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Marked improvement in body image, physical stamina, post-surgical pectus patients report
Date:12/1/2008

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
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Contact: Ridgely Ingersoll
Ridgely.Ingersoll@chkd.org
757-472-2893
Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters
Source:Eurekalert

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