Medical Q&As

Pectus excavatum

Ever since a child the left side of my chest, where my heart is, is indented. Its like a dent in a car and is annoying me? Is this a permanent condition and what is it caused by?

It is difficult to answer your question accurately without seeing what your chest looks like. There is a congenital condition of the chest wall known as Pectus Excavatum, which sounds very much like the “dent” you are describing. Despite the cosmetic appearance of the chest wall it does not interfere with the function of the underlying heart or lungs. I don’t know why it happens but the result is that the chest wall develops in this misshapen fashion during a critical stage in the development of the breastbone and ribs prior to birth. If my impressions are correct based on your description then the condition is permanent but it does not have any health implications except for its cosmetic appearance.