A Leader in Chest Wall Reconstruction

Welcome to the Nuss Center, Home of the Nuss Procedure. If your child has been diagnosed with pectus excavatum, pectus carinatum, or any other chest deformity, turn to the world-renowned experts at CHKD, trusted by the parents of thousands of our patients.

As Home of the Nuss Procedure, CHKD has been treating chest wall conditions for almost 30 years. CHKD's surgical staff performs the Nuss Procedure and the Ravitch procedure to correct pectus excavatum, and offers  compression brace treatment for pectus carinatum. In addition we offer non-surgical correction of pectus excavatum for milder cases.

Conditions We Treat

Pectus Excavatum

Pectus Excavatum Explanation

Also know as sunken chest, pectus excavatum is a depression of the chest wall. The depression may be in the center of the chest or more pronounced on one side or the other (asymmetrical). A child can be born with pectus or develop it during the pubertal growth spurt. The deformity may become more severe with growth spurts. 

The pectus depression can squeeze or crowd the heart and lungs. Individuals may have difficulty catching their breath, tire easily, or complain of chest pain during exercise. At CHKD, we can determine the grade or severity of the pectus by calculating the Haller index from your child’s cardiac/thoracic MRI or CT scan of the chest.

Early evaluation by a CHKD pediatric surgeon is beneficial. Bones are softer in young children and more easily reshaped. As the pectus worsens and the child approaches the teenage years, the bones become harder. This can make it more difficult to raise the sternum, allowing more room for the heart and lungs.

However, surgery can be successfully performed on patients through adulthood.

Pectus Carinatum

Pectus Carinatum

Pectus carinatum, also referred to as pigeon chest, is a chest wall deformity in which the sternum and ribs protrude.

Beyond possible physiological issues of this condition, most often inefficient respiration and challenges with stamina, the deformity can have a psychological impact on the patient.

Most commonly, pectus carinatum appears in males between the ages of 11 and 14 as they reach puberty, and is commonly the result of overgrowth of the costal cartilage.

At CHKD, our pediatric surgeons at the Nuss Center treat pectus carinatum two ways. For manageable cases in which compression of less than 7.5 psi can positively affect the protrusion, the use of the dynamic compression brace is recommended.

In other cases, our surgeons can perform minimally invasive surgery to correct the condition.


How to make an Appointment

Please let us know if you would like a new patient packet and a consult appointment. You can call our office at 757-668-6877 to set the initial consultation. 

Insurance Information

Most insurances are accepted. However, we recommend all patients contact their insurance company prior to visiting our office. Failing to check with your insurance company and following their requirements may result in you being responsible for non-covered expenses incurred from your visit.  Additional insurance information can be found here.