Nuss Procedure for Cosmetic Purpose [2023]: Is It Worth It?

Written by Mihail Veleski

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Evidence-Based This post has medical citations

Many people with pectus excavatum are still debating if surgery is the right solution for their deformity that cause no harm to their health and is only cosmetic.

It is essential to know that the surgery is successful in most cases. However, several side effects can still appear, prolonging the recovery or leading to many complications.

If your deformity is only cosmetic, I advise avoiding that process and trying non-surgical treatment first.

That method is usually painless, cheaper, effective, and faster for cosmetic purposes than undergoing surgery and living with a bar underneath your sternum for three years.

You will require a lifestyle change, ultimately leading to a more meaningful and better-quality life. The treatments such as the vacuum bell and bracing are scientifically proven to be effective and have helped hundreds of thousands of people.

Another important thing is to follow a routine of precisely defined corrective and bodybuilding exercises and stretches for your pectus excavatum problem.

Following a workout routine can positively change your life on so many levels. It has done that for me and a lot of my friends too.

But despite this knowledge, many still need clarification about whether you should do the operation.

Tip for ending the dilemma

I want to offer a solution that may make your decision easier.

  • The first and most important thing is the conversation with the doctor who monitors your pectus excavatum deformity. The doctor can help you decide by sharing your explanations and expectations with him.
  • The other thing is a list of good and bad things that the surgery can bring you. Such a list of pros and cons will compare the positive and negative aspects and the better and worse options.

Suppose the improvement in your mental health and self-esteem is on the side of good things.

I want you to know that you can solve that problem differently and deeply, with the help of a professional psychologist and with determination to have a healthy lifestyle. This will help you for a lifetime.

Self-image can vary and change throughout our lives. Improving the deformity alone will help you, but it does not guarantee an improvement in your mental health.

That is why the great life attributes the non-surgical treatment will bring you, such as staying disciplined, exercising, breathing, stretching, immersing in cold showers, etc., will make you a more confident person while improving the sunken chest.

Surgery will only flatten your chest, and surgeons will limit your physical activities while you have the bar inside.

When you must undergo surgery

When the pectus excavatum problem is severe, the dent can impair lung and heart function, leading to many uncomfortable and complex symptoms.

Some of them are exhaustion, breathlessness, chest pain, and a rapid heartbeat, which can complicate our lives.

A person with pectus excavatum may not show symptoms while engaging in routine daily activities, but when engaging in strenuous exercise, symptoms frequently manifest.

Medical professionals have clarified when surgery should be a favorable option and share the reasons that are strong enough for you to undergo surgery.

Some of the most important reasons are:

  • Severe malformation, as indicated by a Haller index higher than 3.25cm.
  • Heart and lung problems.
  • Breathing with restriction (Because lungs are constrained and unable to expand fully, it may reduce lung capacity.)
  • Heart compression because of the chest dent.
  • Heart dislocation to the side.

With the resource of medical tools and tests (such as CT or lung function test), your chosen doctor or medical team should assess the degree of your deformity, and you should then decide whether and which operation would be best for you.

Therefore, surgery is the only option if you exhibit any of the most significant symptoms listed above. Even though a healthy lifestyle is always beneficial, having a doctor examine you in such circumstances is still advisable.

Many struggle to decide whether to have surgery, but I hope these well-defined symptoms ease even the deepest dilemmas. You can make these choices alone.

However, I always recommend you seek help, even from a few medical pectus professionals, who can help you with your dilemma.

Do you need surgery based on some other factor?

You can always choose surgery to correct complex respiratory and heart issues, but you can also do it for aesthetic purposes—to restore the chest's normal appearance.

Severe body image issues, as mentioned before, can bring us hard times. But with consistent self-improvement and discipline, we can undoubtedly deal with it healthily.

However, if you think the surgery is the only way to bring happiness to your body image problem, you can consider undergoing it.


Another critical factor is age. The younger you are, the better the results of surgery and non-surgical treatment are, generally. Surgery is typically performed on youngsters between 12 and 16, but only after age 6.

That is why age plays a role in choosing whether to undergo surgery. Teenagers may recover easier and not experience symptoms like adults, so it may be worth considering this in your decision.

Some people share their opinion on Reddit, saying that if you are older than your mid-twenties, they are against surgery because it is not worth it purely for aesthetic reasons.

Recovery is more difficult as you age, and problems are more likely to occur. By any means, surgery is a complex procedure for anyone, and that is why we should be very prepared mentally and with enough knowledge before deciding to do it.

Bottom Line

As someone who has been through all phases of the issues caused by pectus excavatum, the appearance of it is the most pressing concern for many of us.

Remember that every pectus excavatum case is unique, as is every person's experience; that is why I have frequently advised people to seek medical advice and not give straightforward suggestions on whether or not they should have surgery.

But, if you want to control your issue and try to improve it in a painless and inexpensive approach, you can always discover the non-surgical methods I used on my website. It would mean a lot to me to help you and guide you through the non-surgical process.

I hope you found this blog post helpful to you. Thank you for reading, and if you have any questions, please share them in the comments or through my contact form.

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Article by:

Mihail Veleski

I am Mihail Veleski, the person behind this website. Established in 2015, Pectus Excavatum Fix has helped thousands of people improve their sunken chest deformity, both physically and mentally. I pride myself on ensuring the information and methods I share are tried by me and backed by research. I improved my concave chest and rib flare deformities non-surgically.

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