Surgery to enlarge the rib cage may be an option for some children with Jeune syndrome who cannot breathe well. Our surgeons use several procedures to give the lungs room to grow. Which procedure is best depends on your child’s age.
One procedure uses the vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib (VEPTR) to enlarge the chest. The VEPTR is inserted into the body and attached to your child’s ribs. Doctors usually expand the VEPTR every 6 months to help your child’s chest get bigger as they grow.
Doctors aren’t sure if VEPTR works by expanding the chest and giving the lungs more room to grow or by helping the diaphragm. We are studying VEPTR to understand exactly why it works and find ways to make it work better.
VEPTR is best used in children who are at least 8 or 9 months old. Other procedures may be done for younger children.