The role of chest radiography following pectus bar removal

Sandra M. Farach, Paul D. Danielson, Nicole M. Chandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Surgical correction of pectus excavatum (PE) via a minimally invasive approach involves placement of a steel bar, which is subsequently removed. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the incidence of pneumothorax and the role for chest radiography (CXR) in patients undergoing pectus bar removal. Methods: A retrospective review of 84 patients who underwent pectus bar removal from 2006 to 2014 was performed. Results of postoperative CXR, repeat imaging, need for chest thoracostomy tube placement, and complications were analyzed. Results: Mean Haller index prior to correction was 4.3 ± 0.9. The mean time between PE repair and bar removal was 2.3 ± 0.6 years. Sixty-one patients (72.6 %) had a postoperative CXR. Thirty-one (50.8 %) had no acute findings, 20 (32.8 %) had findings of atelectasis or subcutaneous emphysema, and 10 (16.4 %) had a pneumothorax. One patient (1.6 %) had a second postoperative CXR for a small pneumothorax and rib fractures. There were two complications (2.4 %). No chest tubes were placed for pneumothorax, and 95 % of patients were discharged the day of surgery. Conclusion: Postoperative CXR following pectus bar removal is unnecessary given the low incidence of postoperative pneumothorax requiring intervention. Patients can be safely discharged the day of surgery without the need for routine postoperative chest imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-708
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric surgery international
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Chest radiography
  • Pectus bar removal
  • Pectus excavatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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