About this project
Pectus excavatum (PE), also known as funnel chest, is the most common congenital chest wall deformity, with an incidence of one case in every 1000 births. PE is characterized by a depression of the sternum and adjacent costal cartilages. Physical limitations due to the deformity are mostly cardiopulmonary such as shortness of breath and exercise incapacity, but other symptoms like chest pain may also be present. However, most patients suffer from psychosocial distress to a greater extent with low self-esteem, lack in self-confidence and poor body image. Many patients avoid social activities due to the appearance of their chest, as for the fear of feeling ashamed or being teased. Correctional surgery is available, most widely used is the minimal invasive technique – the Nuss procedure – where one or more metal bars are placed beneath the sternum, forcing the cavity to be pushed out. Previous studies show positive outcomes of surgery with increased self-esteem and health related quality of life.
The planned studies for this project aim to describe how patients with PE, who have hade correctional surgery, experience their life situation and health related quality of life.