Custom Pectus Excavatum Repair Model

Rare Pathologies Require Well Done Models

The Challenge:

Medicine’s “see one, do one, teach one” approach to training works well, except when the surgery in question is rarely performed.  It is even less likely to find a cadaver with the congenital deformity the surgery addresses.  Pectus execavatum or sunken chest syndrome correction is one such surgery that benefits from a model to replicate the pathology.

This orthopedic company wanted to facilitate training by replicating accurate look and feel of passing the “introducer” through the chest cavity, over the heart, and breaking through the mediastinum to ultimately place the pectus bar which restored the ribcage to its healthy position.

The anatomical features requested were:

  • Accurate deformity of the chest
  • Accurate bone and cartilage structure and stiffness
  • Accurate overall chest pliability
  • Accurately-sized and shaped heart structure
  • Ability to have open view or closed view of the chest cavity
  • A replaceable mediastinum — which is damaged as a matter of course during the surgery — to accommodate  repeated demonstrations.


Model Design and Development:

The first task was to mock-up the anatomy of the rib cage deformity to test materials for the most accurate replication of the corrective.  The rib cage and cartilage needed to move to the corrected position with the insertion of the pectus bar and return to the deformity after the bar was removed so the model could be reused.  Materials were researched for the replaceable mediastinum.  Methods for assembling the components were designed and tested in collaboration with the client.


Model Solution:

Pulse Medical Demonstration produced a model that allows surgeons to practice the pectus bar insertion technique repeatedly in order to perfect their skills.  The realistic dimensions enables the surgeon to measure the model and gain practice determining the appropriate length of pectus bar for the best clinical outcome.  Completing work on the model drives home the point that this procedure is reduced from 4-6 hours for the traditional resection method of correction to 40 minutes for the Nuss procedure.  The surgeon will see there is no need to make an incision in the anterior chest wall, raise pectoralis muscle flaps, resect rib cartilages, or perform sternal osteotomy.

The skin on the model includes permanent bilateral transverse thoracic incisions to allow for reuse, driving down the cost per training session.

Nuss Procedure

Although this custom model is not available for sale to the public, we are delighted to make you a version unique to your medical device and procedure. Please use this link to start the process of receiving a model concept that is a visual representation of how clinicians and patients will experience your product and procedure. Pulse MDM does not charge for model concepts or the conversations around them so there is no risk to see how we can help you to tell your story in the most engaging and memorable way possible.


Minimally Invasive Repair of Pectus Excavatum Procedure (MIRPE) Overview:

Pectus excavatum (PE) involves the inward deformity of the sternum and accompanying cartilage attachments. Compression of the right heart and lungs can cause cardiopulmonary disability. Surgical correction is recommended for severe, symptomatic cases. Pectus excavatum can be corrected with a minimally invasive technique that involves placing temporary intrathoracic support bars under the sternum. These bars are then removed after 2-3 years.

Minimally Invasive Repair of Pectus Excavatum (MIRPE)