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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What are the symptoms of pectus excavatum?
The primary symptom of pectus excavatum is a sunken area in the middle of the chest. Other signs can include a displaced breastbone (usually to the right), scoliosis, chest pain, and a characteristic slouching posture. In more severe cases, there …
What causes pectus excavatum?
In pectus excavatum, the connective tissue that connects the breastbone (sternum) to the ribs grows too much. As a result, the middle of the chest appears sunken. It is not known exactly why this happens, but a genetic basis is suspected.
Who can develop pectus excavatum?
Pectus excavatum is about four times more common in boys than in girls.
How is pectus excavatum diagnosed?
Pectus excavatum is present at birth, but may not be noticed until later - sometimes only during puberty. It is diagnosed by the appearance of the chest. Further tests can evaluate how each person with pectus excavatum is affected by the condition, if at …
How is pectus excavatum treated?
Many people with pectus excavatum need no treatment. For those who do, there are several methods that can help correct the disorder.
Will pectus excavatum get worse?
In about a third of cases, pectus excavatum will get more pronounced during puberty.
Is pectus excavatum serious?
In many people, pectus excavatum is no barrier to a healthy, normal life. In more severe cases, pectus excavatum can affect a persona's physical condition and psychological self-image.
About this article
Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 12 Jul 2015
Last reviewed: 14 May 2019
Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Votes: 501 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Pectus excavatum