Can Pectus Excavatum Cause Acid Reflux?

Pectus excavatum, a condition where the breastbone or sternum is abnormally sunken into the chest, is not directly known to cause acid reflux (also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD). However, there might be an indirect relationship between the two in some cases.

GERD occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus, causing symptoms like heartburn, chest pain, and regurgitation. While pectus excavatum doesn’t directly lead to acid reflux, the physical compression caused by the inward indentation of the chest might potentially create pressure on the stomach or affect the positioning of the stomach, which could contribute to symptoms of GERD in some individuals.

The pressure exerted on the stomach due to the altered chest shape might increase the likelihood of acid reflux symptoms occurring. Additionally, some people with pectus excavatum might also experience other symptoms that can indirectly contribute to GERD, such as difficulties swallowing (dysphagia) or breathing issues, which could lead to altered eating habits or stress, both of which can exacerbate acid reflux.

It’s important to note that each individual’s experience with pectus excavatum and its potential effects can vary. If you suspect a connection between your pectus excavatum and symptoms of acid reflux, it would be wise to consult a healthcare professional. They can evaluate your specific situation and provide guidance on managing GERD symptoms or recommend appropriate treatment options.