Pectus Excavatum

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Submitted by Dr T on January 15, 2013 – 1:46pm

Question: 
I am a 44 yr old female, life long asthmatic and have always had a “pointy rib cage”, to the point that I was never comfortable in 2 piece swim suits.  Other than that, my odd shaped rib cage was never an issue.  I also have issues with recurrent pneumonia and bronchitis (yearly almost).  Meaning, I have had many chest xrays.  This past spring (March 2012) I had pneumonia and went to the local walk in clinic and then my primary doc a few days later, both took xrays and both individually told me I had Pectus Excavatum.  Reports say 1: Severe pectus excavatum which does narrow the chest cavity to approximately 7mm and likely does result in mass effect upon left ventricle. 2: Significant pectus excavatum posteriorly displacing and widening the heart which projects mildly enlarged resultantly.Ok, now on to the question.  It has been a year and just recently (past month) I notice that when I lay on my left side and my right arm comes across my chest, I feel a pressure where I imagine my heart is located.  It is not painful, but it is uncomfortable and I can not sleep this way.  I am moving around quite a bit trying to get comfortable.  I noticed too, that as a passenger in a car, when I reach over with my right hand to change radio stations, I feel the same pressure.  Is this on my heart?  Should I be worried?When I feel this pressure I arch my back and it seems to relieve it immediately.  Should I get in to a specialist?  Can this pectus excavatum worsen with age?Thank You.

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