Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


First patients in US receive non-surgical device of sunken chest syndrome

Surgeons at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters (CHKD) have fitted a patient with a device that might eliminate the need for surgery in some patients with one of the world's most common chest deformities, pectus excavatum, often called sunken chest syndrome.

Known as the vacuum bell, it works much like devices in body shops that use sustained vacuum to pop out a dent.

"Years from now, we may look at the surgeries and realize that many of these conditions could have been corrected with vacuum devices," said Dr. Robert J. Obermeyer, who is leading the project at CHKD, the nation's top research center for chest-wall deformities and a training site for surgeons from around the world.

Pectus excavatum is the most common congenital deformity of the chest wall. Caused by an overgrowth of cartilage in the ribs and sternum, its defining feature is a depression, or indentation, in the middle of the chest.

Until the 1980s, the only correction was a radical surgery that involved removing cartilage and ribs. In the late 1980s, Dr. Donald Nuss, a CHKD pediatric surgeon, developed a minimally invasive technique that involved placing a concave bar into the chest then flipping it over so that it pushes the depression of the chest upward. The Nuss Procedure has since become the surgical gold standard.

Today, CHKD performs more pectus excavatum surgeries than any facility in the United States and remains a major training site for surgeons and a center for research on chest wall deformities.

But even the minimally invasive surgery results in an average hospital stay of five days. Pectus specialists have been exploring less invasive techniques; research is being conducted in San Francisco on implanting magnets in the chest wall that are attracted to a chest brace.

The vacuum bell procedure marks the first use by pectus specialists of a non-surgical device. "CHKD has always made efforts to minimize surgical intervention and I believe this could eliminate the need for surgery in some pectus excavatum patients," said Dr. Obermeyer, who has been instrumental in bringing the technology to the U.S.

The vacuum bell device looks something like a large, silicone doughnut, with a bulb attached to remove air pressure. It must be fitted to each patient and fit snugly on the chest. The bulb is used to create a vacuum inside the device.

The vacuum bell must be used about an hour a day and slowly pulls up the depressed area of cartilage. After three to six months of use, the depression in the chest reaches close to the maximum correction. The patient must continue to use the vacuum bell for about two years to make the correction permanent, similar to wearing a retainer after one's teeth are straightened.

In Europe, the concept of a vacuum device to correct sunken chest syndrome has been discussed for decades, but technology lagged behind. German engineer Eckart Klobe, who suffered pectus excavatum, developed hundreds of prototypes before developing a device that worked reliably.

The vacuum bell has been used in Europe for several years, and research suggests that the correction might be permanent. Dr. Obermeyer visited pectus specialists in Switzerland who used the vacuum bell, met with Klobe, toured the production facility where the devices are manufactured and helped expedite its categorization by the Food and Drug Administration as a class 1 medical device, which allows for sale and use in the United States.

While the vacuum bell is non-surgical, it should be used under the supervision of a pectus excavatum specialist because underlying cardiac conditions can make the device dangerous, Dr. Obermeyer cautioned.

CHKD this week performed the first two procedures by pectus experts in the United States and will monitor their progress as well as the long-term effectiveness of the innovative non-surgical procedure.

Greg Raver-Lampman | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>