Both operations aim to improve the appearance of your chest and may have psychological benefits, such as better confidence. Both operations have a high rate of long term satisfaction. There is ongoing research about whether surgery to repair pectus conditions improves the function of the heart and lungs.
The Ravitch procedure allows the surgeon a good view of the chest. It also allows surgery to be done without a bar to support the repair. It is very unlikely that the condition will recur after a Ravitch procedure and this procedure can treat complex pectus conditions. The Ravitch procedure may help repair a chest which is not symmetrical.
The Nuss procedure is less invasive so the scars are smaller, there is also no need to cut or remove cartilage. A second operation is needed to remove the bar. If your chest is not symmetrical, it is likely to still not be symmetrical after surgery.
If you are suitable for surgery extra tests may be needed such as:
- Computerised Tomography (CT) Scan or Magnetic resonance Imaging (MRI). This is to assess the shape of the chest in detail and work out your Haller index.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) and Echocardiogram. This is to check the function of the heart.