Learn More About Pectus Excavatumdreamstime_xxl_13985899

Welcome back! In our last blog, we gave you a brief overview of what pectus excavatum is, how it forms, and how it is treated. However, there is a good amount of information that you should also be aware of when trying to learn more about the disease.

One important aspect of learning about this deformity is understanding that the gravity of it. Because your child is born with it, it might not become apparent until they have developed more. Some children won’t show the deformity until they begin to have growth spurts. This can take up until puberty to become apparent. However, if your child has a more serious case of pectus excavatum they will have to have surgery. Avoiding surgery could lead to other issues that have been known to be associated with this disorder.

Issues Associated with Pectus Excavatum 

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  • Marfan Syndrome – This is a connective tissue or cartilage disorder that comes in the form of long limbs and fingers and other chest abnormalities. It can also be seen in a curved spine, and even facial features. This can cause further issues with the heart valves, and even the lenses and movement of the eyes.
  • Scoliosis – If pectus excavatum goes untreated, it can turn into an issue with the spine called scoliosis. This is where the spine begins to take shape in the form of an “S” or a “C.”
  • Rickets – This is another disease that has been known to be linked to pectus excavatum. However, Rickets tends to cause the pectus excavatum, rather than the other way around.
  • Shortness of Breath – Because of the shape of the chest, it has a great effect on the lungs. It causes them to function improperly making strenuous activity difficult and will cause some patients to collapse from lack of oxygen.
  • Heart Palpitations – The indenture in the chest can cause the heart to be offset to the left more than usual, which causes the heart to beat faster than normal.
  • Acid Reflux – This is a common symptom of pectus excavatum. Because the abnormality affects the torso, it can begin to obstruct the functionality of the stomach and esophagus, leading to heartburn. Over time, this can become a more serious issue if not treated.
  • Fatigue – Not getting the right amount of oxygen distributed throughout your body can make one feel weak. It can lead constant fatigue which is uncommon for children to experience. If your child appears lethargic, take note.

dreamstime_xxl_23222428The only way to treat pectus excavatum is with surgery. Some cases will be worse than others, and not every case requires surgery. For some, the need for surgery is simply cosmetic, but as a child growing up with an abnormality, it can have a great effect on their self-esteem and interactions with people their age. If your child is currently suffering from shortness of breath, heartburn and increased heart rate, be sure to contact our pediatric clinic. Our pediatricians would be happy to examine your child and develop a plan for a pediatric surgery. Don’t hesitate, and call us now.

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