Body Dysmorphia and Pectus Excavatum [2023]: Solution & More

Written by Mihail Veleski

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Evidence-Based This post has medical citations

Body dysmorphic disorder is a psychiatric disease characterized by concern with insecurity and flaw in one's physical appearance.

Frequent mirror checking, constant comparison with others, camouflaging behavior, changing clothes often, and believing that others are equally disturbed by the look of their chest are all indicators of a possible diagnosis of body dysmorphic disorder.

People with pectus excavatum often have this disorder due to their fear of rejection. We are concerned about not fitting in, being rejected, and feeling lonely due to our chest appearance.

We feel like we must have a normal chest appearance to keep friends or find a mate. With that kind of dread and thoughts, we might easily acquire obsessive anxieties about our looks.

We may also avoid physical touch with others and have avoidance behaviors, a form of severity and chronicity of BDD.

It can be challenging and manifest in any form or life situation.

dysmorphia after the pectus excavatum surgery

Experiencing body dysmorphic problems after surgery is possible if you had that problem earlier or your expectations were unrealistic.

Because patients with the disorder usually have high expectations of the surgery's cosmetic effects, they can anticipate surgery just because of the cosmetic treatment.

Those patients may believe that the Nuss procedure will 100% solve their problems with self-esteem. High expectations usually result in unhappiness that does not correlate with the objective outcome and can become a dark circle with no exit.

Although an aesthetic motive for chest surgery may shortly relieve the anxiety produced by the condition, you will soon find yourself fixating on the ugly again.


There is a new study saying that many people with body dysmorphic disorder pursue surgery because of cosmetic reasons, and only 2% of the surgeries lessen the severity of the body dysmorphic condition.

Because of this realization, if you have pectus-related health problems, surgery such as Nuss to repair the deformity is recommended for you. The Nuss procedure can also address the cosmetic part.

Still, if the requirement for surgery comes only from a psychological motive, you must seek the right solution: improving your mental health. Surgery can only be of assistance when you have fully reassured your inner self.

Different experiences

People with pectus may experience this sensation quite intensely before and after surgery. Some individuals believe their unfavorable Haller index is significantly higher than it is.

By using numerous methods, they attempt to hide their deformity. Undoubtedly, it is okay if that helps you in any way.

One creative patient claimed that getting tattoos all over the malformation area prevented him from continuously second-guessing how he appeared.

There are also patient stories about how they were less self-conscious about their pectus before surgery. However, they nearly became obsessed with the outcomes after the Nuss procedure.

They are constantly concerned that it needs to be more effective or that the concave area needs to be flattened even more.

Even though everyone, including their doctor, reported a positive outcome, they still weren't delighted with the results.

Look for the right solution

If you recognize some of the symptoms in yourself or suspect the starting stages of this condition, please get in touch with a medical expert before it worsens.

The most important thing is knowing there is a solution for your deformity, and please do not get discouraged or fearful.

Identify and challenge yourself to go from negative mindsets about your body image to more positive thinking.

Find any alternative way to deal with your unhealthy routine to reduce mirror checking. I was a victim of this, and I believe I still am to a certain extent.

Share your feelings with your loved ones, and don't hesitate to ask for their support.

And if you have a close one who you assume is suffering from this condition, especially following surgery, which is a tough time, please be supportive.

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Article by:

Mihail Veleski

I am Mihail Veleski, the person behind this website. Established in 2015, Pectus Excavatum Fix has helped thousands of people improve their sunken chest deformity, both physically and mentally. I pride myself on ensuring the information and methods I share are tried by me and backed by research. I improved my concave chest and rib flare deformities non-surgically.

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