Recovery after Nuss procedure

In the first 3 month after Nuss procedure (pectus surgery) there are certain precautions to take. Read about pain-relieve, sick leave, restricted activities and rehabilitation.

Pain after Nuss procedure

For the first few days you will receive analgesics through a catheter in your back. This takes place automatically using a small pump. You must also take analgesic tablets at regular intervals four times a day. This will be OTC medication supplemented with something stronger. You will be talking to the staff about pain relief several times a day, so we can adapt it to your needs. You cannot expect to be without pain whilst you are hospitalised, but we will collaborate on making your pain level acceptable

We recommend that you take analgesics for as long as you feel the need. You will be given strong analgesics to take home for the first day or two, but if you need them for a longer period you must discuss the matter with your own doctor.


Swelling of the area operated on is normal and can last for several weeks / months after the operation.

Accumulation of blood

Bruising and accumulation of blood on the chest / stomach is also normal and disappears of its own accord after a few weeks.


You can expect to be more tired than normal during the period after the operation. It is recommended that you rest during the course of the day and that you get extra proteins through your food intake for as long as you are tired. See leaflet ’Importance of diet in connection with operation’.

Work / sick leave

At the preliminary examination you will discuss with the specialist what you should expect. It depends on what you do every day.

Activity after Nuss procedure

After the operation there are certain movements you should avoid for the first six weeks in order to ensure the positioning of the bars(s) stabilises. You should thus:

  • Not lie on your side
  • Not bend forward or twist your upper body
  • Not lift more than 2 kg in front of your body
  • Not lift more than 5 kg in a rucksack, which you should be helped put on and take off
  • Not ride a bicycle

After the six weeks you can start jogging, swimming and cycling, and can do general lifting. After 12 weeks you can take part in all activities apart from violent contact sports such as American football, rugby, ice hockey and martial arts.

Sexual activity after Nuss procedure

For the first six weeks avoid positions that may put a strain on your rib cage and stomach muscles.

Removal of stitches and follow-up

The stitches will be removed at your own doctor’s surgery after 10 to 12 days. After 6-8 weeks you will be X-rayed to check whether the positioning of the bars(s) is correct. If you live a long way away you can have the X-ray taken at your local hospital and have the images sent to Aleris-Hamlet Aarhus, where the surgeon will look at them.

Rehabilitation after Nuss procedure

You must continue to do your exercises conscientiously at home – even if you have been offered further physiotherapy. We will ensure you are referred for further physical exercises.


You may find that the implanted material activates airport metal detectors. You will receive a card stating that you have undergone an operation. You can also show your scars if necessary.

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Or call us at:  +45 3637 2500

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