Pectus excavatum is a condition in which a person's breastbone is sunken into his or her chest. In severe cases, pectus excavatum can look as if the center of the chest has been scooped out, leaving a deep dent.
While the sunken breastbone is often noticeable shortly after birth, the severity of pectus excavatum typically worsens during the adolescent growth spurt.
Also called funnel chest, pectus excavatum is more common in boys than in girls. Severe cases of pectus excavatum can eventually interfere with the function of the heart and lungs. But even mild cases of pectus excavatum can make children feel self-conscious about their appearance. Surgery can correct the deformity.
April 26, 2014
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 21; 2013.
- Mayer OH. Pectus excavatum: Etiology and evaluation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 21, 2013.
- Corain AG, et al. Pediatric Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier: 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 21; 2013.
- Jaroszewski DE, et al. Current management of pectus excavatum: A review and update of therapy and treatment recommendations. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2010;23:230.
- Neligan PC, et al. Plastic Surgery. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 21; 2013.
- Mayer OH. Pectus excavatum: Treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 21, 2013.
- Jaroszewski DE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 10, 2014.
- Golden AK. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 5, 2013.