Pectus Excavatum

For many individuals, pectus excavatum is primarily a cosmetic concern. However, in more severe cases, it can cause discomfort or lead to health issues. Common symptoms include:

  1. Visible Indentation:The most noticeable sign is the sunken appearance of the chest, which might become more prominent during periods of growth.
  2. Breathing Difficulties:Severe cases might lead to reduced lung capacity, causing shortness of breath during physical activities.
  3. Cardiovascular Issues:In some cases, the heart might be slightly compressed, potentially leading to heart murmurs or other mild cardiovascular issues.
  4. Body Image Concerns:The visible chest deformity might affect self-esteem and body image, especially during adolescence when peer perceptions are influential.


Pectus Excavatum can commonly be diagnosed simply by examining the chest. These tests may include :

  1. Chest X-ray : Chest X-ray test can see in the breastbone and frequently shows the heart being displaced into the left side of the chest. X-rays are hands-down and take only a few minutes to complete.

  2. CT scan or MRI : CT scan or MRI tests use to determine inflexibility of the pectus excavatum to check and whether the heart or lungs are being compressed or not.

  3. Echocardiogram : Echocardiogram test is a sonogram of the heart. It can show real- time images of how well the heart and its valves are working. The images are produced by transmitting sound surges via a wand pressed against the chest. An echocardiogram also gives your doctor a look at how the chest wall may be affecting heart function and the inflow of blood through the heart.

  4. Lung function tests : These types of tests measure the quantity of air your lungs can hold and how quickly you can clear your lungs.

  5. Exercise function test : This test monitors how well your heart and lungs work while you exercise, generally on a bike or routine.


Surgery is usually only performed on patients who have moderate to severe signs and symptoms of pectus excavatum. Physical therapy may be beneficial for those who only exhibit minor symptoms and signs. Certain exercises can enhance posture and expand the chest to a greater extent.

Talk to a surgeon about having a silicone insert—similar to a breast implant—placed under your skin to fill in that space if the depression of your breastbone isn't causing any symptoms but you're unhappy with the way it looks.

The names of the surgeons who first developed the two surgical procedures that are most frequently used to treat pectus excavatum are:

  1. Nuss procedure :Small chest incisions are made during this minimally invasive procedure. Through the incisions, long-handled instruments and a small fiber-optic camera are inserted. The depressed breastbone is raised into a more normal position by threading a curved metal bar underneath it. Occasionally, more than one bar is used. After two or three years, the bars are taken down.

  2. Ravitch Technique : An enormous incision down the middle of the chest is required for this older procedure. The lower breastbone is fixed into a more normal position using surgical hardware, such as a metal strut or mesh supports, after the surgeon removes the deformed cartilage that connects the ribs to it. After one year, these subsidies are eliminated.

Regardless of the surgical technique used to treat pectus excavatum, the majority of patients are content with the way their chests now look. Many adults have benefited from pectus excavatum repair, even though the majority of surgeries are carried out around the puberty growth spurt. After surgery, there are many options for pain management that can aid in a faster recovery. Cryoablation can aid in recovery and lessen postoperative pain for 4 to 6 weeks by temporarily freezing the nerves to block pain after surgery.

Potential future treatments

The FDA recently approved the use of suction cups to help younger patients with pectus raise their depressed breastbone. This is a potential treatment to stop children's pectus from getting worse as they grow older by using it for 20 to 30 minutes every day

Coping and support

Many adolescents simply want to blend in and appear like their peers. For children with pectus excavatum, this can be extremely challenging. To improve coping abilities, counselling may occasionally be required. There are also online forums and support groups where you can converse with others who are dealing with similar issues.

Preparing for your appointment

You might first talk to your primary care physician about the condition if you or your child has pectus excavatum. He or she might suggest that you see a surgeon who specialises in thoracic or paediatric surgery.

Pectus Excavatum: Understanding the Sunken Chest Condition

Pectus excavatum, often referred to as "sunken chest" or "funnel chest," is a relatively common congenital condition that affects the chest wall. It is characterised by an indentation or depression in the middle of the chest, giving the appearance of the chest being pushed inward. While pectus excavatum is typically a benign condition, it can sometimes lead to physical and emotional concerns. Let's take a closer look at this condition and its implications.


Pectus excavatum is usually present from birth and is thought to arise due to an overgrowth of the connective tissue between the ribs and breastbone (sternum). While the exact cause remains unclear, there can be a genetic component, as it tends to run in families. Certain conditions, like Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, have been associated with a higher risk of developing pectus excavatum.

What you can do

  1. Exact descriptions of your signs and symptoms
  2. All the medications and nutritional supplements you or your child take.
  3. Questions you want to ask the doctor, such as what treatments are available.
  4. Particulars on any medical conditions that run in your family.
  5. Details on any medical conditions that run in your family.

What to expect from your doctor

  1. When did these symptoms and signs start to appear?
  2. Have they recently gotten worse?
  3. Has anyone else in your family experienced a problem like this?

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