 1999 and August 2015, we operated on 2,553 patients with pectus excavatum and carinatum using pectus bars for a minimally invasive approach. Among them, 1,821 patients (71.3%) underwent pectus bar removal as a final stage of pectus deformity repair, and their data were analyzed retrospectively to identify the outcomes and adverse effects of the pectus bar removal procedure. The mean age of the patients was 9.13 years (range, 16 months to 44 years) and the male to female ratio was 3.55. The study is approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB), the ethical committee of Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital. The IRB has exempted the informed consent from every patient in this study due to this is a retrospective chart review without revealing any patients’ personal data.
Results: Our technique involved straightening of the bar in a supine position. The overall mean duration of pectus bar maintenance was 2.57 years (range, 4 months to 14 years). The mean duration was 2.02 years (range, 4 months to 7 years) for children under 12 years, 2.99 years (range, 7 months to 9 years) for teenagers aged 12–20 years, and 3.53 years (range, 3 months to 14 years) for adults over 20 years. Forty-eight patients (2.6%) underwent bar removal more than 5 years after bar insertion and 58 patients (3.2%) underwent bar removal earlier than initially planned. The most common adverse reaction after bar removal was wound seroma including infection (43 patients, 2.36%). Recurrence after bar removal occurred in nine patients (0.49%), and seven of these required redo repair (0.38%).
Conclusions: Pectus bar removal is a safe and straightforward procedure with a low rate of complication.

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