What are the treatment options for pectus excavatum?

Updated: Oct 30, 2018
  • Author: Andre Hebra, MD; Chief Editor: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP  more...
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No effective nonoperative management strategies can correct severe pectus excavatum. Several exercise programs have been suggested. However, no substantial scientific evidence has determined that they are effective in achieving anatomical correction.

External braces have also been used in the nonoperative management of pectus excavatum, but no experience with this approach in the treatment of chest wall deformities in North America has been reported. Pectus carinatum is more likely to improve with the consistent use of an external brace because the exogenous compression of the sternum and anterior ribs by the brace may, over time, result in some degree of correction of the deformity. Good results are unlikely to be achieved with external bracing techniques in the correction of severe pectus excavatum. For more information on this subject, see The Orthopaedic Conservative Method and Information on Pectus Deformities.

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