The chest is the part of the body between your neck and your abdomen. It includes the ribs and breastbone. Inside your chest are several organs, including the heart, lungs, and esophagus. The pleura, a large thin sheet of tissue, lines the inside of the chest cavity. There are several disorders that effect the heart, lungs, esophagus, thoracic areas.
While Pediatric Surgeons of Phoenix treats most pediatric chest disorders, we have a subspecialty clinic to address Pectus Excavatum and Chest Wall Anomalies Clinic to care for patients diagnosed with irregular configurations of the chest due to abnormally growing rib cartilage. These types of disorders occur in about 1 in 400 people. Symptoms can be mildly present at birth and may worsen as a child grows.
The two primary chest wall disorders are Pectus Excavatum and Pectus Carinatum. Patients diagnosed with Pectus Excavatum have a chest that appears sunken, sometimes called ‘funnel chest,’ and can experience symptoms such as exercise intolerance, chest pain, shortness of breath, and frequent upper respiratory infections. Pectus Carinatum patients have an outward protrusion of the chest wall and in most cases, the symptoms are minimal.
A third chest wall disorder is Slipping Rib Syndrome. Slipping Rib Syndrome is an uncommon cause of chest and abdominal pain in children as young as 12 years old. It can be difficult to diagnose, even with considerable clinical testing and visual examination.