The Chest Wall Clinic at Nationwide Children's

A chest wall deformity is a change from the normal shape of the chest wall. The child's chest may be sunken or it may stick out (protrude). Chest wall deformities affect about one in 400 people. Chest wall conditions usually become more severe during teen growth years. If the condition is not treated, adults can experience more symptoms with age.

The team at Nationwide Children's treats chest wall conditions in children, teens and adults with both surgical and non-surgical options. Kids are still growing. Their bodies and their needs aren't the same as adults. No one understands this better than pediatric specialists. The team includes providers from different specialties, including doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, and occupational and physical therapists.

Contact our team today to see how we can help.

Chest Wall Clinic Treatments and Services

The Chest Wall Clinic provides surgical and nonsurgical treatments for various conditions. Minimally invasive surgical techniques, including the Nuss procedure, provides reduced scarring and a faster return to regular activities.

Some patients require evaluation by Cardiology and Pulmonary Medicine. These teams work seamlessly with physicians and staff of the Chest Wall Clinic to care for the patient. Our team works with Radiology to provide imaging, including chest films and CT (computed tomography. A CT is a type of imaging that uses x-rays to take pictures of the inside of the body.

Patients who need surgery are given close attention to pain control. Our center was one of the first to provide intercostal nerve cryotherapy. This is a way to control pain after surgery. It also helps to speed recovery and dramatically reduce length of stay.

  • Chest Wall Brace
  • Chest Wall Deformities Surgery
  • Nuss Procedure
  • Pectus Excavatum Surgery
  • Pectus Excavatum Vacuum Bell
  • Intercostal nerve cryotherapy for postoperative pain control

What to Expect During Treatment and Recovery

For patients undergoing surgery for pectus excavatum, the minimally invasive Nuss procedure combined with the cryotherapy allows patients to be discharged after one or two nights in the hospital. Most will return to school within one to two weeks. Sports or other activities are restricted for three months.

The carinatum patients are routinely treated with a brace applied as an outpatient. Significant improvement is usually seen after one to two months.

Additional Resources During Your Child's Journey

Global Patient Services
We understand that traveling away from home for health care can bring special stresses to your patients and their families. To help, Global Patient Services supports many of the unique needs of those arriving here from outside central Ohio, including:

  • Clinical arrangements
  • Housing and transportation
  • Ronald McDonald House (for extended stays)
  • Financial counseling to assist families with questions related to coverage for health care services, and specifically for out-of-network coverage
  • Interpreters
  • Sibling care
  • Pastoral care


Meet the Chest Wall Clinic Team

It's not just who treats your child that makes a difference at Nationwide Children's. It's how your child is treated here. The Chest Wall Clinic team specialists love treating kids. Helping children and teens feel better is our purpose and what drives us each day. It's why we do what we do. From evaluation to treatment to recovery and beyond, a team of specialty experts is required to ensure the best outcome.

We have more than 30 years of experience treating chest wall disorders. Your child's team includes surgeons, nurses and many other specialists who work together to treat your child's condition. Everyone is here, in one location, to provide optimal care and outcomes.

Brian Kenney

Brian D. Kenney

Brian D. Kenney, MD, MPH, is the Surgical Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Nationwide Children's Hospital and an Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He is the Director of the Chest Wall Center which provides care for children and adolescents with pectus excavatum and pectus carinatum.

Nationwide Children's Hospital Medical Professional

Patrick I. McConnell

Patrick I. McConnell, MD, is an Attending Surgeon in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at The Heart Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Sara Mansfield

Sara A. Mansfield

Sara A. Mansfield, MD, is a pediatric surgeon at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Becoming a Chest Wall Clinic Patient

Although we will see patients of all ages, young children will receive mainly reassurance. Since there is significant growth that can affect the chest wall during adolescence, the best age for referral is around age 12. Most treatments are begun in early adolescence.

If patients are diagnosed after adolescence, they can still be examined to determine what their options are given the severity of the deformity. With any of these referrals, no pre-visit studies are needed.

 Request an Appointment

Please contact the clinic directly to speak with the team.

Chest Wall Clinic

Nationwide Children's Hospital
555 S. 18th St
Suite C
Columbus, OH 43205

Call us at: (614) 722-3900

Fax us at: (614) 722-3903

Hours: 9 a.m. - Noon

Why Choose Nationwide Children's Chest Wall Clinic?

Chest wall disorders are complex and may require ongoing care. Because all of our specialists are located on the same campus, you'll have access to everyone in one trip. Because patients are often referred from considerable distances, the use of telemedicine has increased, especially for follow up. Telemedicine has been well received by patients because of convenience.

For children with more complex conditions, we have the resources to develop a care plan for as long as they need one. From surgery to therapy to ongoing follow-up, your team is with you every step of the way.

Leading the Way to New Treatments and Outcomes Through Clinical Research

Clinical care and research work together. This helps scientists and doctors to find new treatments and therapies. Clinical studies (also called clinical trials) done at the Abigail Wexner Research Institute will continue to become more common in daily care at Nationwide Children's. Clinical studies help doctors learn more about conditions and treatment.

This means you might hear about a clinical study that your child might be able to join. This does not mean that your child has to join a study. You always have the choice about whether or not to join a study. 

Preparing for Your Visit to the Chest Wall Clinic

Evaluation will begin with a review by the surgeon. Specific testing will be considered. Doctors from other specialties will work as a team to treat your child’s condition. All patients must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the initial evaluation. Guardians who are not biological parents need to present legal documentation or proof of guardianship.

How to Prepare

  • Insurance card – Co-pays will be collected if required
  • Medical records from another facility if applicable
  • A copy of any imaging done at outside facilities (CD or DVD) and therapy progress reports, if applicable
  • Please plan to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time for parking and registration.
  • Please be prepared with snacks or other necessities you may need. (i.e. extra diapers, formula, etc.)

Do you have questions? Call us at (614) 722-3900.

Treating Chest Wall Conditions in Children

Chest wall deformities can be evident in infancy, but many also develop or become more obvious as children grow. Anything unusual (abnormalities) are usually noted by patients or their parents. In some cases, they may be seen by the physician and found during a routine chest examination.

The chest wall develops over time and becomes less flexible after the teen years. Chest wall disorders may become more or less problematic as people mature. That's why treatment by specialists who understand how children and teens grow is so important. We have seen patients from all over Ohio as well as Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia.

Our team, with over 30 years of clinical experience, provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment of disorders affecting the chest wall including:

What Chest Wall Conditions Are Treated at Nationwide Children's?

Can't find what you're looking for? Call us at (614) 722-3900