T Nation

Pectus Excavatum

For those not familiar with the term, it refers to having a sunken chest. It’s very depressing for someone who has invested a considerable amount of time to improving his body. How could anyone look good with a friggin hole in the middle of the chest? I’m considering surgery, but it would only be for cosmetic reasons. This condidtion doesn’t affect my breathing or anything like that, as it has been known to in some cases. I’d obviously like to avoid surgery, but this is pissing me off. I also won’t be able to lift for about 6 weeks if I do have surgery. Any advice? Will I always be a freak if I don’t take care of my sunken chest?

Is this the surgery where they put a bent metal rod under your ribcage?

There is a medical condition (genetic) that causes a sort of softening of the bones. At least I think that is what it does. Most people with this condition grow taller then average because of the bone structure. Abraham Lincoln had this condition.


One sign of this condition is a sunken chest, and the other is usually being over 6 feet tall. The real problem is that it causes one of the heart valves to be week. Many do not live past 40. Get your heart checked out immediately. Especially if you are over 6 feet tall. (I cannot remember the name of this condition.)


You may have to tell the doctor to look for a valve problem specifically. I think it is too often missed by doctors if they are not familiar with the condition.

I have Pectus, even tho its less noticeable now after I had the Nuss procedure done over two years ago. I now have two bars extending the width of my chest and I’m far better off than I was before. I took about two months off from the gym after I got back, but that shoudln’t be an issue when considering a lifelong improvement. There’s several different methods and places to have the operation, if you have any quetions about it, email me at [NOT ALLOWED ON FORUM - MOD]

The US News and World Report had an article on this very condition in one of its hospital ranking issues. Either 2002 or 2001. The success rate is very high, and the procedure has been greatly improved in recent years.

Before you had the Nuss procedure, did your doctor mention anything about exercises and breathing techniques that can be used to improve this condition? This is the option that I’m going to explore when I go for a consult.