Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare clinical and health-related quality-of-life (HRQL) outcomes within a group of patients treated for pectus excavatum (PE).
Methods: A retrospective 3-year review of patients undergoing Nuss or Ravitch correction of PE was performed. Health-related quality-of-life assessment was performed using the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ-CF87) and the 17-item Pectus Excavatum Evaluation Questionnaire, and results were compared between groups and with age-matched CHQ-CF87 normative data.
Results: Forty-three patients (39 males; 91%) underwent surgery; 19 (44%) by Nuss procedure. Duration of postoperative opioid analgesia and length of hospital stay (LOS) were significantly longer in Nuss patients. The overall survey response rate was 53%. The groups differed significantly in the CHQ on one item (Change in Health). On the Pectus Excavatum Evaluation Questionnaire, Nuss patients reported being "less bothered" by the appearance of their chest. Compared to Australian age-matched norms, the aggregate PE sample showed better scores for family activity domain and worse scores in mental health, general health perceptions, change in health, bodily pain, and self-esteem.
Conclusions: Patients undergoing surgery for PE by either Nuss or Ravitch procedure have similar clinical and HRQL outcomes, but as a group have poorer HRQL scores than age-matched population norms.