Chest Wall Conditions We Treat

Helping your child move past his or her malformation and regain function, sports performance, and confidence with a newly contoured chest is what motivates our care team to achieve excellent outcomes. We evaluate and treat children, adolescents, and adults with a range of chest wall deformities, including:

How we evaluate

At the Stanford Medicine Children’s Health Chest Wall Program, your child will meet with our team as we obtain a complete history and physical exam. We often recommend advanced diagnostic testing to determine the ideal intervention to fit his or her individual needs. These diagnostic tests may include the following:

  • X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computed tomography (CT) scan as standard imaging tests.
  • 3-D imaging of the chest wall that’s radiation-free, fast, painless, and safe.
  • Cardiac echocardiogram to determine whether the chest wall abnormality is affecting the position and function of the heart.
  • Pulmonary function testing as needed to measure lung capacity, lung expansion, and oxygen delivery.
  • Allergy patch testing to rule out a metal allergy for bar use.
  • Dynamic MRI testing—a real-time MRI that provides a series of images in rapid succession.

Radiation-free 3-D scanning

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health is leading the way on an innovative imaging technique that reduces radiation exposure for children with chest wall deformities.

Your child may require several scans through the years to track changes in their chest wall, and our 3-D scanning technique creates a model of your child’s chest with zero radiation, often eliminating the need for chest x-rays. We can easily see the progress being made with treatment, and show improvements after surgery. The scan is completed in our office and takes just 10 minutes.

We are one of just a few hospitals in the world, and likely the only children’s hospital in the nation, to routinely use this 3-D scanning method.

Treatment options

Once the workup is complete, we will review with you the best treatment options for your child’s condition. For mild to moderate chest wall abnormalities, nonsurgical methods are always considered first. Severe abnormalities may demand surgery. We provide a variety of innovative pain control options that often make our hospital stays shorter than the usual, with children possibly returning home after just a few days.
Learn more about pain control >

We are happy to provide consultation and follow-up visits via telehealth, as many of our patients live throughout the state and region.