Pectus Excavatum
Home Care

Please keep the following in mind after bringing your child home following the pectus excavatum repair:

  • Pain — When your child leaves the hospital, you will be given a prescription for pain medication to take to your local pharmacy.
  • Activity — To avoid dislodging the pectus bar, we recommend no contact sports for at least a month following surgery. Except for that restriction, your child can go about his or her activities as usual.
  • Bathing — Your child may bathe or shower after the epidural catheter is removed. When your child is home, he or she may bathe or shower without restriction.
  • Dressings — Gauze and clear plastic dressings placed over the incisions may be removed a few days after surgery. Over the incision, there will be small, white strips of adhesive tape. You may see a small amount of blood on the strips — this is normal. The skin surrounding the incision may be red and bruised and the incision may be slightly swollen. Your child can bathe with the tape in place. Eventually, the tape will loosen and fall off.
  • Swelling — There may be some swelling at the site of the incision. After the incision heals, you will feel a firm ridge, called a "healing ride," under the incision. This is where the tissues are sewn together. It may be present for several months.

If all goes well, we recommend a visit to our office between two and four weeks after your child leaves the hospital. We also recommend a visit with your child's pediatrician one to two weeks after discharge from the hospital.

Signs to Look For

Call the Pediatric Surgery Clinic at (415) 476-2538 if you have any concerns once your child is home, or if your child develops:

  • A temperature of 101.5° F or higher
  • A red incision
  • Worsening pain and tenderness at the incision
  • Fluid emerging from the incision

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Orthopedic Clinic
1825 Fourth St., Fifth Floor, 5B
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2967
Fax: (415) 353-2299
Appointment information

Surgery Clinic
1825 Fourth St., Fifth Floor, 5B
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 476-2538
Fax: (415) 476-2929
Appointment information