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Pectus Excavatum

Connecticut Children’s Center for Chest Wall Deformities treats pediatric patients affected by Pectus Excavatum, Pectus Carinatum and other deformities of the chest wall.

Connecticut Children’s is the only children’s hospital in the state to offer a center dedicated to chest wall deformities. The center includes specialists and medical professionals from Connecticut Children’s cardiology, pulmonary, orthopedics, pain management and radiology divisions to ensure the highest quality medical care.

What is Pectus Excavatum?

Pectus Excavatum is a depression of the sternum and lower costal cartilages. It is the most common anterior chest wall congenital abnormality in children, often detected at birth or within the first year of life.

Over time, children with Pectus Excavatum may notice limitations with normal physical activity due to the restriction of the chest, which keeps the lungs from expanding fully. Children may also become self-conscious.

Pectus Excavatum Treatment

Pediatric patients with any degree of chest wall deformity are thoroughly evaluated at the onset of the deformity and throughout adolescence. A thorough assessment of the child’s condition will determine the most appropriate treatment option available.

When indentation of the chest is greater than 2.5 centimeters, internal changes are likely to occur and surgery may be required.

Connecticut Children’s surgeons use the Nuss Procedure, which is a minimally invasive surgical technique to correct Pectus Excavatum. During the procedure, a steel bar is placed behind the sternum. The bar remains in place for a minimum of three years to correct the condition.

Connecticut Children’s has performed the Nuss Procedure and other chest wall procedures for nearly 40 years.

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