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Old 07-21-2006, 02:13 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Mexico
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James707 HB User
Re: women with pectus excavatum (caved in chest)

Wow there are other people out there with a caved in chest. I thought my brother and I were rare cases. I think we inherited it. I am a 25 yr old male with Pectus Excavatum. I just recently googled about chest deformities. My doctors always said my chest wasn't a health concern and getting surgery would only benefit me cosmetically and the risk factor wasn't a good trade off. I also discovered I have mitral prolapse valve during physical education class in the 9th grade. All this time I thought I didn't condition hard enough because every person I know has better stamina than me in sports. Reading that Pectus Excavatum decreases lung capacity better explains my lower stamina. I didn't let that stop me from making the freshman basketball team but I was dying on the court within 2 minutes of play.

Growing up with P.E I was always teased about my chest. Kids naturally make fun of deficiencies or deformities. Luckily I'm the type of person that doesn't let insults get to me especially if the person doesn't know me well. I was always conscious about going swimming or playing shirts and skins on the basketball court. It wasn't until I got out of high school that people were more mature than to make fun of someone's deformity. The funny thing is girls are never grossed out about my chest when I show and tell them in bed. They are not even surprised and act like it is nothing. I guess females really don't care that much when it comes to looks. I'm an attractive guy but it's just my chest that doesn't look too appealing. I'm a confident guy but I still minimize going shirtless in public.

Has anyone gone through any of the corrective procedures after the age of 25? How much does it cost? I'm thinking it would be pointless for me to get it now at my age unless I become a movie star which is never going to happen. In about 5 more years I will be out of my prime anyway.

Last edited by James707; 07-21-2006 at 02:15 PM.

 
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Old 07-27-2006, 05:00 AM   #2
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maggie32 HB User
Re: women with pectus excavatum (caved in chest)

I am a 27 year old woman with PE. I've had a noticeably uneven, caved in chest since birth...when my Mother asked my pediatrician about my chest he had told her it was PE, but that "swimming" could possibly correct the problem, and that the onset of puberty may also hide it. Unfortunatly, puberty only eggagerated it, as one breast grew and the other did not...
I went to see doctors about this at this time, to which they told us of the complete reconstructive surgery of the sternum and rib cage, or the possibilty of a breast extender... which seemed like a much more painless way to go. Although the hole in my chest seems deep, i've never found out how truley severe it is compared to others...I have always had problems with building stamina while working out, never being able to run more than a certain distance no matter how much I train, and I sometimes experience a pain on the right side...like a deep bone pain...
I did get the breast extender when I was 16, which did make it look a little better, especially when wearing clothes, but I always saw the hole, and how my right side seems to collapse, starting from under the clavicle. Two years ago I had a child and after finishing breast feeding, there began to be more of a noted difference between the left (natural) breast and right (implant) breast...(I was miserable again), so I went to consult with a plastic surgeon about my options, with possibly getting an augmentation so that both breasts were implants, and hopefully this would hide more of the hole...A year later and I still can tell the difference...bras still dont fit, and there is asymmetry and shape difference..I know this is superficial, but it really is beginning to depress me, my husband says he cant tell, but i swear he's being nice...I'm thinking of getting the real surgery that is suposed to fix it, so at least I wont have breathing problems and my chest wont hurt, but I dont even know if I can still do that at this point, or the cost for something like that...I want to go talk to a doctor about this, but my husband is Active duty military so my healthcare is thru them, and I dont know if they would know about this... has anyone else tried the implant route and wished they just had gotten the actual rib cage reconstruction? Or, has anyone gotten implants successfully because of a newer procedure for PE?

 
Old 10-04-2007, 08:32 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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US_grl HB User
Re: implants for women with pectus excavatum?

The last post by Maggie was over a year ago so this message may not get to her, but hopefully it will help someone else. I did not discover my pectus excavatum until I was in my 30s. I am active duty military and have always struggled with running. Additionally, I had a rib cage that was quite protruded. When I decided to look into surgery to cosmetically repair my ribcage, the doctor diagnosed my PE. By the time I had my surgery at age 33, the doctors had determined my PE was a severe case. I do not believe the surgery was any more difficult at my age as it would have been in my 20s. I do not regret it in any way. I am amazed at how much easier life is now. Prior to the surgery, even waking up in the middle of the night would cause my heart to speed up (due to the compression) and it would be difficult to go back to sleep. Not anymore. Also, after I recovered from the surgery, I realized how distended my midsection had been from the movement of my organs (i.e. the compression of my chest caused less room so the lack of space had to made up somewhere -- most of it moved lower).

I recommend the surgery to anyone who has noticeable effects from their PE -- regardless of their age. And, since it is a congenital defect, many health plans should cover it.

 
Old 11-04-2007, 05:10 AM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Scotland
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vinniejones HB User
Re: implants for women with pectus excavatum?

well hello thur my names vinnie am 18 years old from scotland i also have pe and it a real pain i want to get the operation to correct but am worried that the doctor will say it does affect my breathing some what rotten so was just going to ask does anyone know if i can get it regardless wb xx

 
Old 11-29-2007, 07:33 PM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 1
babypea3 HB User
Re: implants for women with pectus excavatum?

Hi -

Just wondering what procedure you had and how long the recovery time was? You mentioned you have a child - were things difficult for you for a long time after the surgery?

I'm a 38 year old Mom and I have PE. I'd say it's moderate to severe. It doesn't really bother me, other than the fact that I can't wear all styles of bathing suits, etc. But I have Mitral Valve Prolapse and have an irregular heart beat....and worry that later in life, the PE will prove to be a problem for my heart or lungs. (Coughing can be a problem, too, if a cold lasts a long time.)

Thank you!
Carol


Quote:
Originally Posted by US_grl View Post
The last post by Maggie was over a year ago so this message may not get to her, but hopefully it will help someone else. I did not discover my pectus excavatum until I was in my 30s. I am active duty military and have always struggled with running. Additionally, I had a rib cage that was quite protruded. When I decided to look into surgery to cosmetically repair my ribcage, the doctor diagnosed my PE. By the time I had my surgery at age 33, the doctors had determined my PE was a severe case. I do not believe the surgery was any more difficult at my age as it would have been in my 20s. I do not regret it in any way. I am amazed at how much easier life is now. Prior to the surgery, even waking up in the middle of the night would cause my heart to speed up (due to the compression) and it would be difficult to go back to sleep. Not anymore. Also, after I recovered from the surgery, I realized how distended my midsection had been from the movement of my organs (i.e. the compression of my chest caused less room so the lack of space had to made up somewhere -- most of it moved lower).

I recommend the surgery to anyone who has noticeable effects from their PE -- regardless of their age. And, since it is a congenital defect, many health plans should cover it.

 
Old 02-02-2008, 08:05 AM   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Cartersville, GA USA
Posts: 1
alison307 HB User
Re: implants for women with pectus excavatum?

I am a 46 year old woman born with the "growth defect" of pectus excavatum. It was genetic from my father's side of the family. Growing up, no doctor was concerned about it - I think they all chose to ignore it. I had a very severe case. In the early 80's I had implants put in - big mistake. Actually the mistake was having implants by doctors who did not fully understand pectus excavatum. They had Dow Corning make an implant for the sunken part of my chest then implanted two breast implants. Needless to say, shortly after, one implant slipped and they had to go back in and replace it. Then, shortly after, the other one slipped. I was horrified. They went back in, replaced the center implant with an inverted breast implant, and replaced the slipped implant. They all looked great for awhile - and then they migrated to the center. It was terrible I did not know what to do and did not want to go back to those doctors. Years later, after living in a different town, my gynocologist (God bless him!) researched my condition and contacted UCLA Medical Center, where Dr. Eric Fonkelsrud, head of Pediatrics, had studied this condition his entire career and has a proceedure for repairs. At 37, I flew out to UCLA and had the proceedure. They removed all of the implants and reconstructed my ribcage. My case was one of the most severe he had seen. At one point of the sunken area, my ribs were only 3 cm from my spine. It was a very painful surgery, but I do not regret it. I had to go back out to UCLA six months later and have the small bar removed - it was a very simple surgery. I would say it took about seven months to get back to feeling normal. I'm not by any means "perfect" - but MUCH better than before and I am happy with what I have. At the time of my surgery, my daughter was 6 - they were surprised that I had delivered a 9 lb. 7 ounce baby without any complications. My family and friends were a real help during my recovery time. I'm 5'9" and 132 lbs., being tall and thin, I've thought about implants, but don't think my body would accept any more "foreign" materials...and I wouldn't want to volunteer to go under the knife again. Oh - and at the time, my health care plan did cover the surgeries.

Last edited by alison307; 02-02-2008 at 08:08 AM.

 
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