Clinic Is The First In Tennessee To Use New Technology
East Tennessee Children’s Hospital has launched a new clinic to treat
chest wall deformities, using new technologies to reduce the need for
invasive surgery. In 2018, pediatric surgeons at Children’s Hospital
treated 69 patients for the two most common chest wall deformities, pectus
carinatum (pigeon chest) and pectus excavatum (funnel chest). These conditions
cause abnormally shaped chest walls which can lead to problems with self
esteem and health issues including difficulty breathing, chest pain, frequent
respiratory infections and heart palpitations.
Pectus Carinatum (pigeon chest) is a disorder of the chest wall because
of an unusual growth of the rib and breastbone, giving the chest a birdlike
appearance. This condition will be treated with an innovative bracing
system developed by physicians in South America. Children’s Hospital
will be the first hospital in Tennessee and the second in the southeast
to use this technology. Each patient will receive a custom fitted brace
to gradually push the breastbone back into the normal position.
Pectus excavatum (funnel chest) is a congenital deformity of the chest
wall that causes several ribs and the breastbone to grown inward. A special
vacuum bell device, which looks like a suction cup attached to the child’s
chest, is used to create a vacuum seal which gradually lifts the sternum
over time. Until now, treatment of pectus excavatum often required surgery.
The new chest wall clinic, under the direction of the Pediatric Surgery
Group at Children’s Hospital, will be a multidisciplinary clinic
where a patient’s health care team will come together to formulate
the best plan for each patient. The team includes surgeons, nurse practitioners,
psychologists, subspecialists such as pulmonologists and orthopedists
as needed, social workers, care coordinators and other clinicians involved
in patient’s care.
The chest wall clinic is accepting patients now. For more information, visit