Carson’s Story: Improved Health, Confidence After Pectus Surgery


When 16-year-old Carson from Hinton, Iowa, wanted to explore surgical repair for a severe chest wall deformity called pectus excavatum, he and his family were referred to the expert Pediatric Surgery team at Children’s Nebraska.

In January 2024, Children’s surgeon Robert Cusick, M.D., who has special expertise in pectus repair, placed two stainless steel bars in the chest with a minimally-invasive Nuss procedure and paired it with innovative cryoablation, which minimizes pain in recovery for pediatric patients like Carson. The surgery has improved Carson’s heart and lung function – which is especially important to him as active distance runner – in addition to spurring a newfound sense of confidence.

“You want the best working on your child, and I’ve always said distance doesn’t matter. When it comes to my child, I’ll drive wherever,” Carson’s mother, Emily, said. “The level of care that we have received here from the doctors, nurses, the medical team, has always been top-notch, and Carson has always been treated like he’s their No. 1 priority. That, to us, speaks volumes.”


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