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Ravitch Technique

The Ravitch technique is an invasive surgery that was introduced in 1949, and developed in the 1950s to treat pectus deformities.

This procedure involves creating an incision along the chest through which the cartilage is removed and the sternum detached. A small bar is then inserted underneath the sternum to hold it up in the desired position. The bar is left implanted until the cartilage grows back, typically about 6 months. The bar is subsequently removed in a simple out-patient procedure. The Ravitch technique is not widely practiced because it is so invasive. It is often used in older patients, where the sternum has calcified, when the deformity is asymmetrical, or when the less invasive Nuss procedure has proven unsuccessful.

Pros:

  • Faster healing than Nuss
  • More mobility than when Nuss bars are in place
  • Basically same result as Nuss
  • Less chance of regression

Cons:

  • Large scar directly in middle of chest
  • More invasive