Postoperative management of pediatric patients undergoing minimally invasive repair of pectus excavatum: Where are we now? Academic Article uri icon

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  • Purpose

    Minimally invasive repair of pectus excavatum (MIRPE) often leads to a painful and challenging recovery period. This study aims to describe the postoperative management of pediatric patients undergoing MIRPE and compare postoperative outcomes between patients using different routes of postoperative analgesia.


    Retrospective chart review of pediatric patients who underwent MIRPE from July 2003 to September 2019 at a single pediatric tertiary care center. Data on pain management and course of hospital stay were ascertained. Descriptive statistics, Mann-Whitney U and Pearson Chi-Square tests were used to analyze data. A p-value <0.05 was considered significant.


    Of the 115 patients identified, 58 (50.4%) managed pain postoperatively using thoracic epidural and 57 (49.6%) used intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (IVPCA). The transition from the predominant use of epidural to IVPCA for MIRPE occurred between 2012 and 2013. Higher pain scores were reported by the IVPCA group at 6 h (p<0.001) and 12 h (p<0.001) postoperative. Patients using IVPCA had lower postoperative opioid consumption (p<0.001) and switched to oral opioids sooner than the epidural group (p<0.001). Fewer patients in the IVPCA group required urinary catheterization (p<0.001). Patients using IVPCA had a shorter hospital stay (4 days [IQR 4-5]) compared to the epidural group (5.5 [IQR 5-6]; p<0.001). Readmission was comparable at 3.48% in the total sample.


    Patients using intravenous patient-controlled analgesia reported higher pain scores however, this route of analgesia was associated with shorter hospital stay. Prospective studies designed to address moderator variables are required to confirm findings and develop standardized recovery protocols.

publication date

  • May 2022