Pectus Excavatum is a deformity of the sternum where the breast bone is sunken into the chest. This results in the chest bowing inward and leaving the appearance of a depression in the chest. This condition can be noticed at birth but generally worsens during adolescence. This condition is more common in boys than girls, may be familial, and, depending on its severity, can interfere with the function of the heart and lungs. Surgery can correct the deformity and the use of the minimally invasive Nuss bar procedure can be used.
Pectus Carinatum is the opposite of pectus excavatum where the sternum is forced forward. This protrusion is caused by the formation of cartilage around the sternum. This deformity can be evident at birth and gradually worsens as the child develops. It can cause significant discomfort.
Pectus Arcuatum is a variant of pectus excavatum with a wave-like deformity of the sternum. Patients often have similar suymptoms as with pectus excavatum.
More information about the treatment of pectus excavatum, pectus carinatum and pectus arcuatum can be found by visiting the Multidisciplinary Chest Wall Disease Management Clinic.
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