Webinars - Past & Present Treatment of Pectus Excavatum
Topic: Nuss Procedure “The Adult Experience” Round Table
Time: Jun 29, 2021 05:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
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Pectus Biography – Neil’s Journey
I was born with a severe case of pectus excavatum but was active throughout my childhood and teen years. Though I ran competitively for short distances – 100, 200, and 4×100 relay, my endurance wasn’t quite at the level of other kids my age. I did not have any pectus symptoms until I became an adult.
In my late 20s, I developed mild chest pain. I saw a cardiologist who diagnosed my problem as mitral valve prolapse. He put me on a beta blocker and recommended a regular cardiovascular workout. I started running 1/2 mile a day and then gradually increased my duration until I could easily run in 5k and 10k events. In the winter, I also took up cross-country skiing. The chest pain went away.
My cardiologist died a year or so later in a rafting accident and my new cardiologist said that all my tests came back normal (meaning the mitral valve prolapse was gone) and that I no longer needed medication. Yes, my heart was compressed and, but the cardiologist, and all doctors for that matter, considered the pectus excavatum to be a cosmetic matter.
I was pain-free until my late 40s. I developed the mild chest pain again and knew that the source of the problem wasn’t my heart; it was the pectus excavatum. My internet search led me to a blog and that is where I found Dr. LoSasso’s name. I did a little bit more research and found out that, at that time, he had successfully performed more than 600 Nuss procedure surgeries.
I contacted Dr. LoSasso’s office and met him through a video call. He looked at my chest and thought that I was a strong candidate as an adult patient. Next, I started getting the various tests. A couple tests, like the metal allergy test, were done in Alaska, but for the more in-depth tests, I flew south and met with the physicians that worked closely with Dr. LoSasso.
Surgery took place just shy of my 50th birthday and I was in the ICU for five days. After being released from the hospital, I was taking short walks for the first week or two and then increased my walks to two to three miles. My cardio increased after I got home and has been strong and steady ever since.
Without the Nuss procedure, I don’t think that I would be here today. The chest pain was a shot across my bow that convinced me that I needed to address the problem, not just the symptoms. I attribute my health and vitality to Dr. LoSasso. He is an expert at bending the bars and is a very caring and compassionate surgeon.
My bars have been out for a little over two years and I am living proof that the Nuss procedure has very good to excellent results for adults, including those over 40 years of age.
Male, 5’10”, 162 lbs
Haller Index = 7.6
Surgery = Nuss procedure with Rultract retractor
Bars = Two, Titanium
Pain Management = Epidural, then Percocet, then Advil/Tylenol
Incentive Spirometer = 3250 before surgery, 4000 post surgery.
Pectus Biography – Robert’s JourneyI noticed I had pectus when I was in middle school or high school. I did not know what it was but I knew my chest looked different from everyone else. Because I was tall and lanky, I went through all kinds of tests to see if I had Marfan Syndrome. It was ruled out and I lived life…played basketball, tennis, and did anything else that was happening at the time. I felt like I was fine but looking back, I was short of breath sooner than everyone else. I lived life but was never comfortable having my shirt off. I knew my chest did not look like the chest of everyone else. As I aged, I still stayed active but my shortness of breath was more common.After college, I decided to see if there was something that could be done. I had no idea that other people had this and had no idea it even had a name. I remember emailing a plastic surgeon. He emailed back the next day telling me I probably had pectus excavatum and needed to see a cardiothoracic surgeon. After a few Google searches, I found there was a community of people just like me. I found and joined a message board (I think it was pectus.com). One name kept popping up when it came to adult surgery, Dr Barry Losasso. Great reviews, great results – so I contacted his office in San Diego. I went through a few tests to see if I was a candidate (I was) but I was running several businesses at the time and decided it was too much time away for recovery. Fast forward 10 years and I sold the business, it was time to see if I was still a candidate. I still remembered the name Dr Losasso and knew if I was going to have it done, I wanted him to perform the surgery. I went through months of testing and the surgery was approved. Dr Losasso and his team were amazing! Allison checked in often, Lynda and the billing department worked on prior authorizations, and everyone was very responsive to questions and concerns. December 11, 2020, the surgery was performed! Dr Losasso, pain management, pulmonologist, therapists, nursing staff, and everyone else that was with me between checking in and discharge were great.The first few weeks were uncomfortable. The first few weeks were full of ups and downs…feeling awful one day and seeing progress the next. If you asked me one month after surgery, I was not sure breathing better was worth it. If you asked me now, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I have completed physical therapy, I am back to playing tennis once weekly, I go to the gym 2 or 3 times weekly, I have not taken any meds for pain in a long time, and I wish I had done this a long time ago. I feel better, I am not short of breath after playing tennis, and I am not afraid to take off my shirt. This surgery may have been developed as a pediatric surgery, but I feel confident saying Dr Losasso has improved my 47 year old body and quality of life.
My name is Paris Maloupis. I had the Nuss procedure performed by Doctor LoSasso October 22nd 2020. When I was a child I had noticed some small irregularity in my chest, but my deformity worsened throughout puberty and into early adulthood, leading to a large asymmetrical deformity of my right chest wall exceeding 6.0 on the Haller Index. I periodically spoke to my doctors about my condition growing up, none of whom even knew the name of my condition. I was told that I was too old to have surgery as teenager around age 16 or 17. I become aware of the Nuss procedure and the Ravitch procedure from the internet and would restart the process of seeing if something can be done about my deformity, I was suffering from periodic pain in my chest over my heart. One time when trying to begin the process of being evaluated for the Nuss procedure I was sent to an Orthopedic surgeon who informed me this was not a type of surgery he could perform. All of these experiences left me very discouraged and as time went on and I become more preoccupied with school and work, it was something I lacked the motivation to follow through on for a very long time despite a great deal of physical and emotional pain. I tried exercising as much as I could to help alleviate my symptoms and perhaps improve the aesthetics of the deformity to no avail. Finally in August 2020 (at the age of 29) because of the quarantine I had the time to look into it again. In all my internet research the only place I could find that seemed to really specialize in this surgery was a hospital in Arizona, after speaking with them it seemed like it wasn’t going to work out. Thankfully I found Dr. LoSasso on a website which I cannot currently find the name of. He had over six hundred reviews at the time. Most of the doctors on that website had fewer than ten. I did some more research and called his office. Georgia who answered the phone was so helpful and I often think about how if it were not for her initial guidance I may still be stuck with the same deformity I had. On my first meeting I spoke with Alison who guided me through the workup and was so helpful, clear and comforting through the whole process. I cannot overstate how incredible Dr. LoSasso and everyone in his office have been and how grateful I am to all of them. I’ve had three bars in my chest since October 22nd after the first three months of physical therapy, I started going back to the gym. Now at around eight months post-surgery I work out about five times a week, just like I did before the surgery maybe even more intensely at times.
My name is Chris Lengers, I am 28 years old and I underwent the Nuss procedure with Dr. LoSasso in October of 2020. Around the time I was born my Doctor told my parents that I had Pectus Excavatum, but that it would most likely not be anything noticeable and at the worst cosmetic. As I grew into adolescences my pectus became more sever and around the age of 18, I began to feel more self-conscious about my appearance. I meticulously planned my life around avoiding group events where there was any chance I would have to take off my shirt. I tried to ignore it and accept it but as I was in my 20’s I began wondering if it was more than just cosmetic and if it could become even worse as I kept aging.
I had thought about the surgery for a long time but the idea of it seemed very daunting and scary. I had known for a while that Dr. LoSasso was one of the best pectus surgeons in the world, especially after hearing how he performed the Nuss procedure on Joel Kinnaman, but his practice was in California and the task of figuring out the logistics of traveling to the west coast for surgery was very intimidating. Thankfully Dr. LoSasso moved his practice to New Jersey, only a 30-minute drive from my home.
After meeting with Dr. LoSasso in the summer of 2020 I knew this was the best person to perform this surgery and he had my trust. I went through the preoperative testing very quickly and determined that my pectus was impacting my heart and that surgery was recommended. I was scared but ready to change my life after many years of discomfort and emotional stress.
The recovery from the surgery was far easier than I imagined and Definitely less painful. My movements were restricted for a while but after a few months of physical therapy I was back to running and lifting weights within 6 months. Getting this surgery done by Dr. LoSasso was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made and I don’t regret it for a second. I owe him for giving me a new life. One where I didn’t feel like I need to hide anymore.
Dr. LoSasso saved my life. I originally received the Nuss Procedure from another surgeon in San Diego who claimed to know how to properly perform the Nuss Procedure. However, he blatantly lied to my face and completely botched my first procedure. In fact, he messed up my procedure so badly that the bar he installed in my chest was pressing on my heart and lungs, and didn’t pop my chest out whatsoever, (which is the whole point of getting the Nuss Procedure in the first place). The worst part about my situation was I had done my homework prior to getting the Nuss Procedure and had picked Dr. LoSasso as my surgeon from the start. However, my insurance company forced me to see the surgeon that didn’t know what he was doing. I cannot urge you enough to learn from my mistake. Whatever you do, do not go with some surgeon that isn’t experienced with this specialty surgery. You truly need to have an experienced surgeon such as Dr. LoSasso that specializes in the Nuss Procedure and has extensive experience performing it on both children and adults in order to get this procedure. I know it may seem like a bold statement, but Dr. LoSasso is the best surgeon in North America to perform the Nuss Procedure. He trained with the creator of the procedure, Dr. Nuss himself when it was first invented in Norfolk, Virginia and has completed close to 1,000 successful procedures since then. Dr. LoSasso isn’t like other surgeons or doctors. He truly cares about his patients and makes sure to take the time to explain the procedure and thoroughly answer any questions you might have about it. He goes into great detail about the many health benefits the procedure has on your overall health and well-being. Every time you see him you never feel rushed, or that you are just another patient he wants to get through the door as quickly as possible. Before I received the Nuss Procedure from Dr. LoSasso I was experiencing extreme chest pains, shortness of breathe, and dizziness (all of the major symptoms of extreme Pectus Excavatum). After the Nuss Procedure by Dr. LoSasso I truly feel like a new person. It feels as though a weight has been lifted off of my chest and I can finally breathe for the first time. Not to mention I am no longer self conscious about taking my shirt off to jump in the pool or swim in the ocean, (which is something I have had to deal with for my entire life). I know that it sounds cliché, but there really aren’t enough good things that I can say about Dr. LoSasso. He completed changed my life for the better and had he not fixed me from my original botched Nuss Procedure I probably wouldn’t be here typing this glowing review for him. So I once again urge you to consult with Dr. LoSasso. If you have any questions or think that you may be a candidate for the Nuss Procedure please, please, please! Give his office a call and schedule a consultation with him. Also, If you live out of state I think they offer a Skype consultation as well. He has performed the Nuss Procedure on patients from around the world. So just because you live in another state or country don’t feel like you can’t have the best surgeon there is for the Nuss Procedure. This is the longest review that I have ever written for anyone, but I truly feel that it is important for any parents or people thinking about getting the Nuss Procedure to know that Dr. LoSasso is the best Nuss surgeon and that you should choose him for your surgery.