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Published on Feb 17, 2014
Cardiothoracic surgeon Dawn Jaroszewski, M.D., discusses the common congenital chest abnormality known as pectus excavatum and the procedure, techniques, and tools used for surgical repair. Visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-co... for more information on the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of pectus excavatum at Mayo Clinic.
Pectus excavatum, also known as chest wall deformity, is a common congenital chest abnormality in which a person’s breast bone is sunken into their chest. Common symptoms associated with pectus excavatum are fatigue, heart palpitations, chest pain, reflux disease, and the inability to achieve a normal level of exercise performance. Pectus excavatum is more common in males than in females and can be corrected with surgery.
The surgical procedure to correct pectus excavatum is done by a cardiothoracic surgical team. The majority of pectus excavatum repairs are done through small incisions made underneath the pectoralis muscle. A metal bar is inserted underneath the breastbone to raise it into a more normal position. After approximately 3 to 4 years, if it is determined the chest wall will stay out, the bars can be removed.