The Chest Wall Program at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital provides a comprehensive evaluation and treatment of disorders affecting the chest wall, including pectus excavatum, pectus carinatum and rib deformities.
Pectus excavatum, also known as sunken chest or funnel chest, occurs when an abnormal growth of cartilage within the chest wall pushes the breastbone and ribs inward, creating a caved-in or sunken appearance. Pectus carinatum, also known as pigeon chest, is when the cartilage grows up and out and forces the breastbone forward. Rib deformities can cause the chest to bow inward or outward.
Multidisciplinary care team
Your child will receive comprehensive treatment from our multidisciplinary team, which includes the region’s leading providers of pediatric surgery, radiology, anesthesiology, pulmonology, orthotists and physical therapists.
Treatment options for pediatric chest wall disorders
Surgical and nonsurgical options are available to you depending on the shape of the chest wall, including Video Assisted Pectus Excavatum Repair (VAPER) or Nuss procedure, Ravitch procedure, bracing and the vacuum bell device.
- Video-assisted pectus excavatum repair: Also known as the Nuss procedure, a minimally invasive procedure where a metal bar is surgically inserted to correct sunken chest.
- Ravitch procedure: Abnormal cartilage growth is surgically removed, and the breastbone is returned to its normal position.
- Bracing: A custom-made brace corrects pigeon chest by pushing the breastbone back into place.
- Vacuum bell device: A nonsurgical procedure for sunken chest where a suction cup is placed on the center of the chest, creating a vacuum and forcing the breastbone forward.