Surgery can correct an overgrowth of cartilage between the ribs and the breast bone.
Pectus carinatum, often referred to as ‘pigeon chest’ or ‘bowed chest’, is a chest wall deformity related to pectus excavatum and caused by an overgrowth of cartilage between the ribs and the breast bone.
The abnormal cartilage displaces the sternum forward, where pectus excavatum displaces it inward.
Like pectus excavatum, pectus carinatum deformity is a birth defect that may not be noticeable in early childhood but will become more prominent as the child grows, particularly during adolescence. The pectus carinatum deformity varies in severity and symmetry during the lifespan of a single patient and varies from patient to patient.
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You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
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Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
This operation is performed under general anaesthetic.
An incision is made across the chest and the overgrowth of cartilage is removed.
The sternum can then be placed in the usual, flat position; titanium bars are used sometimes to stabilize the chest and the incision is closed.
The amount of time this operation requires can vary depending on severity of the deformity. In younger patients is possible to perform a minimally invasive repair of this condition as per Abramson procedure.
Hospital stay is usually in the region of two-three days.
Recovery is usually quite fast and within three months patients are allowed to resume normal activities.
For the first six weeks is important to take extra care in avoiding contact sports and keeping the chest in a neutral position. Showering is possible immediately after surgery.
For the first few weeks a thin soft corset is applied to the chest. This can be worn under clothes and is barely visible.
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The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.