Navigation Links
Marked improvement in body image, physical stamina, post-surgical pectus patients report

Patients who have had the common chest wall deformity known as pectus excavatum corrected report improved body image and ability to exercise, according to a study published December in the journal Pediatrics.

The study, conducted at 11 North American hospitals, involved telephone interviews of more than 200 patients between the ages of 8 and 21 who had pectus excavatum surgery. Researchers interviewed parents as well.

The results were dramatic. Patients reported greatly improved body image and marked decrease in problems with exercise.

"These results should prompt physicians to consider both the emotional and physical implications of correcting pectus excavatum," said lead author Robert Kelly, M.D., a pediatric surgeon at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters and Professor of Clinical Surgery and Pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va. "For too long, many in the medical community dismissed pectus excavatum as a merely cosmetic issue, but correcting pectus excavatum has concrete physical and psychological benefits."

Pectus excavatum is the most common congenital deformity of the chest wall. Its defining feature is a depression, or indentation of the chest wall.

In the late 1980s, King's Daughters surgeon Donald Nuss developed a minimally invasive technique to correct pectus excavatum that has since been widely adopted. King's Daughters remains a major training site for surgeons and a center for research on chest wall deformities.

"In Norfolk, we've performed the Nuss Procedure on more than 1,000 patients," says Kelly. "Having such a large population of patients helped us detect a trend. In patient after patient, it was as if surgery turned a light on inside. They seemed much more confident and outgoing after surgery than they did before."

After hearing similar anecdotal evidence from other facilities, surgeons enlisted the help of psychologist Thomas Cash, Ph.D., one of the nation's top researchers on body image issues, to help design a study that would determine whether the trend surgeons noted would hold up to scientific scrutiny.

Other hospitals participating in the study were: All Children's Hospital, St. Petersburg, Fla.; Boston Children's Hospital; Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisc.; Children's Medical Center, Dallas, Tx.; Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Mo.; Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada; Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, Baltimore, Md; Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children, Honolulu, Hi; and Yale New Haven Children's Hospital.

The survey, which was conducted before and one year after surgery, asked parents how often children with pectus excavatum were irritable, frustrated or depressed and whether they were reluctant to be seen without a shirt or in a bathing suit before surgery.

Patients answered similar questions.

Both patients and parents also answered questions about whether the patient suffered pain or shortness of breath when exercising.

Patients and parents reported striking improvements psychologically and physically.

"One of the most interesting things we discovered was that there was not a direct correlation between the severity of the defect and the degree of improvement in body image," said Kelly. "Even patients with mild deformities experienced significant improvement in body image.

Although the study didn't focus on specific physical activities, it asked both patients and parents how often the pectus excavatum caused pre-surgery patients to have "trouble" exercising and being physically active.

The results showed a stunning improvement, with the physical difficulties score falling between "often" and "very often" before surgery and falling between "sometimes" and "never" after surgery.

Cash also believes the body image of the child may play a role in increased participation in athletics.

"Pectus excavatum leads many kids to avoid physical activities that would make their 'different looking' bodies evident to others," Cash said. "The surgery that remedies this 'difference' can improve their subjective body image, free them of this inhibition and permit them to do active things that may enhance their physical abilities and their sense of personal and social acceptability."


Contact: Ridgely Ingersoll
Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters

Related biology news :

1. Home Improvement Star Debbe Dunning is New smartTOUCH Spokesperson
2. Nutritionists of the UGR suggest diet improvements during Ramadan
3. Video released of rapid Alzheimers improvement after new immune-based treatment
4. Natural compounds in cocoa tied to blood flow improvements for adults with type 2 diabetes
5. Substantial improvement in essential cheap solar cell process
6. Summer-dormant tall fescue grass shows promise for pasture improvements
7. Physical activity and health: Finding the right prescription
8. Biophysical Society selects 2009 Distinguished Service, Emily M. Gray and Society Fellow recipients
9. UCSB study finds physical strength, fighting ability revealed in human faces
10. Guidelines urge physical activity during pregnancy
11. American Physical Society announces Physics, a new, free, online publication
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... Minn. , Oct. 29, 2015   MedNet ... supports the entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased ... Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) as one of only ... in the "Software – Small and Growing" category. The Tekne ... individuals who have shown superior technology innovation and leadership. ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, a global ... it has released a new version of its ... North America have already installed ... also includes a FIDO UAF certified server component ... preparing to activate FIDO features. These customers include some ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015  Connected health pioneer, Joseph C. ... of technology-enabled health and wellness, and the business opportunities ... The Internet of Healthy Things . Long ... even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, Partners ... delivery, moving care from the hospital or doctor,s office ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: ... business and prospects remain fundamentally strong and highlights ... doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation to continue the ... review of the final interim efficacy and safety ... Endpoint in men with heavily pretreated castration- and ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... DIEGO , Nov. 25, 2015 Orexigen® ... management will participate in a fireside chat discussion at ... New York . The discussion is scheduled ... .  A replay will be ... Media Contact:McDavid Stilwell  , Julie NormartVP, Corporate Communications ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... featured on AngelList early in their initial angel funding process. Now, they are ... individuals looking to make early stage investments in the microbiome space. In ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... N.J. (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... The ... the recipient of the 2016 USGA Green Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, the ... through his or her work with turfgrass. , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., ...
Breaking Biology Technology: