What is it about?

Nuss surgery is effective for pectus excavatum, However, there is still a notable recurrence rate of 1.2–27%. Re-do surgery is effective, but still has a 6% failure rate. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea experience repetitive sternal depression during sleep, mimicking pectus excavatum. As the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea among patients with pectus excavatum is higher than the average, co-existing obstructive sleep apnea in patients with pectus excavatum might negatively impact the efficacy of Nuss surgery for correcting pectus excavatum.

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Why is it important?

In the study, we firstly documented the negative impact of co-existing obstructive sleep apnea on Nuss surgery in patients with pectus excavatum, indicating that obstructive sleep apnea might contribute to surgical failure or recurrence. It might be necessary to screen obstructive sleep apnea among patients with pectus excavatum before Nuss surgery. Co-existing obstructive sleep apnea should be treated before Nuss surgery to avoid surgical failure or recurrence.


I am very honored to conduct researches on the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and pectus excavatum with my co-authors, and had published several pilot studies together. We previously had documented that obstructive sleep apnea might be one of the potential predisposing or exacerbating factors on pectus excavatum. In this article, we found that co-existing obstructive sleep apnea attenuated the Nuss surgery corrective effect of pectus excavatum. We hope this result could remind physicians involving treating patients with pectus excavatum all over the world to have more preoperative and postoperative evaluation methods when considered surgical correction for patients excavatum.

Mei-Chen Yang
Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital

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This page is a summary of: Co-existing obstructive sleep apnea reduces Nuss surgery efficacy in pectus excavatum, PLoS ONE, November 2022, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0277494.
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