What is pectus excavatum?
Pectus excavatum (funnel chest) is a condition where the front of the chest is sunken. This is caused by abnormally shaped ribs.
Why does it occur?
Pectus excavatum tends to occur at or soon after birth in some people. In the majority, however, it occurs following a growth spurt. Typically, this happens as young people leave primary education and enter secondary (11 to 14 years). It is caused by abnormal growth of the cartilage ribs that attach to the sternum (breast bone).
How will it affect me?
In mild cases, there is no obvious effect apart from the appearance of your chest. In more severe cases, it may have affect on heart and lung function.
How is it diagnosed?
Diagnosis is made by looking at your chest. Other tests may be necessary to look at your heart and lungs, especially if considering treatment.
What treatment is available at James Cook?
Surgery is available for patients with very severe physiological symptoms after completing a full assessment with our chest wall team.
South Tees Hospitals has been successful in securing an NIHR funded randomised controlled trial of surgery versus no treatment to restore cardiopulmonary function in less severe pectus excavatum cases – The RESTORE Trial. More details coming soon…