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First patients in US receive non-surgical device of sunken chest syndrome
Date:11/21/2012

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.

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Contact: Greg Raver-Lampman
Greg.Lampman@chkd.org
757-335-0944
Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters
Source:Eurekalert

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