Are there different degrees of severity for Pectus Excavatum?

Pectus Excavatum is a chest deformity in which the sternum and the cartilage connecting it to the ribs sink inward, creating a “sunken chest” appearance. This condition can vary in severity and affect both children and adults.

Each case of Pectus Excavatum is unique and is classified into different degrees based on the level of chest depression. The degrees are measured using the Haller Index, where a higher index indicates a greater depression. The normal value for the Haller Index is 3.25, and anything above this index is considered Pectus Excavatum. There are other types of indexes that help professionals determine the type of treatment and the level of correction expected for each case.

Three degrees of chest depression have been described:


1. Mild Pectus Excavatum

Mild Pectus Excavatum generally presents as a less pronounced depression of the chest. It usually does not cause significant physical problems, but some people may experience aesthetic discomfort or minor discomfort.

2. Moderate Pectus Excavatum

In moderate Pectus Excavatum, the chest depression is more noticeable. This can lead to greater physical impairment, such as difficulty breathing or fatigue with exertion. Many people seek treatment in this situation to relieve symptoms and improve appearance.

3. Severe Pectus Excavatum

Severe Pectus Excavatum is the most pronounced degree of this condition. Here, the chest depression is deeper and may exert pressure on the internal organs of the chest. This can cause significant respiratory problems, affect heart function and rhythm. It is often accompanied by scoliosis (spinal deviation). Treatment is usually necessary to alleviate symptoms and prevent long-term complications.

How can I learn more about my Pectus Excavatum condition?

Pectus Excavatum is a medical condition that affects each patient differently, so an experienced physician should evaluate your condition and determine the severity of your chest depression. They can also provide detailed information about treatment options and the steps to take. Feel free to contact us to better understand your situation and make decisions based on all the information that we can provide collectively.