PECTUS EXCAVATUM DEVELOPMENT
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.
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 years]
age 10, J began to feel self conscious about his chest. [10.8
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.
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.
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
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 14]
[Side view at age 14]
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.