Surgeons at Duke offer procedures to restore form and facilitate healing for patients with congenital or acquired defects of the chest wall, including repair of the sternum (breast bone) if healing is impaired after cardiothoracic surgery ("non-union").
Plastic surgery may benefit patients:
Reconstructive plastic surgery using local and regional tissues ("flaps") means that skin adjacent to the affected area is used for reconstruction.
Patients with complex defects may require free tissue transfers to provide stable wound coverage. In this type of procedure, tissues, such as skin and muscle, are transferred from a different site on the body. Blood flow is restored with microsurgical techniques, which connect tiny blood vessels to nourish the flap of skin.
Sternal instability and sternal "non-union" refers to a breast bone that does not heal after trauma or surgery. Symptoms of sternal instability include persistent sternal pain and clicking or grinding sensations.
Duke surgeons may be able to treat sternal non-union using a new surgical device that pulls the sides of the sternum together using a ratchet mechanism. Learn more about this device used for sternal closure.
Physicians offering this service include:
This service is available at: