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Pectus Excavatum: Psychological Effects of Chest Deformity

Pectus excavatum, also known as shoemaker's chest, is a chest wall deformity characterized by an inward collapse of the rib cage. This deformity can negatively affect the psychological health of individuals.



Embarrassment of Appearance

Pectus excavatum patients may feel embarrassment and discomfort because of the appearance of their breasts (Lawson et al., 2003). Patients, especially during adolescence, may feel ostracized because they look different from their peers. This may negatively affect their social relationships.


Decreased Self-Esteem

Chest deformity can reduce patients' self-esteem and self-confidence (Steinmann et al., 2011). Patients may feel inadequate and worthless because of their physical appearance. This may also negatively affect their academic and professional success.


Depression and Anxiety

Pectus excavatum can also threaten the mental health of patients. Patients may experience psychological problems such as depression and anxiety (Steinmann et al., 2011). Chest deformity can reduce patients' quality of life and happiness.


Social isolation

Patients with pectus excavatum may not feel comfortable in social settings because of their chest deformity (Lawson et al., 2003). Patients may avoid social activities because of looking different from their peers. This may hinder the development of their social skills.


Psychological Effects of the Treatment Process

Pectus excavatum treatment can also affect the psychological health of patients. During the surgical treatment process, patients may experience pain, fear and stress (Steinmann et al., 2011). In the postoperative period, patients' body image and self-confidence may change.


Psychological Support is Important

A multidisciplinary approach is important to protect the psychological health of pectus excavatum patients. Patients should receive psychological support during the treatment process (Lawson et al., 2003). Family and friend support also plays an important role in the healing process of patients.


Conclusion

Pectus excavatum can negatively affect the psychological health of patients. Problems such as appearance embarrassment, decreased self-esteem, depression and anxiety can reduce the quality of life of patients. Psychological support during the treatment process can accelerate the healing process of patients. Family and friend support also plays an important role in protecting the psychological health of patients.



Kaynakça:

Lawson, M. L., Cash, T. F., Akers, R., Vasser, E., Burke, B., Tabangin, M., ... & Welch, C. (2003). A pilot study of the impact of surgical repair on disease-specific quality of life among patients with pectus excavatum. Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 38(7), 916-918.


Steinmann, C., Krille, S., Mueller, A., Weber, P., Reingruber, B., & Martin, A. (2011). Pectus excavatum and pectus carinatum patients suffer from lower quality of life and impaired body image: a control group comparison of psychological characteristics prior to surgical correction. European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, 40(5), 1138-1145.



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