Questions and Answers

Do you have questions about Pectus Carinatum or need advice? Have you experienced Pectus Carinatum and would like to give advice? Use this page to share, collaborate, and connect with others. Review the questions and answers already present, ask your own question, or answer a question that’s been posted. Enjoy!

Since you ended up having surgery, does that mean the brace was not successful? Can you please share your surgery experience?

PAIGE: My surgery did not mean that the bracing technique was not successful. I had compounding issues that caused excess cartilage buildup on my ribcage in addition to the traditional Pectus Carinatum. My treatment with the brace was successful in flattening my chest and sternum, even beginning with an impressively inflexible chest wall. The procedure I had was a modified ravitch surgery. Rather than a full procedure to break and realign the sternum, I only removed 4 ‘knobs’ of excess cartilage where my rib cage attached to my sternum, which is not nearly as extensive of a surgery. 

What is it like to wear a brace? How can it be made more comfortable?

PAIGE: It can definitely be uncomfortable at times to wear the brace. I was able to get used to it and it didn’t bother me throughout the day, but at night it was certainly a challenge. I was able to make mine more comfortable by adding padding with self adhesive medical wrap, which I found to be slim but comforting.

ANDREW: Wearing a light, form fitting t-shirt without many seams under the brace can be super helpful in preventing rubbing or pinching against the skin. 

How does it feel to be a girl with this condition?

PAIGE: I believe Pectus Carinatum is a completely different experience as a girl. One of the first things I realized is that the corrective brace is definitely designed for a male body, and it takes some creative measures to form it for a female. Additionally, there is less of a community to relate to as a girl with Pectus Carinatum. It can be hard to connect and find specific advice and support, which is actually why I began The Aspen Grove. 

Are you glad you wore the brace? Is it worth it?

PAIGE: While it was a challenge to wear the brace consistently and to accept it, I am very glad to have worn it. Ultimately, bracing is the solution to Pectus Carinatum, and I wanted a solution. And, once I was used to wearing the brace, it was relatively easy to keep up with it, especially with a goal in mind.

Could you tell if the brace was working?

PAIGE: Yes! It was hard to see changes at first, but I definitely noticed a change in my chest. Even more so than the physical appearance of my chest, I noticed that it became much more flexible, and that is when I knew I was making progress.

ANDREW: I’m only a few weeks into wearing the brace, and while I haven’t seen much physical change, the brace itself has become much looser, which is the most telling indication that my chest is becoming flatter. 

How were the doctors appointments? What can I expect?

PAIGE: While everyone will have a different experience, I hope this will guide you through your first appointments and relieve anxiety. My first appointment began with measuring the pressure it took to make my chest flat, and taking measurements for the brace. After that, each appointment measured the pressure of my chest and adjusted the brace, and appointments were every few months. 

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