The initial visit to the Chest Wall Center is an opportunity for you and your child to meet with a pediatric surgeon and discuss treatment options for pectus excavatum or pectus carinatum. This visit is typically 30-60 minutes.

Making an Appointment at the Chest Wall Center

If you are interested in making an appointment at the Chest Wall Center, please contact us. You do not need a physician referral.

Before scheduling your first appointment, we will email you some forms to complete. These forms will collect information about your child's medical history, symptoms and previous treatment for chest wall problems. The information will help us determine whether your child needs to see other providers besides the pediatric surgeon, such as a plastic surgeon or orthopaedic surgeon. If so, we will schedule those appointments after your first visit to the Chest Wall Center.

The email also includes instructions on how to take photos of your child's chest and how to send them to us. These photos will help us better understand your child's needs.

Our pediatric surgeons, plastic surgeons and orthopaedic surgeons will review the completed forms and photos to begin developing your child's care plan. A nurse from the Chest Wall Center will call you to:

  • Schedule your child's first appointment
  • Answer any questions you have
  • Request contact information for your child's primary care provider so we can obtain previous test results, medical images and care records

What to Expect on the Day of the Visit

Before Arriving at the Clinic

  • You do not need to bring anything to the appointment. Your child should wear comfortable clothing.
  • Please allow about 10 minutes to park and walk to our location. After you park, go straight to the center, and our staff will get you registered.
  • Plan to arrive at the center 15 minutes before the scheduled start time. This allows our staff to take your child's vitals and settle them in the exam room before the evaluation begins.
  • If you are running late, please contact us. We may need to reschedule your appointment.

At the Appointment

Your child's first visit will be with a pediatric surgeon. The surgeon will:

  • Examine your child's chest and take measurements
  • Talk to your child about any symptoms they are having related to their chest condition
  • Review imaging and other test results
  • Let you know if your child needs to see additional specialists or have more testing before treatment can begin

Your Child's Individualized Chest Wall Treatment Plan

Toward the end of the appointment, the surgeon will recommend a treatment plan. Your child's next steps will depend on whether the plan includes surgery, non-surgical therapy or observation. Observation would mean your child has no immediate treatment and returns to the center in three to 12 months for a check-up.

You will receive a written after-visit summary detailing what you and the surgeon discussed during the visit and the next steps. We will send your child's primary care provider a summary of your visit and treatment recommendations.

We are Your Partner in Chest Wall Care

If you or your child are feeling apprehensive about your first visit to the Chest Wall Center, we understand. It's natural to have some anxieties, especially if your child's chest wall condition is causing health problems or embarrassment. Our team is here to support you along the way.

During your first visit, we will take time to explain our treatment recommendations and answer your questions. If you have more questions after your appointment, please contact us by phone or email or through your child's MyChart account.

Our experienced advanced practice nurses also offer a monthly informational course for patients who are scheduled for chest wall surgery. To learn more or sign up for a class, contact us.