Short-term Outcomes After Pectus Excavatum Repair in Adults and Children

Jeremy D. Kauffman, Annie Laurie Benzie, Christopher W. Snyder, Paul D. Danielson, Nicole M. Chandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Pectus excavatum is a common congenital chest wall deformity often repaired during adolescence, although a subset of patients undergo repair as adults. The goal of our study was to determine the effects of age at repair and repair technique on short-term surgical outcomes. Materials and methods: We performed a cohort study of patients in the 2012 to 2016 American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Project pediatric (age<18 y) and adult databases who underwent pectus excavatum repair. The primary outcome was the incidence of 30-d complications. Secondary outcomes included length of stay, reoperation, and readmission. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the independent effects of patient age and type of repair on postoperative outcomes. Results: Of the 2268 subjects included, 2089 (92.1%) were younger than 18 y. Overall, 3.4% of patients suffered a 30-d complication, and the risk was similar between age groups (risk ratio [RR], 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.08-5.03; P = 0.731). Steroid therapy was an independent risk factor for complications (RR, 8.0; 95% CI, 1.9-19.7; P = 0.006). Median length of stay was 4 d (interquartile range, 3-5) and was similar between age groups. Risk for readmission and reoperation were 2.8% and 1.5%, respectively, and were similar for pediatric and adult patients. When comparing minimally invasive repair with and without thoracoscopy, risk for 30-d complications was lower among patients repaired with thoracoscopy (RR, 0.56; CI, 0.32-0.96; P = 0.034). Conclusions: Pediatric and adult patients experience comparable rates of postoperative complications, readmission, and reoperation after pectus excavatum repair. Use of thoracoscopy during minimally invasive repair is associated with lower risk of complications. These findings suggest that thoracoscopy should be used routinely for minimally invasive repair of pectus excavatum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-240
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Minimally invasive surgical procedures
  • Pectus excavatum
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Postoperative complications
  • Thoracoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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