PECTUS EXCAVATUM

(Sunken Chest)

Pectus excavatum (sunken chest) is a condition in which a person’s breastbone is sunken into his or her chest. In severe cases, it can look as if the centre of the chest has been scooped out, leaving a deep dent, eventually interfere with the function of the heart and lungs. Mild cases of pectus excavatum can cause self-image problems. Some patients with this condition often avoid activities such as swimming that make hiding the condition difficult.

A concave stainless steel bar that is slipped under the sternum with the assistance of a small camera using two small incisions on each side of the chest. The bar is then flipped, and the sternum moves to the proper position. A second bar may be attached perpendicular to the first for better results in more severe cases. To support the bar and keep it in place, a metal plate called a stabilizer is inserted on both sides of the chest. The stabilizer fits around the bar and into the ribcage where it is secured in place. This technique requires no cutting or removal of cartilage or bone and it takes only 1 to 2 hours.

The stainless steel bars are typically removed about two years after the initial surgery. By then, correction is expected to be permanent.

 

DOCTOR IN CHARGE

Dr. David Khoo Sin Keat

Dr. David Khoo Sin Keat

Consultant Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgeon

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