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Pectus Carinatum Follow-up

  • Author: Mary E Cataletto, MD; Chief Editor: Michael R Bye, MD  more...
Updated: Oct 13, 2015

Further Outpatient Care

Long-term activity recommendations include stretching.


Further Inpatient Care

For information regarding these indications in pectus carinatum, see Activity.



Complications vary according to treatment selection.

Ill-fitting braces can be associated with skin irritation and skin breakdown.

Shamberger reported a 3.9% complication rate with open surgical repair.[17] Complications include pneumothorax (2.6%), wound infection (0.7%), atelectasis (0.7%), and local tissue necrosis (0.7%). The mean postoperative stay was 5.8 days.

Fonkalsrud (2008) reported shorter hospital stays (mean, 2.6 d), mild postoperative pain, and low complication rate with limited resection and immediate chest stabilization.[4]



In prepubertal children with pectus carinatum who are compliant with bracing, success rates are excellent (up to 80%).

Excellent results (97.4%) have been reported by Fonkalsrud (2008) in patients who underwent surgical correction using a very limited resection of deformed cartilage and immediate chest stabilization.[4] In addition, he reported less postoperative pain, shorter hospital stays, lower complication rate, and decreased cost. Furthermore, he reported satisfactory cosmetic results with the less extensive repair, as well as a high rate of improvement in exertional symptoms compared with more extensive open surgical procedures.

Recurrences are rare.

Responses to quality-of-life questionnaires in patients who had undergone minimally invasive repair of their pectus deformity supported a positive impact on psychosocial function.[20]


Patient Education

Exertional symptoms may develop with pectus deformities and may not always be identified with standard pulmonary function testing.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Mary E Cataletto, MD Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, State University of New York at Stony Brook

Mary E Cataletto, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Chest Physicians

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Charles Callahan, DO Professor, Chief, Department of Pediatrics and Pediatric Pulmonology, Tripler Army Medical Center

Charles Callahan, DO is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians, American Thoracic Society, Association of Military Surgeons of the US, Christian Medical and Dental Associations

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Michael R Bye, MD Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine; Attending Physician, Pediatric Pulmonary Division, Women's and Children's Hospital of Buffalo

Michael R Bye, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Chest Physicians, American Thoracic Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP Professor of Pediatrics, Rush Medical College; Director, Section of Pediatric Pulmonology and Rush Cystic Fibrosis Center, Rush Children's Hospital, Rush University Medical Center

Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Chest Physicians, American Thoracic Society, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Pectus carinatum. Photograph courtesy of K. Kenigsberg, MD.
Chest radiograph of a patient with pectus carinatum. Radiograph courtesy of A. Fruauff, MD.
CT scan of a patient with pectus carinatum. CT courtesy of A. Fruauff, MD.
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