Pectus excavatum, or funnel chest, is a sunken deformity in the rib cage that affects the well-being of the affected person, sometimes physically but mostly psychologically. Fortunately, treatment of pectus excavatum is possible. In Montreal, Dr. Michel Alain Danino offers you his help at the Centre de Chirurgie Plastique de l'Île-des-Sœurs: come and meet him to regain your full self-confidence.
The sternum is connected to the ribs by cartilage. When a person has pectus excavatum, it means that an exaggerated growth of these cartilages has pushed the sternum inwards.
Who Can Be Affected and How
This congenital malformation affects more boys than girls (1 in 1000 in Quebec according to sources). In more than half of the cases, the problem improves or even disappears completely without any intervention. The funnel chest does not systematically cause discomfort to the respiratory or cardiac system. Unfortunately, some people with funnel chest may feel short of breath very quickly or have poor stamina. In very rare cases, the pectus excavatum compresses the heart, in which case an operation is necessary.
Pectus excavatum almost always has psychological consequences. In women with this condition, the symmetry of the breasts may be affected, making it more difficult to dress. Both men and women living with this problem feel embarrassed to engage in certain social activities, such as going to the swimming pool. Their self-esteem is greatly diminished. Fortunately, there are solutions.
There are three types of interventions to correct pectus excavatum. One option is the reduction of excessively long cartilage, which aims to restore a more harmonious shape to the chest. Some patients also resort to the permanent placement of a custom-made silicone implant to fill the hollow. Finally, the so-called Nuss technique consists of inserting a convex metal bar to push the hollow outwards. This technique requires a second surgery after 2 or 3 years to remove the bar.
These procedures are offered to people suffering from respiratory consequences, but also to anyone wishing to regain their self-confidence. For careful listening and clear advice on the right pectus excavatum treatment for you, in Montreal, consult Dr. Michel Alain Danino.