How to Fix the Chest Dug

The chest dug, known scientifically as pectus excavatum, is a congenital malformation in which the bone of the sternum causes a depression in the center of the chest, in the region between the ribs, causing a change of body image, though, does not bring the risk of life may hinder the development of self-esteem or cause psychological changes in the child.

Although the problem can be identified soon after birth, in many cases worsening with the growth of the adolescence and, therefore, the treatment is usually only indicated after this time period, to decrease the risk of the problem re-arise. In more rare cases, the treatment can also be done in adults, but is more complicated and time-consuming.

The only way to fix definitely the chest dug is to have surgery to reattach the bones in the correct location.


How is the surgery

Surgery for the correction of chest excavated may be done in two different ways, depending on the severity and age of the patient. However, in both cases it is done with general anesthesia and it is necessary to be hospitalized about 1 week.

The two forms of surgery are:

  • Open surgery, or Ravitch: it is used in cases of moderate to severe and lasts between 4 to 6 hours. This technique is made a horizontal cut in the chest to remove the cartilage abnormal that connects the ribs to the bone of the sternum, allowing the bone to return to its correct position. After you are placed surgical materials to keep the chest in the correct position;
  • Minimally invasive surgery, or Nut: this is usually done in cases of mild to moderate and lasts between 1 to 2 hours. In this technique are made two small cuts below the armpit, and after it is inserted a metal bar between one cut and another, so as to push the sternum outward to the correct position.

This is a very painful surgery and, therefore, after the surgery, it is necessary to be hospitalized especially to make painkillers directly into the vein and improve the comfort, and the high is given so that the pain diminishes and there are no complications.


How is the recovery

In the period after discharge, it is necessary to go into the queries asked in the doctor to do tests X-ray or ct scan in order to assess if the sternum continues in the correct position. With these evaluations it is also possible to determine what is the best time to remove the surgical equipment or the metal bar left for the surgery.

In the case of open surgery, the material usually is removed after 6 to 12 months, while the bar of minimally invasive surgery is taken only after 2 or 3 years.

During this period it is also important to be aware of signs of infection or rejection of the surgical equipment left in the body, such as swelling or redness at the site of the cuts, fever above 38 ° c or excessive fatigue, for example.

Already the sport activities should only be initiated with approval of the doctor, and should avoid the highest impact and risk of injury, such as football, basketball or martial arts.


What are the main causes

The cause of the appearance of the chest, dug is not known, however, is more common in boys and people that have no family history of malformation.

Although it does not bring risks to the life of the child, the chest hollowed out can, in some cases, lead to the emergence of symptoms such as pain in chest, feeling of breathlessness or lack of energy, for example, due to the slight compression of organs such as the heart or the lung.

How to Fix the Chest Dug 1

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