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.
Pectus excavatum care at Mayo Clinic
May 02, 2017
- Kliegman RM, et al. Skeletal diseases influencing pulmonary function. In: Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
- Mayer OH. Pectus excavatum: Etiology and evaluation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
- AskMayoExpert. Pectus excavatum. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
- Holcomb GW, et al. Congenital chest wall deformities. In: Ashcraft's Pediatric Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
- Mayer OH. Pectus excavatum: Treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
- Jaroszewski DE, et al. Success of minimally invasive pectus excavatum procedures (modified Nuss) in adult patients. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2016;102:993.
- Brown AY. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 30, 2017.
- Jaroszewski DE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz. Feb. 12, 2017.