Chest Wall Clinic :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Chest Wall Clinic

The Chest Wall Clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment of disorders affecting the chest wall including pectus excavatum, pectus carinatum, rib deformities and chest wall tumors. Consideration of associated disorders often includes consultation with specialists in Cardiology and Pulmonary Medicine. Patients also frequently undergo radiographic assessment, echocardiography and pulmonary function testing.

Our Clinics

Chest Wall Clinic
555 S. 18th Street, Suite C
Columbus, OH 43205
Phone: (614) 722-3900
Fax: (614) 722-3903
Hours: 9am - Noon

Pectus Excavatum

The most common chest wall disorder treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is pectus excavatum, a deformity that occurs in approximately one out of 1,000 children. It is characterized by a concavity of the sternum. The disorder is usually noted at birth as a mild condition but can become progressively more pronounced over time. Additional symptoms can include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath, especially on exertion
  • Palpitations (mitral valve prolapse)
  • Associated syndromes affecting skeletal growth


For those who require treatment, the most commonly performed procedure is a minimally invasive thoracoscopic surgery to correct the deformity by placing a prosthetic bar behind the sternum (Nuss procedure). The bar is removed after three years and the defect has remodeled into a more symmetrically positioned sternum. The appropriate timing of surgery is typically in the early adolescent years, but patients undergo evaluation for this condition at any age.

Brian Kenney, MD, MPH, and Gail Besner, MD, have more than ten years of experience with treatment of pectus excavatum via thoracoscopy. This minimally invasive surgery is a marked improvement over traditional open surgery for treatment of pectus excavatum, meaning several advantages to your patients, including:

  • Smaller incisions and reduced scarring
  • Reduced operating time
  • An approximate 90 percent decrease in blood loss
  • An early return to regular activity
  • Excellent cosmetic results

The treatment of patients with pectus excavatum is best accomplished with a team approach. Nationwide Children’s team is comprised of members from:

Welcome Center

We understand that leaving the comforts of home for health care can bring special stresses to your patients and their families. To help, our Welcome Center supports many of the unique needs of those arriving at Nationwide Children’s Hospital from outside Central Ohio, including:

  • Clinical arrangements
  • Housing and transportation
  • Accommodations
  • Ronald McDonald House for extended stays
  • Financial information and resources

Our representatives are available to assist you at any time. Please contact the Welcome Center at 1-800-792-8401 ext. 9861.

contact info

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children’s Dr.
Columbus, OH 43205
Phone: (614) 722-3900
Fax: (614) 722-3903

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Meet Our Chest Wall Clinic Leadership

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To make a referral or to schedule a consultation, please call (614) 722-3900, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000