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Does anyone know anything about PECTUS EXCAVATUM? Help please.

(28 Posts)
ptangyangkipperbang Tue 04-Dec-07 14:00:54

I have just read an 'ask the doctor' page in a magazine. A reader asked about her child who had a slightly sunken chest and a pot belly. Alarm bells started ringing because DS2 aged 7 is like this but we never have been concerned by it. He is very skinny so we put his pot belly down to him being skin and bone blush. His chest only sinks in a little bit and the sunken bit is about the size of a 50p. The person responding to the question said it sounded like pectus.
I am now in a real tizz because I have just looked at the website and it is terrifying. Does anyone have any experience of this?
I have got him a doctors appointment but not until Monday and I am beside myself with worry.

ptangyangkipperbang Tue 04-Dec-07 14:21:11


largeginandtonic Tue 04-Dec-07 14:22:27

I do!

largeginandtonic Tue 04-Dec-07 14:26:32

My ds age 6 months was diagnosed a few weeks after he was born.

Please dont worry, it is more common than you think. Usually it wont affect the child at all, just cosmetically. I looked on the web too and panicked myself but saw the paediatrician at the hosp and he said not to worry.

I think it is unlikely this has not been picked up before, if you have taken him to the doctors or baby clinic when he was young. The HV suspected it and the doc saw it straight away.

Go and see your GP who will be able to give you an answer.

largeginandtonic Tue 04-Dec-07 14:29:25

DH has a friend he went to school with who has it too He is 26 and as fit as a fiddle smile No problems at all. He was offered cosmetic surgery when he was about 18, as the condition can look worse after puberty, but he refused as it didnt bother him that much.

ptangyangkipperbang Tue 04-Dec-07 14:32:35

Thank you so much. I know looking at health related websites is a dangerous thing to do but I couldn't believe how hard hitting the one was. You've made me feel a lot better.

largeginandtonic Tue 04-Dec-07 14:34:14

Excellent! Dont worry at all. I even had to persuade the GP to refer me to the consultant paed as he was so convinced it was ok. I had already looked at the web sites by that stage so was in a tizz grin

Good luck!

jemimap Fri 07-Dec-07 10:57:31

Hi, just seen this post. I am a physio and my 18month old little boy has this condition. My other 2 children dont. I will post some info on it over next couple of days..

I just had surgery to remove my galbladder on wed eve and got home from hosp today so still too groggy and in pain to do long post now!!

deepbreath Fri 07-Dec-07 17:31:59

Hi, my dd has got this too. She is 4, and it is getting more noticeable now she is getting older. It looks a bit like she's got cleavage because of where hers is.

Dd's is part of a genetic condition that can cause pectus problems (excavatum or carinatum) amongst many other things.

I believe that some hospitals offer cosmetic surgery if the dip is very large, or if it is causing distress. It is major surgery from what I've been told, and I can't imagine pursuing this for dd.

merlotmama Fri 07-Dec-07 21:31:07

DS2 has this. He was at the paediatrician re something else entirely and I asked her about it. She said it was purely cosmetic.

It certainly has become more noticeable over the past couple of years. He is 15 now. He's not bothered about it.

Those websites - I think the one I saw was Anerican. They were all flapping about teenagers becoming self-conscious about it and the poor boys were undergoing unpleasant surgical procedures. I think it's the American obsession with perfection.

We are just ignoring it.

Neverenoughmistletoe Fri 07-Dec-07 21:37:38

It;s mostly cosmetic. Some asthmatics get it but you would know if your DS has that. I would think it is fine but your GP will be able to reassure you ! Please don't lose any sleep over it!

ptangyangkipperbang Sat 08-Dec-07 16:23:01

Thank you everyone for your responses. I am sure that the doctor will be reassuring but it is good that Mumsnetters are reassuring pre-appointmemet too. smile Jemimap - don't worry about posting. Just get better!

pinetreedog Sat 08-Dec-07 16:32:55

Have you asked Harry Potter?

ptangyangkipperbang Fri 14-Dec-07 13:19:03

Well what an up and down week. The GP was reassuring when I saw her saying it was nothing to worry about - phew.
Then she rang me at home yesterday saying she'd discussed it with collegues and it was vital that I got him to a specialist as soon as possible. She said they'd do x-rays to make sure his internal organs were okay but it can cause heart problems and he may find it difficult to exercise as he gets older. He's a football mad 7 year old so I was totally shocked.
She's hoping he'll see the consultant before the end of January.
She then told me not to be anxious hmm and I politely thanked her for ringing!

DumbledoreWithBoughsOfHolly Fri 14-Dec-07 13:21:10

PMSL pinetreedog, I thought exactly the same thing! grin

aliasdictus Fri 14-Dec-07 23:07:42

Please try not to worry as it is extremely unlikely to be serious. Very very occasionally it can be associated with other rare diseases but the vast majority of cases are sporadic and completely harmless, perhaps one chest in every few hundred have some degree of it. The heart merely moves a cm or two to the left and the function and capacity of the chest are completely unaffected, . I suspect your GP's colleagues have been looking at some American websites and perhaps should know better.

deepbreath Sat 15-Dec-07 09:35:00

To those of you that have posted silly comments here, *grow up*

Hopefully, your child will never be teased because they look different. Try Googling something next time if you don't know what it is, before you make such a glib comment.

DumbledoreWithBoughsOfHolly Sat 15-Dec-07 10:26:09

Oh deepbreath was that to me? I was not making fun of anyone.

<Goes to check for full moon>

ptangyangkipperbang Tue 18-Dec-07 10:32:34

Thanks deepbreath for saying what I was too annoyed to post. In case the posters who made such comments hadn't noticed this is a serious subject from a worried parent in the health section. I sometimes get annoyed at posters who take everything so seriously and moan about what other posters say. However, I think I have every right to be totally pissed off about such posts when I am asking for reassurance, not glib comments.

deepbreath Tue 18-Dec-07 11:23:54

Thank you, Ptang.

I'd stayed away after posting that because obviously these people don't seem to be aware of the offence that they can cause by saying something like that on a health thread.

I am sure that they would feel the same if their children had something like this. Full moon or not...

MerryPIFFLEmas Wed 19-Dec-07 23:13:15

My dd (aged 5) has Noonan Syndrome and has Pectus Exc
she is fine atm, not sure how it will affect her physically in the future though
She is very petite also due to the NS and so pot bely is very noticeable.

ptangyangkipperbang Sun 06-Jan-08 19:28:59

DS2 has a hospital appointment on Wednesday so I will report back on what the doctor says.

deepbreath Sun 06-Jan-08 23:53:46

Hi Ptang, I hope it all goes OK for you and ds2 at the hospital on Wednesday. Please do let us know how you get on.

Also, hello to Piffle!

ptangyangkipperbang Wed 16-Jan-08 12:31:02

We have seen a paediatrician who said there was nothing to worry about. She said it is pectus but is very, very mild. She asked a lot of questions about his coordination because this can be linked. She said that if you can see the 'dip' when he is older he can disguise it through body building! As he is a scrawny 4 stone 7 year old boy it was hard to imagine him sweating out in the gym in the future smile.
Thank you so much for all being so reassuring - unlike my GP who got me in a total panic!

FlllightAttendant Wed 16-Jan-08 12:40:38

Ah. This is really interesting, I had a boyfriend whose sternum was prominent - it didn't bother him and was quite attractive, though he did suffer with asthma which from a quick look on google can be associated with PC or Pectus Carinatum - something similar to Excavatum.
I hadn't realised that it had a name, thankyou for educating me!

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