Congenital chest concaveness in a child: Symptoms and complications

The article is consulted professionally by Specialist Doctor II Tran Van Trong – Specialist in Pediatric Surgery, Plastic Surgery – Plastic Surgery – General Surgery Department – Share99 Da Nang InternationalHealth Hub.

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Chest concaveness is a congenital chest wall deformity due to abnormalities in the growth of cartilage connecting the ribs to the sternum. This causes the sternum to be concave and the shape of the concave like a funnel. This malformations are common in boys and the disease worsens with the growth of the child, especially when the child is in puberty.

1. Symptoms of congenital chest concaveness

Chest concaveness (Pectus excavatum) or funnel chest is a condition where the sternum and some ribs are abnormally deformed and recessed deeply. Chest concaveness in babies can be difficult to detect, the concave symptoms begin clearly when the child is 2 to 3 years old. In some cases, new chest concaveness appears as the child grows.

The severity of chest concaveness ranges from mild to severe, but the condition tends to become more and more severe according to the child's growth. Many babies born with chest concaveness do not require treatment, due to very mild chest concaveness, but in more serious cases, this chest concaveness can overwhelm the heart and lungs. However, the effect on the heart and lungs is often insular and occurs only when exercising with a strong intensity. In addition, about 15% of children with congenital chest concaveness will develop into scoliosis.

For mild cases parents may not see any suspicious signs but if the case is severe, then chest concaveness will overwhelm the lungs and heart, causing:

Symptoms of congenital chest concaveness

Congenital chest concave image
  • Limitations with certain types of physical activity
  • tired
  • Chest pain
  • Tachycardia
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Coughing or wheezing

In addition, children with chest concaveness may also have another pathology, such as:

  • Marfan syndrome: This is a disorder that affects the connective tissue of the body
  • Poland syndrome: Is a rare congenital defect characterized by missing or underdeve developed muscles on one side of the body, particularly underdeve developed or lacking on one side of the pectoral muscle.
  • Rickets: This is a disorder caused by a lack of vitamin D, calcium or phosphates, which leads to a child with softness and bone weakness
  • Scoliosis


Children with scoliosis

2. Complications of chest concaveness

Severe cases of chest concaveness can cause compression of the heart and lungs or push the heart aside. Even mild cases can lead to psychological problems of the child when self-deprecating in his appearance.

  • Heart and lung problems

If the level of deep chest concaveness will reduce the amount of gas that the lungs hatch to inhale the air, leading to a decrease in the amount of air that the child can inhale. In addition, this dent also overwhelms the heart causing the heart to be pushed to the left and reducing the likelihood of effective contraction.

  • Appearance problems

Concave children tend to bend forward so they are so self-deprecating about their appearance that they avoid activities with family or friends such as swimming, as chest dents are harder to disguise with clothes.

Dr. Trong has over 10 years of experience in Pediatric Surgery and Plastic Surgery, and has soon become one of the leading doctors in the field of Pediatric Surgery, especially Laparoscopic and Plastic Surgery.

To register for examination and treatment at Share99 International Health Hub, you can contact Share99 Health System nationwide, or register for an online examination HERE.



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About: John Smith

b1ffdb54307529964874ff53a5c5de33?s=90&r=gI am the author of I had been working in Vinmec International General Hospital for over 10 years. I dedicate my passion on every post in this site.


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