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J'S PECTUS EXCAVATUM DEVELOPMENT
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J was born on December 11th, 1987 with a Pectus Excavatum birth defect. The pediatrician commented that it was not a concern at the time but that we may have to address it later as the child gets older.
[6 weeksImage.] [10 monthsImage.] [17 monthsImage.]

Having lived in many different places, J had a number of different physicians throughout his childhood. Most of them did not even notice the birth defect, while a few others inquired if it was causing any problems. [4.7 yearsImage.] [7.10 yearsImage.] [8.3 yearsImage.] [9 yearsImage.] [9.10 yearsImage.]

Around age 10, J began to feel self conscious about his chest. [10.8 yearsImage.] Initially he tried to cover up with a bad posture that later became very prominent. Notably, none of the photos taken of J after this stage of development, showed his chest. By the age of 12 he refused to remove his shirt even while swimming and began to avoid locker rooms for organized sports.

Around the age of 13, J's chest began to look troubling. During a routine visit to a new pediatrician we asked about it. The doctor reassured us that there was nothing to worry about, that correction was strictly cosmetic and was not worth considering.

In the following year J began to complain about breathing difficulties and his heart beating into his chest. During organized sports activities, he would feel tired and unable to keep up with peers.

A return to the pediatrician was prompted by these symptoms. The doctor was skeptical, even though J's chest looked quite deformed. He had developed an asymmetrical chest, notably larger on the left side. [Front view at age 14Image.] [Side view at age 14Image.]

Following a heated discussion we managed to get a referral to a pediatric pulmonary specialist to investigate the breathing problems. The pulmonary specialist turned out to be the key player with a referral to a P.E. specialist surgeon.

 
   
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