Pectus Excavatum

Pectus Excavatum is an abnormality of the breastbone. The lower half of the breastbone curves inward causing compression of the heart that can lead to an inability to exercise and at times pain at the site of the depression. Moreover, most patients have diminished quality of life due to the overall appearance of the chest.

The diagnosis of pectus excavatum is made with a CT scan of the chest. The ratio of the transverse to the anterior-posterior length or Haller index greater then 2.5 is defined as pectus excavatum.

In order to provide the best surgical outcome, we obtain the following studies:

  1. Pulmonary function test—This study is performed in a pulmonary lab. The patient breathes into a tube that provides the overall function of the lung.
  2. Echocardiogram—This study is performed in a cardiology lab or office. An ultrasound of the heart is performed to determine its overall function.

In our practice, we treat adult patients with pectus excavatum. The procedure is called “Repair of Pectus Excavatum with Sternal Plate.” We work with a plastic surgeon to provide the best cosmetic outcome after the repair of the breastbone.