An assistant professor of thoracic surgery at Mount Sinai, Dr. Andrew Kaufman specializes in treating disorders of the chest wall — including pectus excavatum and pectus carinatum. He treats 50 patients a year for pectus.
Who’s at risk:
Despite the arcane-sounding name, pectus excavatum is a fairly common disorder. It affects about 1 in 400 babies born in this country.
“Pectus is the term we use to describe a congenital deformity of the chest wall,” Kaufman says. “The more common form is pectus excavatum, sometimes called funnel chest, in which the breast bone is pushed in toward the spine. Mild cases may hardly be noticeable, while very severe cases can affect the heart and lungs and diminish cardiorespiratory endurance.”