Reoperative Pectus Repair Using Biomaterials

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5 Scopus citations


Background: Reoperation after failed pectus repair, Open or Nuss, is complex. In the majority of patients, metal bars or plates are used. Recently, an absorbable bar (poly-L-lactide [PLA]) was introduced for rib fixation. This series is my experience of using this biomaterial for reoperative pectus surgery. Methods: We respectively reviewed the medical records of all patients who were referred to our institution for pectus abnormalities; 180 patients were evaluated, 62 patients (34%) underwent reoperation. Results: Sixty-two patients underwent reoperative Open repair. Median age was 38 years (range 18-, 72 years); 39 (63%) were men. Thirty-two patients had Open repair for recurrent pectus using posterior sternal support with PLA bars, and 30 patients with acquired restrictive thoracic dystrophy had expansion surgery with multiple PLA bars. Median hospital stay was 7 days (4-21 days). Postoperative complications occurred in 22 patients (35%); late complications in 10 patients (16%); all required reoperation for incisional or soft tissue issues. No patient required reoperation for a pectus or acquired restrictive thoracic dystrophy recurrence. Patient satisfaction was excellent in 85%, good in 8%, fair in 4%, and poor in 3%. Conclusions: Reoperative pectus surgery is complex and requires a detailed preoperative evaluation and individualized plan for correction. Use of PLA absorbable bars for sternal support and chest cavity expansion provides a safe alternative. Soft tissue complications are common and reversible; early results are promising in these challenging patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-389
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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