Background: There is sparse published information regarding the repair of pectus chest deformities in adults. This report summarizes our clinical experience with the surgical repair of pectus excavatum and carinatum deformities in 25 adults.
Methods: During the past 11 years, 25 patients 20 years of age or older (mean 31) with symptomatic pectus excavatum (23) or carinatum (2) deformities underwent surgical repair using a temporary internal sternal support bar.
Results: Each of the patients with decreased stamina and endurance or dyspnea with exercise experienced marked clinical improvement within 4 months postoperation. Exercise-induced asthma was improved in 6 of 7 patients; chest pain was reduced in each of 9 patients. Postoperative complications included pneumothorax (1), keloid (2), and discomfort from sternal bar (2). The sternal bar was removed 7 to 10 months postoperation in 19 patients; there has been no return of preoperative symptoms or recurrent depression in any patient with a mean follow-up of 4.8 years.
Conclusions: For adults who have symptoms and activity limitations related to uncorrected pectus chest deformities, surgical repair can be performed with low morbidity, low cost, minimal limitation in activity, and a high frequency of symptomatic improvement. The operation in adults is more difficult than in children, although the results are similar.