Pectus Excavatum: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Pectus excavatum, otherwise known as sunken chest or funnel chest is a condition that causes a deformity of the chest. Find out about the causes, symptoms and treatment.
This is a congenital deformity of the rib cage in which the breastbone is sunken into the chest. If the condition is not treated, it can cause compression (pressure) of the lungs and heart.
The main symptoms of pectus excavatum include:
Researchers believe that pectus excavatum is due to an irregular growth of connective tissue (cartilage) that connects the ribs to the breastbone. This irregular growth causes the breastbone to move inwards.
Unfortunately, pectus excavatum cannot be prevented, but the good news is that it can be treated.
If pectus excavatum causes problems in the heart or lungs, doctors may recommend surgery. The aim is to improve breathing, function, and heart position. There are several surgical procedures for this purpose:
It is also possible to correct pectus excavatum without surgery, with vacuum bell therapy. However, this is very uncomfortable and requires perseverance and years of application to correct the problem.