Pectus excavatum (1934)

Key points below

What is Pectus Excavatum? 

Pectus Excavatum is when the rib cage does not develop as it should.  The breastbone (sternum), which is in the center of the chest, is sunken or caved in.  This sunken area, or depression, in the sternum is the pectus.  It causes the rib cage to look unequal. Your child may have been born with pectus. The condition often gets worse as your child grows.  It is sometimes called a sunken chest or just pectus.  


How is it treated?

A grading system is used to talk about the depth of the sunken chest.  It includes mild, moderate and severe pectus.  Treatment is based on the depth of the pectus.

What tests will be needed?



Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.