How Long Will It Take To Recover From Pectus Carinatum & How Long Do The Symptoms Last?

Most patients need pain medications for almost 2-4 weeks post-surgery and the condition needs a month to fully recover and resume normal activities.1

After surgery, your child will be in the hospital for 1-7 days before discharge and your doctor will recommend limiting your child’s activity for faster recovery.2

The most common form of treatment of pectus carinatum is bracing but the treatment takes up to 2 years depending on the age of the child.3,4

How Long Will It Take to Recover From Pectus Carinatum?

There are several things you need to expect before and after the modified Ravitch procedure.

Prior To Surgery

  • Your doctor would suggest discontinuing medicals/supplements a week before surgery.
  • Avoid food and drinks the night before surgery.

On The Day Of Surgery

  • Discuss vital medications with your doctor and take only the medications that the surgeon or anesthesiologist has recommended.
  • Blood samples are taken to determine the blood count, and for women, a urine test is done to rule out pregnancy.

After Surgery

  • Most patients experience pain after surgery, so the doctor suggests NSAIDS and oral pain medications to keep pain under control.
  • After surgery limit, your actions, take a deep breath, walk for short distances, and shower only after 2 days.1

As with any surgical procedure, the recovery time varies depending on the complexities and the patient’s health condition. Patients take pain medications for the next 2-4 weeks and take a month or two for them to fully recover and resume normal activities. The patient will be required to stay in the hospital for 4-5 days and discharged home when the pain can be controlled by medications.

Patients would be asked to exercise to loosen the ligaments to help the sternum remold the chest. Short walks for 2-3 times a day that can be gradually increased both by time or distance walked over time. No contact sports until 6 weeks however after 6 weeks you can become more active with biking, swimming, or running.2

How Long Do The Symptoms Of Pectus Carinatum Last?

Pectus carinatum is an uncommon birth defect in which a child’s chest appearance is not normal. Often, the pushing outward of the breastbone or the breastbone that sticks out is the typical symptom of pectus carinatum. The symptoms may vary from a person to person. It can be serious in some instances that include fatigue, breathing difficulties, cardiac discomforts like pain in the chest, and irregular heartbeat.

These symptoms last for more than a month, then the chances of successful recovery depend on the person’s health. Respiratory conditions can affect breathing and such symptoms last for two weeks while the cough associated with it may remain for a longer period.

Most children will wear a brace for 6 months to a year for 8 hours a day or more, though some children will require to wear them for longer.3,4

Pectus carinatum is the most common congenital disorder present at the time of birth occurring as a result of abnormal growth of cartilages between the ribs. The exact cause of the condition is not known although most of the patients acquire it hereditary.

The incidence of pectus carinatum is more in males when compared to females and occurs in the ratio of 3:1. Statistics show the condition is reported to occur every 1 out of 1000 patients.

References:

  1. S;, Fonkalsrud EW;Beanes. “Surgical Management of Pectus Carinatum: 30 Years’ Experience.” World Journal of Surgery, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11572031/
  2. “Chest Wall Disorder: Pectus Carinatum (for Parents) – Nemours KidsHealth.” Edited by Cynthia Reyes-Ferral, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, Nov. 2017, kidshealth.org/en/parents/pectus-carinatum.html.
  3. “Pectus Carinatum.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 16 Oct. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pectus-carinatum/symptoms-causes/syc-20355531.
  4. “Pectus Carinatum; Symptoms, Causes, Management & Treatment.” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15790-pectus-carinatum.

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