Adela Casas-Melley, MD of Sanford Children's Specialty Clinic
(Sioux Falls, SD) Teens once sidelined by a sunken chest (pectus excavatum) can get back in the game with the innovative Nuss procedure being offered now in South Dakota by Adela Casas-Melley, MD of Sanford Childrens Specialty Clinic.
A lot of these kids will spend their teenage years unwilling to take their shirts off. They always play on the shirts versus the skins. They're very self conscious and it's easily visible to other people, says pediatric surgeon Dr. Casas-Melley. These children not only benefit from a psychological stand point and have a better body image, but they also physically benefit from it. Their heart output is better, their posture and many of these children will tell you after they had the procedure theyre able to play sports longer and keep up with their peers.
Pectus excavatum occurs in one of every 1,000 children. Physicians usually diagnose the chest disorder at birth with the funnel-shaped depression becoming pronounced with age, especially into puberty.
Dr. Casas-Melley can correct pectus excavatum with the Nuss procedure at Sanford Childrens. Using the revolutionary and minimally-invasive Nuss technique, Dr. Casas-Melley uses an implanted bar to remodel the sunken chest wall over two to three years. Ideal candidates would be children six- to 12-years-old, before the adolescent growing period starts.
Previous methods of correcting concave chests required hours of surgery, extensive recovery and resectioning of bone and cartilage.
There are a lot of kids being done with the old system that would be better with the Nuss procedure. People need to know its available and we need to start taking care of kids this way, Dr. Casas-Melley adds.
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