Magnetic Mini-Mover

Gradual, minimally invasive correction of pectus excavatum deformity

The Problem

At present, pectus excavatum, or sunken chest disorder (one of the most common chest wall deformities), can be repaired only by a large and brutal operation requiring 3-7 days in the hospital. There are over 4,000 patients worldwide who undergo this operation every year.

The current surgery places a bar in the chest and uses extreme force applied during the operation to move the chest back to a normal position. There is serious post-operative pain associated with the procedure, and the patient may have to remain in the hospital for up to four days. The bar remains in place for up to two years before removal. Many people prefer to live with pectus excavatum rather than undergo this surgery due to the pain and prolonged discomfort.

The Solution

The Magnetic Mini Mover Procedure (3MP) uses two rare earth magnets to slowly reconfigure the child’s chest, similar in concept to orthodontics. By adjusting the external magnet (Magnatrac), the internal magnet (Magnimplant) can slowly reconfigure the chest.

In a 30 minute surgical procedure, one magnet, encased in titanium, is attached to sternum. Surgeons close the small incision, and the patient usually leaves the hospital on the same day. The patient continues to wear an orthotic brace that contains another embedded magnet. 

As the magnets are slowly drawn together, the chest wall reforms to its normal position within a two year period. The device also has a means to monitor usage and pressure, a measurement of the procedure’s success. The device is currently in a clinical trial funded by the FDA, and the results are very promising.

For more information about 3MP and ongoing trials, please visit the UCSF Pediatric Surgery website.

Under Development

We are currently re-designing the internal magnet and the way it is attached to the sternum. We are also redesigning the external monitor that measures the force applied by the two magnets. We need help with the electronics as well as developing a final software program to store and disseminate the information on the effectiveness of the repair.

There is an ongoing trial at UCSF for enrolled patients; it is currently closed to new patients. The status of the upcoming multicenter trial for children ages 8 to 14 years is still pending at this time. Please monitor the 3MP website for updates about when the status of the multicenter trial changes and new patient enrollments.