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Appendicitis and Pectus Excavatum Surgery

The Department of Pediatric Surgery at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, is renowned for its surgical outcomes and innovative procedures.


Nicklaus Children's Hospital offers innovative surgery for patients with sunken chest (pectus excavatum)

Approximately one in 1,000 children suffers from pectus excavatum, a congenital deformity of the chest in which the sternum or breastbone faces inward, applying pressure to the heart and lungs. This disorder can restrict the growth of the vital chest organs, becoming more serious as a child grows up. Symptoms of this disorder may include chest pain, mitral valve prolapse, heart palpitations, respiratory disease and exercise intolerance.


Our pediatric surgical team has applied an innovative surgical treatment to correct this condition, with numerous benefits to young patients. Using minimally invasive surgical procedures, a stainless steel bar is implanted to reshape the patient's sunken chest. This bar supports the chest until the child's body has molded to a more normal position, a process that takes approximately two years in most cases.


Pectus excavatum surgery requires only a few incisions, reducing scarring, and requires approximately 40 minutes, compared to the four to six hours required for chest reconstruction. Blood loss is also minimal compared with other procedures. Children usually can return to their normal activities in about a month.


Pectus excavatum surgery provides excellent long-term functional and cosmetic results, making it easier for the child to breathe, while restoring normal chest expansion and proper lung and heart growth.


Click here to meet Jason, one of our pectus excavatum surgery success stories.



Pediatric Surgery Team achieves excellent appendectomy outcomes

A recent study of pediatric surgery for appendicitis showed that Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, had some of the best outcomes of any children's or community hospital in the United States. Nicklaus Children's Hospital had an extremely accurate ruptured appendix diagnosis rate due to a greater use of ultrasound, CT scans and x-rays before performing surgery. The study by the Child Health Corporation of America (CHCA) also indicated that Nicklaus Children's Hospital had a lower rate of appendix rupture than three-fourths of all surveyed hospitals.


Analyzing hospital stays, the CHCA study reported that patients at Nicklaus Children's Hospital spent less time than average in the operating room and recovery room after appendicitis surgery, as 30 percent of the hospital's appendectomies were performed by laparoscopy. Nicklaus Children's Hospital patients also had shorter hospital stays for both ruptured and non-ruptured appendixes, a very low readmission rate of just 1.3 percent.


For more information or to make an appointment with an Nicklaus Children's Hospital pediatric surgeon, contact the Department of Pediatric Surgery at 305-662-8320.


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