Pectus Excavatum & Pectus Carinatum
Both “excavatum” and “carinatum” describe deformities of the cartilage of the sternum or Breastbone. Pectus Excavatum (“funnel” or “sunken” chest) is characterized by depression of the sternum. Pectus Carinatum (“pigeon” chest) is characterized by a raised sternum that resembles the keel of a boat.
These defects occur in approximately 4 people in every 1000 and are seemingly more common in men. Often the anomaly will not be noticeable until the child begins to rapidly grow. These anomalies are thought to be caused by poorly coordinated and possibly excessive growth of the cartilage between the rib and sternum.
Much research has been done to determine if these anomalies are associated with heart or lung impairment. Families having a child with a pectus anomaly are encouraged to make an appointment and discuss the most appropriate treatment option, which may include bracing or a minimally invasive repair, for their child.