Also part of the UPMC family:
Also part of the UPMC family:

Pectus Excavatum

UPMC Content 2

What is Pectus Excavatum?

Pectus excavatum (a Latin term meaning hollowed chest) is the most common congenital deformity of the anterior wall of the chest, in which several ribs and the sternum grow abnormally. This produces a caved-in or sunken appearance of the chest. It can either be present at birth or not develop until puberty.

Pectus excavatum is sometimes considered to be cosmetic, however it can impair cardiac and respiratory function, and cause pain in the chest and back.

  • Pectus excavatum, the most common chest wall birth defect, affects one in 300.
  • Overgrowth of the rib cartilages, cause unknown, can be hereditary.
  • Pectus deformities are more common in males than females.
  • Deformity worsens during onset of puberty until about age 18.

Physical symptoms include:

  • Inability to take deep breath
  • Shortness of breath, lack of stamina during exertion
  • Anterior chest pain
  • Variety of respiratory complications

Methods of surgical correction are best performed by surgeons specializing in this area. Severity of Pectus Excavatum can be measured by the Pectus Severity Index, measuring vital capacity and lung capacity.

For additional information regarding this procedure or for more information, contact Mageeā€™s Thoracic Surgery Services at

Find a Doctor

Browse UPMC doctors and medical professionals to find the care that's right for you. Customize your search by specialty, zip code, last name, and more.

Visit the UPMC Find a Doctor website.
Make an Appointment

Find important information on scheduling your appointment or finding a doctor or service that meets your needs.

Request an appointment now.
Find a Location

Browse addresses and contact information for our network of hospitals, specialty care practices, and community health locations.

Find a UPMC location near you.
Pay Your Bill

Learn more about how to pay your UPMC bill. Find resources including payment methods and contact information for assistance.

Pay your bill now.
Find a Career

Advance your career with UPMC. Discover our latest job listings and learn about our values and career pathways.

Find your ideal career at UPMC.