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Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital (VESH) - Wichita

Sternal Deviation

Piko's Sternal Deviation

Piko had been in the care of a humane society. He did not do well for his neuter procedure, which prompted thoracic radiographs to be taken. The right side lateral thoracic radiograph showed marked Pectus excavatum.

The Orphan Kitten Club generously donated funds for Piko’s care. At approximately 3-months-old, Piko presented to the Surgical Service at VESHW for consultation with Dr. Heather Millard, who specializes in congenital surgical malformations. Pectus excavatum is a congenital deformity where the sternum is deviated upward, causing decreased lung expansion and deviation of the heart.  

Early intervention is critical for success. For Piko, five sternal sutures were placed with care to avoid laceration of lungs, laceration of the internal thoracic blood vessels, and laceration of his inappropriately located heart. Teamwork is essential during these procedures. While Dr. Heather Millard (DACVS-SA) carefully placed the sutures, our highly-trained anesthesia staff monitored carefully for signs of complications. A custom fiberglass external splint was then placed.

Piko’s bandage was changed weekly with care to monitor for wounds. His splint was removed seven weeks later and his sternum remained in near-normal positioning. Piko will now go on to lead a normal cat life and be adopted!