The modern era of correction of pectus excavatum (PE) began after Ravitch published his first paper in 1949. In the following years, several modifications were added, including smaller incisions, preservation of the perichondrium, and support of the sternum either by a steel bar or with a meche. Treatment of PE truly changed when the Nuss procedure was published in 1998. Similar to many other surgical fields, the minimal invasive approach was quickly adopted by dedicated surgeons, and has now become the gold standard for treatment of PE.
The number of patients undergoing correction of PE has significantly increased—probably due to the availability of a minimally invasive operation, as well as the Internet, which today is a powerful and fast source for dissemination of knowledge.
The Nuss procedure has been used for almost 20 years, and several modifications and improvements have been made. It is therefore a great pleasure for me that so many distinguished and experienced colleagues have contributed to this focused issue of the Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery.