Children's Hospital Opens Chest Wall Clinic

Clinic Is The First In Tennessee To Use New Technology

Children's Hospital has a new treatment for chest wall disorders. PA Matt Greiner fits the brace on a patient.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.

Children's Hospital has a new treatment for chest wall disorders. Dr. Glaze Vaughan discusses the newly fitted brace with his patient.

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