Background: In the absence of demonstrable functional impairment, pectus excavatum is merely a congenital deformity, albeit with a marked psychological impact. Many patients do not wish to undergo thoracic remodeling operations, which are invasive and do not clearly result in respiratory or cardiac improvement.
Methods: From 1993 to 2015, the authors designed 401 custom-made silicone implants to treat funnel chests. Before 2007, implants were made from plaster chest molds. Beginning in 2007, three-dimensional reconstructions were made from computed tomographic scans by computer-aided design. The authors prospectively recorded all assessments and follow-up data since 1993. Preoperative and postoperative photographs of two random groups of 50 patients were analyzed, in a blinded manner, by two surgeons independently. Intraoperative and postoperative complications, clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, and quality of life were evaluated.
Results: One infection and three hematomas were recorded. Periprosthetic seroma was evident in all cases. Patients rated the cosmetic outcomes of computer-aided design implants significantly higher than those of the earlier implants made using plaster molds (p = 0.030). Malformations were better corrected in the computer-aided design group (86 percent) than in the plaster group (72 percent) (p = 0.038). Patient satisfaction was higher in the former group (p = 0.011). Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey scores revealed significant improvements, both socially and emotionally.
Conclusions: Correction of pectus excavatum using a computer-aided design silicone implant fulfils aesthetic and psychological demands. The technique is simple and reliable and yields high-quality results. In the medium term, the approach may render invasive techniques obsolete. These operations remain risky and of doubtful functional utility.
CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, III.
From the Service de Chirurgie Plastique et Reconstructrice, CHU Toulouse Rangueil; and the Service de Chirurgie Thoracique, CHU Toulouse Larrey.
Received for publication June 27, 2015; accepted December 17, 2015.
Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest in any of the products or devices mentioned in this article.
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Benoit Chaput, M.D., Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Unit, CHU Rangueil, 1, Avenue Jean Poulhès, Toulouse, France, firstname.lastname@example.org