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Minerva Pneumologica 1999 June;38(2):91-8

language: English

The seagull wing self retaining prosthesis in the surgical treatment of pectus excavatum

Actis Dato G. M., Cavaglià M., Ruffini E., Actis Dato A. Jr., Mancuso M., Parola A., Papalia E., Oliaro A.


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Background. Between June 1958 and June 1996 we operated many patients affected by pectus excavatum with an original surgical technique. In this study we evaluated the durability of the results.
Methods. Experimental design: Retrospective study with a mean follow-up time of 15.8 years/pt, and 60% complete.
Setting: private and institutional practice.
Patients or partecipans: 357 patients (253 males and 104 females, mean age = 18.2±5.1 years) affected by pectus excavatum. The grade of PE (Chin classification) was I in 76 patients, II in 165 patients and III in the remaining 116. most of the patients required operation for aesthetic reasons only (339 patients; 95%).
Intervention: the surgical technique consisted of a double transerval sternotomy ant the level of the lowest and highest part of the depression associated with a longitudinal sternotomy. A wedge resection of the ribs was then performed and the sternum was fixed using an original stainless steel strut prosthesis moulded into a seagull wing. The strut was removed 12 months post.implantation.
Results. There were no operative deaths. Four patients (1.2%) had sternal wound infection, which was successfully treated. From the aesthetic point of view, the post-operative results were excellent in 262 patients (73.4%), good in 82 (22.9%) and poor in 13 (3.6%). All subjective symptoms, when present, disappeared after surgery.
Conclusions. The seagull wing prosthesis apperas to be safe, easy to implant and to remove, and comfortable for the patient. This technique has shown good long-term results independently fo type of deformity and patient age.

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