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If you have a chest wall defect due to congenital issues, a tumor or an injury, you may require a specialized reconstruction procedure. Dr. Larson is uniquely trained in these complex surgeries and can help you restore a natural chest wall appearance.

Understanding chest wall defects

The chest wall is composed of twelve paired ribs, along with external and internal muscles. It is responsible for stabilizing the shoulders and arms, promoting respiratory movement, and protecting the body’s vital organs – including the heart, liver and lungs. As such, dysfunction in this area can seriously threaten your health and wellbeing.

Chest wall deformities can be congenital or acquired. When they are severe, patients experience both functional and aesthetic challenges.

The most common causes of chest wall defects include:

  • Injury due to tumor radiation
  • Trauma or injury to the chest wall
  • Surgical deformities due to tumors
  • Congenital issues and conditions
Chest Wall Defects Tucson

Are you a candidate?

Surgery is not an appropriate option for everyone with a chest wall defect. To be considered a candidate for this procedure, you should:

  • Be good physical and emotional health
  • Want to correct chest wall deformities that are causing aesthetic and functional issues
  • Be without serious pulmonary or cardiac disorders

The Surgery: Chest wall reconstruction

Chest wall reconstruction is a highly complex procedure that is designed to restore soft tissue and skeletal support. The surgery takes between two and seven hours to complete and is done under general anesthesia – which means you will be unconscious and unable to feel any pain or discomfort.

During surgery, Dr. Larson will rebuild skeletal support by placing prosthetic devices and meshes in the area. From there, he will transfer muscle, skin and soft tissue to close the defect. These structures will be taken from the chest, abdominal or back muscles, or from fat on the belly. Once your chest wall has been successfully reconstructed, Dr. Larson will place bandages and a support garment to protect the area and ensure optimal results.

The recovery

You can expect a hospital stay of two to seven days after your chest wall reconstruction. During the first few days, a significant amount of discomfort is normal. This will improve with time.

Throughout the initial recovery period, you will need to complete a physical therapy program to strengthen the area. Once you’re discharged from the hospital, you will need to rest at home for several weeks. You can engage in light activities within a few weeks, and most patients can resume their normal routine and more strenuous exercise in about three months.

Chest Wall Defects Tucson
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