Pectus excavatum, also known as funnel chest, is a congenital deformity of the chest wall, in which overgrowth of the cartilage that connects the ribs and the sternum (breastbone) results in the sternum being pushed inwards and having a sunken appearance.


Severe cases can be treated by surgery, particularly if symptoms are being caused as a result of the sternum pressing against the heart and lungs. Another, non-invasive, form of treatment is the vacuum bell, which applies a partial vacuum to the chest, pulling the sternum outwards. The bell must be worn regularly to obtain permenant results, and is only likely to be effective for less severe forms of the condition.

See alsoEdit

Pectus carinatum