Nemours pediatric surgeons have significant experience diagnosing, treating and caring for children and teens with chest wall malformations. This includes conditions such as pectus excavatum ("sunken chest" or "funnel chest") and pectus carinatum ("protruding chest" or "pigeon chest"). Your child may only have a minor chest wall anomaly that causes little or no health concerns. However, if the condition is severe, it can cause medical problems, so you should see a specialist early on to make sure your child gets the proper care.
There are many options when it comes to treating chest wall malformations. Bracing or surgery can often help with medical issues as well as positively affect your child's appearance and self-esteem. The key is to get an evaluation as early as possible. This allows your family to better:
- understand your child’s condition and its current and potential cardiovascular (heart and lung) impact, if any
- prepare for potential physical and social impacts
- learn which surgical procedures and treatment options are available to manage your child’s condition
- ensure that your child is treated at the ideal time during their skeletal development (it varies from child to child)
- explore nonsurgical management options