Capital & Coast DHB Cardiothoracic Service
Nuss bar procedure
A Nuss bar procedure is used to treat pectus excavatum ("sunken chest"), usually on teenagers or young adults. Under general anaesthetic a bar is inserted that pushes the sternum outwards. An epidural is used to manage the pain that would otherwise be felt, and sometimes a PCA ("pain button") as well. Chest drainage is often required for a day or two also. Patients generally go home after 5 or 6 days when chest drains are not required and they are able to walk around comfortably using only oral pain relief.