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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.
Physical symptoms include:
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 Magee’s Thoracic Surgery Services at