What are the Symptoms of Pectus Excavatum?
The symptoms of Pectus Excavatum generally fall into three distinct categories:
- Pain – The pain caused by Pectus Excavatum is usually not severe or long lasting.
- Decreased exercise tolerance – This is probably related to the effect of the breastbone deformity on the heart as previously mentioned.
- Appearance – Many of those with pectus excavatum are very unhappy with the appearance of their chest. Whenever the chest is exposed (such as when swimming), it is common for other children to notice this and comment on it or make fun of the appearance. This may cause enough uneasiness that a child alters his or her behavior. The child may no longer want to go swimming, won?t shower with others during gym class, change clothes away from other children and avoid other activities that may call attention to the deformity. Some children are significantly affected by this and may withdraw socially to some degree. Such psychosocial problems can also persist into adolescence and adulthood.