I am currently 18 years of age and have had a pectus excavatum (AKA a funnel chest) my entire life. However, as the years have gone by it has appeared to be getting worse and worse (deeper and deeper in appearance).

I have been to several doctors.

My condition is considered severe (if measured, my chest dips in a good 1 and a half, maybe 2 inches). The degree of severity is enough so that insurances companies will in fact cover it (according to the surgeon I visited)

I have a 71% force vital capacity.

I am 5'8" and very skinny (110 lbs at my last check up)

I have been seriously considering surgery. Is it worth it? Will my lung capacity increase? Will it matter if it does? I mean, it does look really bad. It's incredibly noticeable, you can practically stick a fist into it and the whole front part of the fist will fit in it. I've seen other pectuses and mine is the worse I've seen.

We had done tests on my heart in the past, maybe 3 years ago? Would the situation have changed where I may in fact need surgery because of the possible effect my pectus may have on the heart?

Could my minor scoliosis be cause by my severe pectus excavatum? Also, when I stand up straight (I tend to slouch a lot) I get tired, as if I'm not getting enough air into my lungs. Is this from my pectus or just a bad habit?

Even so, should I do it for cosmetic purposes? I've never felt comfortable at pools and always keep a shirt on. Is a month long recovery and the risk of surgery worth it?

Also are there any hospitals or surgical groups that are renown for fixing these such problems? From what I understand this isn't a very common procedure so it's almost a hit or miss.

Any opinion (professional preferred) would be greatly appreciated!
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replied October 26th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
Scoliosis and Pectus Excavatum are not directly related, though it is of course possible to have both at the same time. Scoliosis usually causes side to side movement of the spine, not downward movement, however.

If you would feel better cosmetically, then that is just one good reason do to this. Yes, Your lung capacity should increase since your lungs will have more room. And, if it is getting worse, then it really does need to be taken care of.
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replied November 30th, 2010
I have it also, im 30 and get a few funny pains/feelings - hard to decribe really. Doctor says its fine and nothing to worry about, suppose he knows best
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