Thursday, June 30, 2011
PHOENIX — Mayo Clinic is teaming up with Phoenix Children's Hospital (PCH) and Pediatric Surgeons of Phoenix to provide comprehensive surgical treatment to both children and adults with pectus deformities.
Pectus excavatum (PE) is the most common deformity of the chest wall, often called "funnel chest," in which the chest appears abnormally sunken. When severe, PE can cause breathing and heart problems, especially as patients age.
Because a common misconception is that pectus is only a cosmetic issue, it frequently goes untreated, resulting, in severe cases, in heart and lung function issues. Many patients experience shortness of breath and fatigue upon attempting exercise. In severe cases, they experience both heart failure and restricted breathing.
The collaboration between Mayo and PCH will allow patients with PE – both children and adults – to be availed of the combined expertise of the surgeons at both medical centers.
Representing Mayo Clinic is Dawn Jaroszewski, M.D., cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon. Pediatric surgeons at PCH are Lisa McMahon, M.D., and David Notrica, M.D., who is also Trauma Medical Director at PCH. All three surgeons have extensive experience in treating pectus deformities in all age groups.
The first adult patient treated under this new Mayo/PCH collaboration, which launched on Tuesday, Jan. 12, was a 54-year-old woman from North Carolina who developed PE as a teenager. Despite cosmetic issues, she had been experiencing fatigue, shortness of breath and difficulty attempting exercise. Her surgery was performed at Mayo Clinic Hospital. Later in the day, the three surgeons traveled to PCH to perform another surgery on a 17-year-old Phoenix girl with pectus excavatum.
Both patients were doing well following surgery and both have been discharged.
Currently, only a few medical centers in the U.S. perform surgery on both pediatric and adult pectus patients — the majority of medical centers specialize in one or the other.
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