Discussions By Condition: Medical Stories

Pectus Excavatum

Posted In: Medical Stories 3 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • July 27, 2010
  • 03:50 AM

I am one of the unlucky 1 in 1000 people to have pectus excavatum. For those of you that don't know what it is, it is when the ribs grow abnormally and force the sternum inwards causing a sunken chest appearance.

There are three severities of pectus excavatum. Mild, moderate, and severe. From what I have read I have severe pectus excavatum, having all the symptoms that go with it. I will list my symptoms at the end of the post.

I went to the cardiologist a few weeks ago and he said my EKG came back ok and my blood oxygen level was ok, which both puzzled me. I then showed him the severity of my pectus excavatum and he said it was VERY mild, stating it was just cosmetic. He proceeded to tell me I was out of shape and my problems are normal. (Im a 130 pound 16 year old male in good physical shape)

I tried telling my mom that we should go find another doctor that knows what he is talking about but she just blows me off. So I am taking it upon myself to find the right help.

My symptoms are as follows
-Breathing problems
-Back aches (mainly upper, between shoulder blades)
-Heart palpitations
-Easily fatigued
-Light headed and dizzy after exercise
-Difficulty catching my breath
-Taking a complete breath results in a sharp pain in my sternum
-If I take a complete breath and lean backwards it feels as if I am reducing the blood flow to my head (intense pain in my head after I straighten back up. Could be caused by a main artery being pinched off)
-And the most important, a 4 centimeter dent in the center of my chest.

After reading that big block of symptoms (phew) what do you reccomend I do. Does anybody know of a doctor in the Florida area that I could possibly talk to?

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3 Replies:

  • Find a pediatric surgeon in your area and see him or her first. My son is seeing a physician from Riley Hospital in Indiana. I know that this is too far away but there has to be one in your area. I hope by now that you have found one. I wish you the best of luck.I am one of the unlucky 1 in 1000 people to have pectus excavatum. For those of you that don't know what it is, it is when the ribs grow abnormally and force the sternum inwards causing a sunken chest appearance. There are three severities of pectus excavatum. Mild, moderate, and severe. From what I have read I have severe pectus excavatum, having all the symptoms that go with it. I will list my symptoms at the end of the post. I went to the cardiologist a few weeks ago and he said my EKG came back ok and my blood oxygen level was ok, which both puzzled me. I then showed him the severity of my pectus excavatum and he said it was VERY mild, stating it was just cosmetic. He proceeded to tell me I was out of shape and my problems are normal. (Im a 130 pound 16 year old male in good physical shape)I tried telling my mom that we should go find another doctor that knows what he is talking about but she just blows me off. So I am taking it upon myself to find the right help.My symptoms are as follows-Breathing problems-Back aches (mainly upper, between shoulder blades)-Heart palpitations-Easily fatigued-Light headed and dizzy after exercise-Difficulty catching my breath-Taking a complete breath results in a sharp pain in my sternum-If I take a complete breath and lean backwards it feels as if I am reducing the blood flow to my head (intense pain in my head after I straighten back up. Could be caused by a main artery being pinched off)-And the most important, a 4 centimeter dent in the center of my chest. After reading that big block of symptoms (phew) what do you reccomend I do. Does anybody know of a doctor in the Florida area that I could possibly talk to?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 30, 2010
    • 04:48 AM
    • 0
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  • I am a 58 year old male and had a severe case of PE. I had an operation when I was 9 months old and then another when I was 9 yrs old. Before the second operation, I could hold a cup of water in my chest while laying down. The primary reason I had the second operation was that my heart had been caught between the backbone and the sternum. The prognosis was that I would be an invalid by 14. After the operation, I had more room in my chest but never gained enough to be "normal". I have never had a lot of endurance and my heart rate has always been high. However, I was able to play varsity tennis in HS and joined the Air Force and had a very successful career. I have heard that there are indications that my PE amy shorten my life by as much as 10 yrs but if I make past 56 (which I have), my life may be extended over a "normal" person.I would never recommend these surgeries to anyone unless your PE is severe! The surgery is extremely painful and I still have issues related to the last sugery.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 9, 2010
    • 09:49 PM
    • 0
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  • hello, i too have pe and in the process of joining the USAF. Just had an x-ray done. But chief medical officet said i am mild to moderate. Anyways i have no problems othet than being out of shape and i rarely get a palpatation, but i believe that has to do with stress. Anyways, that wad all. Oh and if amy doctor said your pe is extremly mild and you problems than get another docs opinion. A lot dr.s dont really know.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 17, 2011
    • 02:36 PM
    • 0
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