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What Is The Prognosis For Pectus Carinatum & Lifestyle Changes For It?

The prognosis of pediatric patients with pectus carinatum looks excellent after they have started using the braces, there are several pieces of evidence to show that these children have restored their physical image.1

Pectus Carinatum is a long-term malformation that does not disappear on its own and worsen with age, untreated condition can make you sick and shorten your lifespan.2

Adolescents use state-of-the-art operational procedures to enhance the quality of life, though surgery is a painful experience in several patients. 3,4

What Is The Prognosis For Pectus Carinatum?

In most cases, pectus carinatum patients do not experience any health condition. The outcome is excellent after the child started wearing braces. Braces tents to provide the best results. Although the brace is not painful to wear, some children experience soreness and mild redness at the contact sites especially in the front of the chest.1

To minimize the pain and reduce the soreness, your doctor would suggest ibuprofen or acetaminophen or suggest wearing a thin tightly fitting shirt beneath. You will be required to wear the brace for approximately 2-4 years to correct the posture. However, when you notice that your child not showing any improvement despite wearing the brace for more than 2 years, then surgery is the best effective method to correct the problem.

Surgery involves the removal of distorted rib cartilages and altering the breastbone back to the original position. The main objective of the surgery is to repair or correct severe refractory carinatum. In general, the duration of the surgery is 2-3 hours depending on the complexity and patient’s health & age. Post-surgery, you will be recommended to stay in the hospital for the next 4-6 days. You will be under complete observation during this period. However, the prognosis of surgery is very excellent. 2

Lifestyle Changes For Pectus Carinatum

People with pectus carinatum develop normal lung and heart function nevertheless this abnormality may prevent these from functioning properly. In a worst-case scenario and also in cases where the anomaly is very severe, the chest wall becomes very rigid and held in a fluxed position protruding outward.

Rigid chest walls significantly impact respiration during strenuous exercises and lead to decreased stamina and fatigue. Apart from physical complications, several children face psychosocial complications. These children become emotionally low possibly disrupting social connections and make them feel difficult throughout adolescence.

Although this is an emotional turmoil, yet pectus carinatum is a curable condition so they have to develop a positive attitude that can change their life forever. For the surgery, your healthcare provider would check for your fitness level to gauge how the surgery can benefit you. So, it is often important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and follow a regular exercise routine as advised by your doctor.3,4

After the surgery, you will fully recover in the next few weeks. Although this is a long painful journey yet when you look back at everything you went through, you will know it’s all worth it!

Pectus carinatum is a medical term used to describe an abnormality of the chest wall in which the breastbone and ribs are displaced from their normal position. The condition is also called chicken breast or pigeon chest, an anomaly less common than pectus carinatum.

Medical studies have demonstrated that it affects 1 in 2000 people in the United States. Pectus occur more frequently in males in the ratio 4:1. Children affected by with disorder show no signs other than the exterior form of the chest. But the most common problem with the abnormality is the psychosocial problem.


  1. Mary E Cataletto, MD. Pectus Carinatum Treatment & Management: Medical Care, Surgical Care, Consultations, Medscape, 3 Aug. 2020, emedicine.medscape.com/article/1003047-treatment
  2. “Pectus Carinatum (Pigeon Chest): Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320836#takeaway.
  3. “Effects of Exercise Therapy on Pectus Carinatum – Full Text View.” Full Text View – ClinicalTrials.gov, clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04167800
  4. “Corrective Chest Surgery Changed My Life.” Braceworks Custom Orthotics Lifestyle Changes For Pectus Carinatum, braceworks.ca/2015/06/12/devices/torso/pectus-carinatum/corrective-chest-surgery-changed-my-life/

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 9, 2021

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