Chest Wall Center

Chest Wall Center | Why Choose Us

Why the Chest Wall Center?

We Partner With You

Our multidisciplinary team works to design specific treatments plan to fit every patients’ unique needs. Our goal at the Chest Wall Center of Cincinnati is to pair exceptional treatment that exceeds your expectations with convenient, precise and affordable care. Together we will explore ways to streamline testing needed before surgery to minimize your health care costs and maximize your convenience and that of your family.

What Sets Us Apart

We have developed a unique program of ever evolving innovation and research based data to improve patient outcomes and patient/family experiences.

Most hospitals use both CT scanning and cardiac ECHO to assess the depth of the chest wall defect and its effect on the position and function of the heart.

Cincinnati Children’s was one of the first to identify that children were getting radiation doses six times higher than necessary and that there is an associated risk of radiation-induced cancer because of excess radiation.  

Though most children’s hospitals caring for children calibrate their CT machines specifically for children, the surgeons at the Chest Wall Center of Cincinnati, in collaboration with our radiologists and cardiologists, use a pectus-specific MRI protocol to evaluate your child’s pectus thereby totally eliminating the cancer risk associated with radiation.


  • MRI offers a Haller/Pectus index similar to CT scans
  • There is no ionizing radiation as there is with a CT scans
  • We obtain additional information by safely examining the full chest
  • We are able to obtain more detailed profiles of the chest wall dynamics by imaging in three phases of respiration

             1. Full inspiration

             2. Full expiration   

             3. Holding the breath   

  • A limited pectus MRI is very fast (10-15 minutes on the table)
  • Cost is similar to the limited pectus CT scan available at Cincinnati Children's

We are able obtain as much (and if necessary more) information with a single cardiac MRI than can be obtained with a chest CT scan AND an echocardiogram used by most other centers caring for children with pectus.

We believe the cardiac MRI is superior not only because use of the MRI eliminates ionizing radiation, but because it is a better tool to assess heart abnormalities. In a recent study we did in conjunction with the Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s, we found that abnormal cardiac function was found in some patients with even what many would consider mild to moderate pectus excavatum.

There are only a few children’s hospitals with a Pain Management Team solely dedicated to addressing a child’s discomfort following surgery. Cincinnati Children’s tops the list with our success in the use of epidural catheters to safely administer pain medication following your child’s surgery. 

The Pain Management Team uses a multi-modal approach using a variety of different pain medications to address your child’s pain after surgery.

The Pain Management Team is available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week and makes rounds three times a day to make sure your child remains as comfortable as possible.

The normal allergy test can take an average of 7 days to complete. Cincinnati Children’s is proud to offer metal allergy testing that provides precise results in only 3 days.

Allergy testing is a requirement prior to surgery because, in some cases, the patient may have an allergy to the metal bars used to correct the chest wall. Cincinnati Children’s offers on-site testing so you can obtain your results easily and quickly without having to travel to a 3rd party site for testing. The results of the test allow us to know what type of metal bar to use for each individual patient, eliminating the risk of redo surgery due to allergic reactions.

At Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, we want to ensure you are informed on your child’s condition and confident in our ability to provide quality treatment. We offer an informational course lead by an experienced team of Advanced Practice Nurses who have a focus on chest wall conditions, to give you the facts you need on pectus, how our team facilitates your care, and what you need to know for recovery after surgery. Classes take place once a month.

For more information or to sign up for a class, please call 513-803-1062 or email

Our physical and occupational therapists are available to help you in your recovery process. After surgery, some daily activities may take getting used to as you learn how to move around with the bars in your chest. Our highly trained staff works with you to prepare you for how to approach these tasks and enhance your mobility after surgery.

The Chest Wall Center is committed to providing comprehensive interdisciplinary care to ensure that children and families have the most positive surgical experience possible. A psychologist is available to provide families with additional coping strategies including worry/anxiety management, comfort/relaxation strategies, and specific skill development (e.g., pill swallowing) to help children and their parents be confident in their abilities to manage surgery and recovery.


While the Chest Wall Center is managed through Cincinnati Children's, we do not limit our services to children. We proudly accept adult patients up to 35 years old who are seeking individualized care from a team of experts for their chest wall conditions.

Contact Us

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Use our online contact form. Or, for more information about the Chest Wall Center of Cincinnati, call 513-803-1062. Read More

Conditions Treated

Dr. Rebecca Brown working at a computer.

We provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment options for pectus excavatum and pectus carinatum.

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