Pectus Program

Conditions We Treat

Pectus excavatum is a deformity of the front of the chest, where the chest has a sunken or “caved-in” appearance. This is a genetic abnormality that a person is born with that develops over time.

It is thought to be caused by abnormal growth of the cartilages on either side of the sternum, causing the sternum to begin to compress the heart, which lies underneath. Occasionally, the lower ribs may protrude or “flare”. The defect can be symmetric or asymmetric.

Pectus carinatum is a condition of the front of the chest and is essentially the opposite of pectus excavatum.

The chest bows outward due to abnormal growth of the cartilage on either side of the sternum. The defect can be symmetric, meaning it affects both sides in the same way, or it can be asymmetric and be more pronounced on one side. Males are more commonly affected than females.