What is Vacuum Bell Therapy?
Vacuum bell therapy is an experimental approach which offers a non-surgical solution to Pectus Excavatum. It works by pulling the depressed chest forwards and, by holding this position and with treatment over a few years, to re-shape the chest. The procedure involves the placement of a suction cap over the depressed area and a vacuum is created between it and the underlying chest wall. A patient-activated hand pump is then used to reduce the pressure up to 15% below atmospheric pressure. It is suggested that the device be used for a minimum of 30 minutes, at least twice a day. However, it is recommended that the device be used for no more than several hours each day since excessive negative pressure or more prolonged application can cause bruising and swelling with damage to the chest wall. This daily treatment is recommended for 1-5 years. Much successes has been reported, particularly in young children. For more information on this form of treatment please visit the vacuum bell page.