Pectus Excavatum Surgery Information

Hey Guys, If you have been considering  pectus excavatum surgery, Id like to provide my experience. Before I get into detail Ill answer some frequently asked questions-

How much did the surgery cost you ?

The surgery cost 16,000 euros in 2007 ( I had it in Berlin)

What procedure did you have ?

A  modified nuss procedure with 2 bars.

How long were you in hospital ?

2.5 weeks

Was it painful ?

Yes. Ill get into detail later.

How long before you felt normal again ?

About 7 months

Are you happy with the results ?

Yes but they are not perfect. I still have some upper pectus excavatum present.

I felt great excitement when I first learned there was a surgery available for this Unfortunate deformity. A simple thought led to a google search and that led me to a world I thought I was alone in… You mean others have this horrible dent ? I was shocked and relieved.

Anywhoo…. this isnt a journal so Ill get to the meat.

The surgery was alot tougher than I had expected. I was first told that I would be fully recovered in 3 months. This certainly was not the case for me. This can depend on the surgeon and other contributing factors such as age. Younger people have far easier time  as their bones are less rigid. I was 25 at the time of surgery.

The surgeon used 2 bars in my case because I had upper P.E present. Unfortunately, I still have some upper P.E   but overall the results are very good.

 

 

My pectus excavatum

Pectus excavatum has had a major impact on my life from about 12 years of age. I never really cared too much about it, that was until others started making comments whenever my shirt was off. That being said, almost 20 yrs later, i have rarely gone “bare chested”.

From about my first year of high school I avoided any situation that might have me remove my shirt. This means missing out on pool parties, girlfriends, beach outings, you know…the good stuff.

This poor self image had a major impact on the way I developed  as a person.

Fast forward to 2005 and I  decided to look up ” sunken chest ” on the internet. I was gob smacked. There was a community of people just like me with a similar tale to tell regarding their deformed chest walls. Thats when I found out about the nuss procedure…surgery to correct pectus excavatum. I could hardly believe there was a way to repair my deformed chest. It was like a dream come true. I was shocked and excited. I knew stright away that I was going to have the surgery no matter what.

I found all the info i needed on the internet, Including a list of the best surgeons in the world for this operation. I soon found Proffesor Schaarschmidt in Germany. There are many people from around the world who have had successful operations there, so I decided that was the beat way to go. Althogh the surgery cost was 16,000 euros at the time, it was a small price to pay to get rid of the dent that had ruled my life for so many years.

 

Exercises that help the appearance of pectus excavatum

I have some good news and some bad news. First the BAD news. There doesnt seem to be anyway to change the skelotol structure of the chest without surgery. I tried for many years in vain to pull out my chest because I heard that Arnold Schwarzznegger believed that pullovers expanded his ribgage.

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The good news is that pullovers do have an amazing effect on the overall asthetics of the chest. This exercise is fantasic and my pesonal favourite. Another great one which you can do anywhere is pushups with your feet elevated on a chair. This is great for getting a pump into the upper region of the chest. Im not an expert or anything just a guy with P.E so take anything I say and do some research and see what works the best for you.

I have found that regardless of whether the dent remains or not, exercise will absolutely improve the self esteem and confidence of any of us with pe so its worth making it part of your lifestyle. It is important to have realistic expectations of what exercise alone can do for the appearence of your chest but dont let it stop you from bothering to exercise. I would sometimes talk myself out of a training session because I thought ” whats the point, I still got this big hole on my chest anyway”…Im sure you have experienced something close to this before but its not clear thinking.

You can make your body look out of sight if you want.. great legs, arms , back etc This will make you look great regardless of the ” dent” . Breathing exercises and practicing good posture can also  have a dramatic positive effect on the overall cosmetic issues stemming from p.e.

One thing I should say is that from my experience too much chest work can lead to the ” dent ” appearing deeper.