Support Forums Today's Posts

Get Advice Connect with TeenHelp Resources
HelpLINK Facebook     Twitter     Tumblr     Instagram    Hotlines    Safety Zone    Alternatives

You are not registered or have not logged in

Hello guest! (Not a guest? Log in above!)

As a guest on TeenHelp you are only able to use some of our site's features. By registering an account you will be able to enjoy unlimited access to our site, and will be able to:

  • Connect with thousands of teenagers worldwide by actively taking part in our Support Forums and Chat Room.
  • Find others with similar interests in our Social Groups.
  • Express yourself through our Blogs, Picture Albums and User Profiles.
  • And much much more!

Signing up is free, anonymous and will only take a few moments, so click here to register now!

Why Me? Here is a safe space to let it all out, where you can rant about all the bad things life throws your way. Sometimes it just helps to ask "why me?"

Closed Thread
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  (#1 (permalink)) Old
...Curt Offline
Not a n00b
...Curt's Avatar
Name: Curt
Age: 29
Gender: Male

Posts: 68
Join Date: March 1st 2009

I have Pectus Excavatum. (Pics) - February 8th 2010, 01:36 AM

Ok. So... this is a very touchy subject for me and i'm VERY self-conscious of this.

In my early teen years I began to notice that my chest was a bit different.

It basically goes in instead of out, thus giving off the appearance of a "sunken chest".

I began to get very self-concious of it and began avoiding situations where I had to take my shirt off. I became depressed (no pun intented) because of this (and other reasons, but this didn't help my self-esteem).

After some discovery and a talk with my doctor I discovered that I have what is refered to as Pectus Excavatum. Apparently 1 in 300 people have it so it is fairly common.

From wikipedia: "Pectus excavatum (a Latin term meaning hollowed chest)[1] is the most common congenital deformity of the anterior wall of the chest , in which several ribs and the sternum grow abnormally. This produces a caved-in or sunken appearance of the chest.[2] It can either be present at birth or not develop until puberty."

There is a procedure to get it fixed called the Nuss procedure. They basically put a metal bar underneath your chest and then flip it, pushing your chest outwards. But that would mean you had to endure a lot of physical pain and inactivity and live with a metal bar in your chest for 2 years (I believe it's 2).

I still don't know if I want to go through with it or not but I don't want to be plagued with low self-esteem my entire life.

Here are some pics of my chest:

It's very HARD living with this!! It may not seem like much to some of you but this has caused me severe mental stress. I became depressed and even suicidal because of something seemingly so simple. At times I feel ugly and unloveable. Like no girl would ever want to be with me because of this.

When I take my shirt off infront of people they will almost always comment about it. Asking me what it is or just pointing out that it was abnormal.

I wish I could just go to the beach and just have fun but I don't quite have the courage to.

For anyone else suffering with this, I atleast hope you know that you are not alone and that it is in fact a very common thing. (Feel free to share!)

I wish I could just be normal and have a normal chest but this is the way I was born and it's something I have to live with.

Any comments would be nice... I feel very insecure posting this

(On the bright side i've began working out in hopes of building muscle around my chest... it's impossible to build muscle in the actual dent seeing as it's just bone... i've also thought about getting a tatoo like straight over it!! Whad'ya think?? lol)

Thanks!! (If you've taken the time to read this I really appreciate it!! It feels good getting things off my chest < haha)
2 user(s) liked this post or found it helpful.
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
anony mouse. Offline
I've been here a while
anony mouse.'s Avatar

Posts: 1,831
Blog Entries: 49
Join Date: September 9th 2009

Re: I have Pectus Excavatum. (Pics) - February 8th 2010, 01:41 AM

to me, it's actually not that noticeable. when i read your post i kinda got it and it reminded me of something that people with marfan syndrome have, but they also have very long limbs, etc.

i don't have it, but i'm betting that if you went to the beach not a lot of people would notice. and i think that when you find the right girl she won't give a shit about that, she'll love the rest of you so much.
  (#3 (permalink)) Old
plk524 Offline
stuck...what to do?
Welcome me, I'm new!
plk524's Avatar
Name: Prudence Lynn <3
Age: 25
Gender: Female

Posts: 48
Blog Entries: 9
Join Date: February 8th 2010

Re: I have Pectus Excavatum. (Pics) - February 8th 2010, 01:47 AM

Actually, if i saw you, i'd think that was cool as shit. As long as it's not hurting you, you should try to make people feel different. If you have your shirt of and they ask why it's there, as then why they dnt have the dent. And the person who posted before me is right. You will find a girl that loves you for you. whether you have that or not. and it doesn't seem too noticable anyway...i hope i made you smile at least a little bit.
  (#4 (permalink)) Old
...Curt Offline
Not a n00b
...Curt's Avatar
Name: Curt
Age: 29
Gender: Male

Posts: 68
Join Date: March 1st 2009

Re: I have Pectus Excavatum. (Pics) - February 8th 2010, 01:54 AM

Thanks for the support! =)

No it doesn't 'cause any physical pain at all... but some people who have more severe cases of it have breathing problems and have a hard time catching their breath... and it is possible for issues to come up later in your life.

Other than the look of it, i'm perfectly fine and healthy.
  (#5 (permalink)) Old
Acerbated Offline
Junior TeenHelper
Acerbated's Avatar
Name: Niki
Age: 26
Gender: Female
Location: Saskatoon

Posts: 281
Blog Entries: 1
Join Date: January 6th 2009

Re: I have Pectus Excavatum. (Pics) - February 8th 2010, 04:15 AM

My last boyfriend had that, though his was caused by a physical injury to his chest. Like you, he was super self conscious about it, but to be honest I loved his indent :3 I thought it was the perfect little quirk about him. When cuddling it was the perfect place to rest my hand, or if my head was on his chest my ear wouldn't be squished uncomfortably. Either way, I loved his indent haha.

Be proud of your differences. If it doesn't cause you any physical pain, take it as a unique quality that will steer shallow and superficial people away from you; you'll get a sweetheart you deserve.

Every time I try to give up, a little voice called hope says "one more try"
  (#6 (permalink)) Old
Wannabe Realist
Junior TeenHelper
flippinmayonnaise's Avatar
Name: Jen
Age: 26
Gender: Female
Location: Limbo

Posts: 255
Join Date: June 2nd 2009

Re: I have Pectus Excavatum. (Pics) - February 8th 2010, 04:17 AM

Wow, if you wouldn't have pointed it out, I never would have noticed! I know everyone is self-conscious about something, but I would try to forget about it if I were you, because you have no reason to fret; you look really good!!

how nice- to feel nothing but still get credit for being alive
kurt vonnegut
  (#7 (permalink)) Old
WashoutThePain Offline
Outside, huh?
WashoutThePain's Avatar
Name: Ask Away!
Age: 27
Gender: Female
Location: Nowhere to be found

Posts: 4,749
Blog Entries: 377
Join Date: January 5th 2009

Re: I have Pectus Excavatum. (Pics) - February 8th 2010, 04:21 AM

First thoughts: "I could do so much with that indent!"

Second thoughts: "No way does he need surgery to get that fixed, it's the perfect quirk!"

Third thoughts: "Everyone has things about their bodies that they dislike or want to change, don't feel bad about this one small detail. People are going to love and accept you, indent or not."

  (#8 (permalink)) Old
Algernon Offline
CPT-1 Phlebotomist
Outside, huh?
Algernon's Avatar
Name: Holly
Age: 28
Gender: Female
Location: Roseville, California

Posts: 4,124
Join Date: January 21st 2009

Re: I have Pectus Excavatum. (Pics) - February 8th 2010, 05:03 AM

Honestly, there's really nothing that weird about it. I don't even think people with missing limbs look strange half the time.

Geek? Nerd? More like intellectual badass.

"You ran through Africa, and Asia, and Indonesia.. And now I've found you, and I love you. I want to know your name."
  Send a message via Yahoo to Algernon  
  (#9 (permalink)) Old
...Curt Offline
Not a n00b
...Curt's Avatar
Name: Curt
Age: 29
Gender: Male

Posts: 68
Join Date: March 1st 2009

Re: I have Pectus Excavatum. (Pics) - February 8th 2010, 10:37 AM

Thank you all for the support =)
  (#10 (permalink)) Old
CanadaCraig Offline
Senior TeenHelper
CanadaCraig's Avatar
Age: 55
Gender: Male

Posts: 854
Join Date: January 6th 2009

Re: I have Pectus Excavatum. (Pics) - February 8th 2010, 11:32 AM

Hi Curt!!

I hope you're having a dandy day.

That was a wonderful message - for several reasons. It was open and honest. It was informative. And it was - most of all - courageous.

Good for you!!

I appreciate how you feel even though my problem is quite the opposite. I have gynecomastia. [Which is a Greek word meaning 'female like breasts'] My chest [Both left and right side] has 'fibrous breast tissue' - causing 'them' to look like breasts. It's fairly common and varies in degree. [Just as your problem can vary in degree from one guy to the next] I haven't had my shirt off in public [Like at a beach or swimming pool or whatever] since I was about 8 years old. I have always been afraid of what people might think of me. That fear has greatly effected - in a very negative way - much of my life. I'm a 'center stage' kind of guy who has always kept himself in the shadows. When I was younger - I avoided fights ONLY because I feared the 'other guy' would rip my shirt off. [And so on] But looking at YOUR chest - I have to admit that MY problem probably isn't nearly as big a problem as I have always thought it was. Just as YOUR problem really isn't as big a deal as YOU have always thought it was. It all comes down to how we see ourselves. Looking at your photos - and seeing your chest - I can SEE the 'problem'. But not for a second did I think to myself, "Yikes!! That's awful!!" OR "That's really unacceptable!!" In fact - it looks like you have a really nice body that just happens to have a somewhat indented chest. And no doubt - even though to MY eyes - I have HUGE breasts - fact is - they're most likely not as big as I THINK they are. Truth be told - neither one of us is 'circus side show' worthy.

That all said....

I could have surgery. And I might - some day. It just costs thousands of dollars and there is the risk of 'things' going wrong. I don't want to keep my shirt on for a different reason. [If you know what I mean] So I'm afraid of taking that step. And quite often - guys who have gynecomastia surgery end up with no feeling left in their nipples. Not sure I want that either. What you would have to go through [If you chose to have the Ness Procedure done] would be even riskier. BUT..... it MIGHT be worth it.

For now - I will continue to do what I can to lose fat. [Which - most likely - caused the breast tissue to develop in the first place] I've lost a lot of weight so far - and 'they' ARE getting smaller. [Even though the breast tissue itself is just as big] So maybe you should [Also] wait and see. Continue to work on building up your chest muscles and see how that effects the appearance of your chest. Surgery is a BIG DEAL and it should be considered a 'last resort'. [For both of us]

  (#11 (permalink)) Old
Gaia Offline
same same, but different.
Outside, huh?
Gaia's Avatar
Name: Lou
Age: 28
Gender: Female
Location: ekam eveileb

Posts: 3,807
Blog Entries: 8
Join Date: January 6th 2009

Re: I have Pectus Excavatum. (Pics) - February 8th 2010, 03:31 PM

I have to agree that I think it's cute. My ex had a rib or so missing and had a bit of an indent which I claimed as my own If you think the surgery would help you, then go for it, but personally I think you look mighty fine [:

"Life is pain, anybody that says different is selling something" ~ Fezzik's Mother, The Princess Bride. ♥

"To die, would be an awfully big adventure."~ Peter Pan

"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumoured by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."

~ The Buddha

14-04-2010. R.R <3
  (#12 (permalink)) Old
TheLittleNinja Offline
I'm a secret ninja ;)
I've been here a while
TheLittleNinja's Avatar
Name: Claiiiiiiiiire
Gender: Female
Location: UK

Posts: 1,209
Blog Entries: 22
Join Date: January 20th 2009

Re: I have Pectus Excavatum. (Pics) - February 8th 2010, 06:15 PM


Before actually reading your post, I scanned your pictures (I like pictures - they always come first), and after looking at the pictures - I really couldn't work out what your post could be about.

It was only after reading your post, then looking back over the pictures that I noticed the dent - as you put it.

For me personally, I think you look fine, you have a toned body that you should be proud of. I do however understand how this has made you feel over the years, and it must have been difficult dealing with this over your teens - teens are very critical of appearances these days.

To be honest Amy's post sums it up for me :]
I think you look great, and I hope that someday you will love your body too :] I wouldn't like you to have surgery - but of course that's your decision.

Maybe you could work on your confidence with friends, and go out to the beach as a group or something? Have some support around you? Just an idea :]

Take Care,

I'm still alive.
Must have been a miracle
It's been one hell of a ride
Destination still unkown
It's a fact of life: If you make one wrong move with a gun to your head
You better walk the line or you'll be left for dead.

I'm a runaway train on a broken track
I'm the ticker on the bomb that you can't turn back
Thats right.
I got away with it all and I'm still alive.
Let the end of the world come tumbling down.
I'll be the last man standing on the ground
As long as hot blood runs through my veins
I'm still alive.
  (#13 (permalink)) Old
...Curt Offline
Not a n00b
...Curt's Avatar
Name: Curt
Age: 29
Gender: Male

Posts: 68
Join Date: March 1st 2009

Re: I have Pectus Excavatum. (Pics) - February 8th 2010, 09:18 PM

Once again, thank you all for the support. =)
You guys are awesome!

Craig - there's also something called 'Pectus Carinatum' which is basically the opposite of what I have - the chest bone goes out farther than normal. But I definetly understand what you are talking about when you say you look at my problem and understand it... but don't see it as that big of a deal. But we are all like that I guess... we can see each others problems much clearer than our own.

I guess it's just different when you have to live with it day in and day out... regardless of how small or big a deal it is... you'll eventually start to question it.

There are some days when I am OK with it and accept it... (and even don't see it as that big of a deal)... but there are other days where I hate it. That's the only problem i'd have with regards to the surgery... I don't want to be constantly worrying about it my whole life(regardless of whether it's a big deal or not). I don't want to be 34 and am still wishing I could get it fixed.

My biggest problem is usually just how other people would react to it... wish I guess isn't my problem in the end. =)
Closed Thread


excavatum, pectus, pics

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All material copyright 1998-2018, TeenHelp.
Terms | Legal | Privacy | Conduct | Complaints

Powered by vBulletin®.
Copyright ©2000-2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search engine optimization by vBSEO.
Theme developed in association with vBStyles.