What Is The Best Treatment For Pectus Carinatum & Coping Methods For It?

The first choice of treatment for Pectus Carinatum is Orthotic braces and this has provided acceptable results often achievable in many instances.1

Surgery is the classical treatment and one of the effective treatments proven in children for pectus carinatum.2

In most cases, treatment may not be necessary and one of the common methods of coping with the problem is the use of the brace.3,4

What Is The Best Treatment For Pectus Carinatum?

Pectus Carinatum is more common in boys but the exact cause of the condition is not known. But studies show that it is caused by heredity and runs in family. Most conditions do not cause symptoms but when pectus carinatum is causing problems there are two treatment options

Bracing – Several clinical theories shows that bracing was effective in achieving correction. This is a standard treatment approach for mild to moderate conditions. Braces in pectus carinatum work in a similar way to braces that work on teeth. The brace is worn around the chest. The primary purpose of the brace is to put pressure on the deformed area both the front and back and make it flatten thereby moving the breastbone back to its usual position. Depending on your complication your healthcare provider may suggest wearing your braces anywhere between 2 years to 4 years.1

Surgery – This is a minimally invasive surgical technique for stabilizing the system in pectus carinatum. They involve a methodology called the Ravitch procedure. It involves an incision across the chest wherein the surgeons to place one or more bars to correct severe pectus excavatum and pectus carinatum. Struts are not visible from the outside and surgery corrects the shape of the chest. They are later removed.

Treatment is often based on appearance as well as symptoms that aimed to improve the psychosocial outcomes of the patient. 2

Coping Methods For Pectus Carinatum

In general, children in the adolescent age typically wish to look the same as their peers. But this is quite impossible when the individual has pectus excavatum. Many children would require counseling to deal with the symptoms and master coping methodology.

Apart from the psychological impacts resulting from pectus carinatum, pediatric patients suffer from emotional problems as well in their daily life. Several case studies have revealed that these patients although suffer occasional pain due to shortness of breath and fatigue, their self-image and confidence will make them isolate from society often leading to mental problems and depression.

Physical abnormalities in many instances cause emotional stress and may lead to devastating consequences if not taken seriously. There are several online support groups and forums providing support to pectus carinatum patients where they can talk with people who are encountering the same kind of complications.3,4

Pectus Carinatum is an uncommon birth defect occurring in 1 in 1500 children that causes a child’s sternum and rib cartilage to grow outward from the chest abnormally. In some instances, the disfigurement is not noticed until the adolescent growth spurt.

The deformity becomes more severe as the individual grows and continues to worsen throughout adulthood. However, this a treatable condition and treated either with a brace or surgery. But technically more difficult in adults. When children feel self-conscious about their unusual shape, your healthcare provider will recommend counseling with a mental health provider.

The first choice of treatment for Pectus Carinatum is Orthotic braces and this has provided acceptable results often achievable in many instances.1

Surgery is the classical treatment and one of the effective treatments proven in children for pectus carinatum.2

In most cases, treatment may not be necessary and one of the common methods of coping with the problem is the use of the brace.3.4

What Is The Best Treatment For Pectus Carinatum?

Pectus Carinatum is more common in boys but the exact cause of the condition is not known. But studies show that it is caused by heredity and runs in family. Most conditions do not cause symptoms but when pectus carinatum is causing problems there are two treatment options

Bracing – Several clinical theories shows that bracing was effective in achieving correction. This is a standard treatment approach for mild to moderate conditions. Braces in pectus carinatum work in a similar way to braces that work on teeth. The brace is worn around the chest. The primary purpose of the brace is to put pressure on the deformed area both the front and back and make it flatten thereby moving the breastbone back to its usual position. Depending on your complication your healthcare provider may suggest wearing your braces anywhere between 2 years to 4 years.1

Surgery – This is a minimally invasive surgical technique for stabilizing the system in pectus carinatum. They involve a methodology called the Ravitch procedure. It involves an incision across the chest wherein the surgeons to place one or more bars to correct severe pectus excavatum and pectus carinatum. Struts are not visible from the outside and surgery corrects the shape of the chest. They are later removed.

Treatment is often based on appearance as well as symptoms that aimed to improve the psychosocial outcomes of the patient. 2

Coping Methods For Pectus Carinatum

In general, children in the adolescent age typically wish to look the same as their peers. But this is quite impossible when the individual has pectus excavatum. Many children would require counseling to deal with the symptoms and master coping methodology.

Apart from the psychological impacts resulting from pectus carinatum, pediatric patients suffer from emotional problems as well in their daily life. Several case studies have revealed that these patients although suffer occasional pain due to shortness of breath and fatigue, their self-image and confidence will make them isolate from society often leading to mental problems and depression.

Physical abnormalities in many instances cause emotional stress and may lead to devastating consequences if not taken seriously. There are several online support groups and forums providing support to pectus carinatum patients where they can talk with people who are encountering the same kind of complications.3,4

Pectus Carinatum is an uncommon birth defect occurring in 1 in 1500 children that causes a child’s sternum and rib cartilage to grow outward from the chest abnormally. In some instances, the disfigurement is not noticed until the adolescent growth spurt.

The deformity becomes more severe as the individual grows and continues to worsen throughout adulthood. However, this a treatable condition and treated either with a brace or surgery. But technically more difficult in adults. When children feel self-conscious about their unusual shape, your healthcare provider will recommend counseling with a mental health provider.

References:

  1. Meadows-Fernandez, A. Rochaun. “Everything You Should Know About Pectus Carinatum.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 3 Jan. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/pectus-carinatum.
  2. Suh, Jee-Won, et al. “Minimally Invasive Repair of Pectus Carinatum in Patients Unsuited to Bracing Therapy.” The Korean Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, The Korean Society for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Apr. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4825909/.
  3. “Pectus Excavatum.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 29 Apr. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pectus-excavatum/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355488.
  4. McHam, Bruce. “Pectus Carinatum.” StatPearls [Internet]., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 8 Aug. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541121/.

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