Tenting- Normal or Concerning? 1 Month Post-Op. (Photo)

Hello! I have pectus excavatum and received silicone implants under the muscle (371 & 397 CC). I can push down on my sternum up to an inch (depending on what position I'm in) before I feel bone. It is still pretty painful and uncomfortable. Is this normal for pectus excatum patients? Should my skin touch the bone or will I likely always have tenting because of my chest wall? Or is it more likely I'm still swollen? Anything I can do to help this?

Doctor Answers 4

Not normal

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this is not normal...it would be best if you can provide us with before surgery photos.  Give it another 5 months and re assess the situation and speak to your surgeon about it.

Chest Wall Deformities

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I do not have a lot of experience with augmentations after pectus repair although I have done numerous surgeries on patients with scoliosis with uneven chest walls.  Your implants look somewhat close together in the midline and you are only 1 month post op so it is hard to predict exactly what will happen.  It is possible and I have seen patients that had "tenting" when their implants were closer together.  As the swelling resolves, it should get better but give it 2- months.

It is called symmastia

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You have symmastia. This term is used to describe breasts that are connected to each other. It is not normal. However, many factors can cause it. Your pectus deformity might have predisposed you to it. Without a physical exam it is not possible to be totally accurate. Discuss it with your surgeon.  

Results after Pectus Excavatum

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This is a tough one to answer without seeing you in person both before and after.  Implants in Precuts Excavatum patients almost want to fall to the middle because of the inward slant of the ribcage.  In normal patients I want to get the implants as close as possible.  In patients with PE, I actually release less muscle, trying to make them further apart so they don't touch.  However no 2 PE cases are identical and your photos could be normal early after surgery depending on the degree of excavatum. 

Eric Mariotti, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.