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The Mini-Ravitch Operation
This video demonstrates a Ravitch procedure, and is intended for people with pectus abnormalities to be able to see this potential surgical solution. The authors hope it will also be useful for surgeons who are interested in this operation and are looking for ways to minimize its size. The authors welcome discussion from other surgeons on their ideas for reducing the morbidity of the Ravitch operation.
The authors call it a "mini" Ravitch, as the modern Ravitch procedure is very different from the surgery of the past.
In this video, the authors use only a 7 cm incision and they remove only the cartilage that is necessary to bring the chest back to normality. They then restore all the ribs back onto the sternum by suturing them onto the sternum, so that there is good chest rigidity afterwards and much less risk of non-union. They are always careful to also preserve all the blood supply to the sternum to help it heal quickly after this surgery.
The Ravitch operation is an excellent "one-stop-shop" operation for many chest wall abnormalities, including asymmetry and pectus carinatum. It is also very good for patients with pectus excavatum who are not keen to have a bar in place for three years and then a second operation.