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Facts have been assembled from various websites and medical definitions posted on the internet.


· Pectus Excavatum is the most common chest wall birth defect, one in 300
· overgrowth of the rib cartilages, cause unknown, indication of hereditary factor
· Pectus deformities are more common in males than females
· deformity worsens during onset of puberty until about age 18
· physical symptoms are not well recognized* and difficult to prove, include:

1. inability to take deep breath
2. shortness of breath, lack of stamina during exertion
3. anterior chest pain
4. variety of respiratory complications

· Psychological symptoms also overlooked, range from

1. mild self conscious behavior to
2. loss of motivation
3. anxiety and other social problems

· Surgical correction is viewed as cosmetic by many physicians, non surgical treatments documented as ineffective
· Methods of surgical correction include: Leonard, Nuss and Ravitch and are best performed by surgeons specializing in this area
· Severity of Pectus Excavatum can be measured by the Pectus Severity Index, numbers correlate with vital capacity and lung capacity
· For more information, refer to the links provided

* Mitral Valve Prolapse and Pulmonary Function Abnormalities related to Lung Volume have been associated, in some cases, with Pectus Excavatum and are exceptions recognized here.

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