Effect of the compressive brace in pectus carinatum

Effect_of_the_compressive_brace_in_pectus_carinatum

BACKGROUND
Patients with pectus carinatum complain of cosmetic problems because they stand out in spite of wearing clothes. Surgical treatment of pectus carinatum is resection of the deformed cartilage but a wide operative scar, postoperative pain and complications related with the operation can occur.

Therefore we have performed compressive brace therapy as a non-operative treatment of pectus carinatum, and observed the effects and the efficiency of this treatment.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
From January 2001 to December 2007, 119 patients with pectus carinatum were treated with a compressive brace that they wore for 24h each day.

Their degree of satisfaction was measured after 6 months wearing. This was evaluated with a score of 1-4. A score of 1 was assigned when the status was worse, 2 when it was same, 3 when partially improved, and 4 when a remarkable improvement was observed. Satisfaction was assessed subjectively by a parent if the patient was a child, and patients older than middle school age assessed the score themselves.

RESULTS
The mean overall satisfaction score was 3.95+/-0.4. Recurrence of pectus carinatum after removal of the compressive brace occurred in 6 (5.0%) of the total 119 patients. Four of these six patients stopped wearing the compressive brace against our advice. These six patients were re-corrected by re-wearing the compressive brace within 3 months after they originally removed it.

Complications were discomfort at initial wearing of the brace, which occurred in all patients, skin rash due to compression for 84 patients (70.6%) and skin discoloration due to excessive compression for 18 patients (15.1%). The skin rash and discoloration disappeared within a few months after removal of the brace.

CONCLUSION
This study demonstrated that non-surgical treatment using a compressive brace in patients with pectus carinatum was effective, especially in children and teenagers.

Non-surgical treatment using a compressive brace in patients with pectus carinatum would be helpful for those who dislike surgery because of their fear about general anesthesia and operative complications. But, long-term follow-up is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of this compressive brace and the recurrence of the condition after its removal.

Effect of the compressive brace in pectus carinatum, Lee SY, Lee SJ, Jeon CW, Lee CS, Lee KR. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2008 Jul;34(1):146-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcts.2008.04.012. Epub 2008 May 13.

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