Pectus Surgery South Africa
What is pectus excavatum?
Pectus excavatum is a congenital development of the rib cage causing the sternum to be sunken in.
The defect is often present at birth but becomes much more pronounced with the adolescent growth spurt.
Pectus Excavatum is treatable. It may be symmetrical or asymmetric when the defect is to one side of the chest The pectus deformity pushes the heart into the left chest. When severe it also compresses the lungs causing shortness of breath with exercise.
The patients present with shortness of breath, chest pain (with or without exercise), symptoms of asthma and often have an associated scoliosis. They also often have psychological difficulties related to a poor self-image. They all have a cosmetic deformity but the symptoms are very real and need to be addressed.