The treatment of Pectus Excavatum can involve either invasive/surgical or non-invasive/non-surgical techniques or a combination of both. Prior to determining which treatment plan is best suited to the patient, it is necessary to determine the severity of the condition in order to understand which treatment plan would be most appropriate. These tests include, but are not limited to, a CT scan, pulmonary function tests, and cardiology exams, such as auscultation. Such tests are used to determine if the heart and lungs are effected by the condition. From these scans, it is then possible to produce a index using the Haller index model; simply put, the patient’s Haller value is produced by calculating the ratio of the horizontal distance of the inside of the ribcage and the shortest distance between the vertebrae and sternum. A Haller Index higher than 3.25 is generally considered severe, while a typical chest has an index of 2.5. For more information on how the severity of Pectus Excavatum is diagnosed, please consult the diagnosis page.
Typically, only patients with a more severe condition would consider surgical treatment, since surgical correction has been shown to repair any functional symptoms that may have occurred due to the condition, such as respiratory problems or heart murmurs. However, those with a less severe condition may also consider cosmetic surgery to solve the cosmetic appearance of the chest. Pectus Excavatum can have a significant psychological impact on an individual, and as a result, many individuals with less severe examples of the condition chose cosmetic surgery to improve the appearance of the chest. Because of this, many individuals will become eligible for surgery if themselves and their medical practitioner feel it would be in the best interest of their overall health. To find out more about what cosmetic surgery options are available, please visit the Surgical Treatment page.
Additionally, cosmetic surgery is not the only treatment option available. There are a number of non-surgical treatments which have been used with varying levels of success. For many individuals, cosmetic surgery is an unappealing prospect since, like any operation, it comes with serious risks and a fair amount of post operative pain along with a steep price tag. For these people non surgical treatment options, such as the Vacuum Bell, offer a viable alternative to cosmetic surgery. Such treatments do not come with the same level of grantee as with the surgical options and typically require a much longer treatment period. However, these treatment plans are practically risk free and come at a fraction of the cost, which lead many with the Pectus Excavatum deformity to follow them. Many of those who have used non surgical options have experienced significant positive gains over time and in some cases they have been able to achieve a more normal appearance to the chest. To find out more information about the non surgical treatment options, please visit the non surgical treatment page. Such treatments are often accompanied with a comprehensive regime of exercise and physiotherapy to support the success of the treatment plan. To find out more about what exercises are recommended for the treatment of Pectus Excavatum, please visit the exercise directory.