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What is Pectus?


What is Pectus?

Pectus is defined as an abnormal inward or outward collapse of the rib cage. It is usually a congenital condition and may become apparent during childhood or adolescence. Pectus usually presents as a prominent depression or bulge in the center or at the edges of the rib cage.

What Causes Pectus?

The exact cause of pectus is not known, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Family history may play an important role in the formation of pectus. In some cases, trauma or other health problems affecting the rib cage may also contribute to the development of pectus.

What are the Types of Pectus?

There are several types of pectus, the most common of which are called Pectus Excavatum (inward rib cage) and Pectus Carinatum (outward rib cage).

Pectus Excavatum (inward rib cage): In this condition, there is an inward hollow in the front of the rib cage, causing it to collapse inwards more than normal, potentially leading to pressure on the heart and lungs and, in some cases, breathing or heart problems.

Pectus Carinatum (outward rib cage): In this condition, the front of the rib cage protrudes outwards, causing discomfort primarily due to aesthetic concerns, although it can rarely result in breathing or heart problems.

What are the symptoms of pectus?

Symptoms of pectus can vary from individual to individual and may differ depending on the type of pectus. However, the following symptoms can usually be seen:

- An abnormal shape or depression in the rib cage

- Breathing difficulties or respiratory problems

- Chest pain or discomfort

- Aesthetic concerns (especially in cases of Pectus Carinatum)

- Rapid breathing or rapid fatigue during exercise

How is pectus treated?

Treatment for pectus can vary depending on the type of pectus, severity and symptoms. Treatment options may include:

Surveillance and Follow-up: Some mild cases of pectus may only require surveillance and regular follow-up as long as the symptoms are mild.

Orthosis Treatment: It is a method used in the treatment of Pectus Carinatum. A specially designed external support can be used to straighten the rib cage. These orthoses can help improve the appearance of the pectus by using them regularly over a period of time.

Vacuum Treatment: This is a method used to treat Pectus Excavatum. Vacuum devices are used to help push the rib cage outwards. This treatment method can be applied regularly over a period of time to restore the normal shape of the rib cage.

Exercise and Physiotherapy: In cases of Pectus Carinatum, regular exercise and physiotherapy can improve the condition or relieve symptoms in some cases.

Surgery: Surgical intervention may be required in cases where the pectus is severe or severely causes symptoms. In cases of Pectus Excavatum, a plate or rod may be surgically inserted to straighten the sternum (breastbone).

In conclusion, pectus is a condition defined as an abnormal collapse or protrusion of the rib cage. Although it is usually a congenital condition, its symptoms and severity can vary from person to person. Treatment options may vary depending on the type, severity and symptoms of pectus and should be determined after a detailed assessment with your doctor. If you notice signs of pectus in you or your child, it is important to consult a healthcare professional.

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