The experiences and perceptions of parents whose adolescent children have undergone the Nuss procedure to correct their pectus excavatum deformities




Massie, Kendra Joy.

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Pectus excavatum (PE) is a congenital deformity that is characterized by a sunken chest. Children with PE often experience embarrassment and shame over their physical appearance and can undergo the Nuss procedure, a minimally invasive surgery, to correct their deformities. Because a child's characteristics can affect the well-being and experiences of hisiher parents, one might expect that children with PE would impact the lives and behaviors of their parents. The present study employed phenomenology to investigate the experiences, perceptions, and recommendations of three fathers and six mothers whose children have undergone the Nuss procedure. Interviewers were conducted, transcribed verbatim, and thematically analyzed. Results indicate parents were most concerned about their child's well-being when hisher pectus became severe and symptomatic, and when helshe recovered fiom surgery. Moreover, many of the children's pediatricians were unaware of the Nuss procedure; as such, parents suggested that medical professionals are informed about this corrective procedure.