Sunken Chest

Pectus excavatum or sunken chest is a chest disorder characterized by a concave, “funnel” shaped chest.Pectus excavatum or sunken chest is a chest disorder characterized by a concave, “funnel” shaped chest. It can cause physical and emotional problems, and affects one in every 1,000 children, three times as many boys as girls. But, there is hope for kids suffering from this condition. Gundersen Lutheran offers an innovative, minimally invasive surgical procedure, and was recently recognized as a Center of Excellence for the procedure – one of only six in the nation.

The procedure is called the Nuss procedure, named after the pediatric surgeon who developed it. When Mark Saxton, MD, FACS joined Gundersen Lutheran in 2005, he brought with him this new, less invasive procedure for correcting sunken chest. Since then, more patients have their chest wall deformities corrected at Gundersen Lutheran than at any other medical center in the upper Midwest. Click here to learn more about the procedure.

Sunken chest can range from mild to severe – often mild at birth and worsening during the teenage growth spurt. In about a third of sunken chest cases, there is a genetic component.

If severe, sunken chest can press or displace the heart and lungs causing shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations or respiratory diseases. Children with sunken chest can also suffer from low self-esteem, a negative self image or other emotional effects.

For more information about this deformity or to make an appointment with Dr. Saxton, call Gundersen Lutheran Surgery Clinic at (608) 775-2331 or (800) 362-9567 ext. 52331.

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