If I do not have corrective surgery, will pectus excavatum harm my heart and lungs or limit my life expectancy?

There is no evidence that pectus excavatum limits life expectancy or causes progressive damage to the heart and lungs over time. It is not uncommon for individuals to develop more symptoms over time. This is likely due to the normal aging process and increasing difficulties compensating for the functional impairments associated with pectus excavatum. This, however, does not mean damage is occurring.

If I have pectus excavatum and need heart surgery, can both procedures be done at the same time?

Yes. Doctors have done combined heart surgery cases with pectus excavatum repair with excellent outcomes. This requires a coordinate approach between the surgeons performing both procedures.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy