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Does Pectus Excavatum Cause Other Health Problems?

Pectus excavatum, commonly known as sunken chest, not only raises aesthetic concerns but can also lead to various health issues. This article explores the potential health problems associated with pectus excavatum.

Effects on Respiratory Functions

One of the most significant health-related impacts of pectus excavatum is on respiratory functions. The inward depression of the chest can restrict the lungs from fully expanding, limiting an individual's respiratory capacity and endurance, especially during physical activities. In some cases, individuals with pectus excavatum may experience mild to moderate respiratory distress.

Impact on the Heart

Pectus excavatum can also affect the position and function of the heart due to the structural changes in the chest cavity. The depression can push the heart out of its normal position, potentially affecting its functions. The severity of this impact varies and is dependent on the extent of the pectus excavatum, but in most cases, it does not significantly affect heart health.

Posture and Spinal Problems

Pectus excavatum can lead to changes in an individual's overall posture. The inward chest depression can contribute to spinal curvature and posture disorders. Conditions such as scoliosis (sideways curvature of the spine) are more common in individuals with pectus excavatum.

Psychological and Social Effects

Pektus ekskavatum, fiziksel sağlık üzerindeki etkilerinin yanı sıra, bireyin psikolojik ve sosyal sağlığını da etkileyebilir. Göğüs kafesindeki çöküntü nedeniyle yaşanan estetik endişeler, özellikle ergenlerde ve genç yetişkinlerde özgüven eksikliği, sosyal çekingenlik ve depresyon gibi psikolojik sorunlara yol açabilir.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Beyond physical health, pectus excavatum can have significant psychological and social effects. The aesthetic concerns caused by the chest depression can lead to low self-esteem, social withdrawal, and depression, especially among adolescents and young adults.


Pectus excavatum can affect respiratory and heart functions, posture, spinal health, and have significant psychological and social effects, extending beyond aesthetic concerns. Therefore, early diagnosis and appropriate treatment strategies for individuals with pectus excavatum are crucial for improving overall health and quality of life. Individuals and families affected by pectus excavatum should be informed about the potential health effects of the condition, emphasizing the importance of seeking medical advice and intervention.

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