MONTREAL, Sept. 26, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Shriners Hospitals for Children® - Canada and The Montreal Children's Hospital (MCH) of the McGill
University Health Centre (MUHC) have established a unique, joint
national clinic to evaluate and treat children with congenital chest
wall deformities. Affecting as many as one child in a thousand, the
disorder is often misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed in toddlers. However,
symptoms and the atypical appearance of the chest may appear only as
bone growth accelerates in puberty, with resulting health issues as
well as problems related to body image and emotional and social
The two most common types of the disorder, pectus excavatum (a caved-in
sternum or funnel chest) and pectus carinatum (a protrusion of the
chest wall or pigeon chest) result when the ribs and sternum develop in
an unusual manner. Mild deformities often are not discovered by
physicians unless children are referred for coincidental scoliosis. If
not treated adequately, patients may experience shortness of breath,
low endurance and frequent respiratory difficulties. More severe chest
deformities, may lead to thoracic insufficiency syndrome, which have
significant impact of infants ability to grow and to develop normally.
At the end of the spectrum one may find an extremely rare condition
known as asphyxiating thoracic dystrophy (Jeune Syndrome). These
infants chest wall are so small that they cannot support life. The
goals for the creation of this clinic are to increase awareness of
these diseases and the variety of treatment options for these patients.
"These deformities are often silent sources of major distress for the
growing child and teenager, as well as his or her family", says Sherif
Emil, M.D., Director of Paediatric General Surgery at McGill and the
Montreal Children's Hospital and the physician who envisioned the new
Centre. "Paediatricians and family doctors often dismiss the anomaly,
believing that the only treatment is radical surgery. However, in the
last decade there has been a revolution in the treatment of these
anomalies with many minimally invasive and less invasive options
available", he adds.
The first one of its kind in Canada and one of few such centers in North
America, the Chest Wall Anomaly Centre's multidisciplinary team is
composed of pediatric general surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons,
pulmonologists, pediatricians, nurses, physiotherapists, medical
imaging specialists, and orthotists, with additional services as needed
offered by plastic surgeons, cardiologists, and geneticists. According
to Jean A. Ouellet, M.D., Deputy Chief of Staff at Shriners Hospitals
for Children- Canada, "Our multidisciplinary team will develop a centre
of excellence by concentrating all of our expertise in a one-stop
centre for treatment diagnosis and evaluation. Becoming the referral
centre in Canada, the accrued number of patients will allow us to
maintain a high level of expertise."
The team aims to provide state-of-the-art care for the entire range of
chest wall anomalies in a family-centered environment that aims to
optimize patient comfort and satisfaction. New technologies such as the
dynamic compression brace introduced by co-inventor Marcelo
Martinez-Ferro, M.D., of Argentina at today's press conference will
allow physicians to offer therapy for pectus deformities without
surgery in many cases. In addition to fitting, adjusting and following
up on patients' braces and surgery, the team will collect data on the
various types of treatments in order to evaluate results and continue
to improve care.
"We hope to treat between 40 and 100 patients per year. To refer a child
to the Chest Wall Anomalies Clinic, paediatricians, physicians and
families across Canada can contact Shriners Hospitals for Children -
Canada at 1-800-361-7256", says Sharon Brissette, Director of Nursing
and Patient Care Services at Shriners Hospitals for Children - Canada.
Often young patients tire of braces and, despite the pain and other
disadvantages, opt for surgery. To help overcome lack of compliance to
treatment, the team is working with the highly successful, non-invasive
orthotic brace developed by the specialists in Argentina. It is
anticipated that as other centres across Canada become aware of the
integrated team and the advances made with braces, demand for treatment
will grow. At that point, satellite centres will be established for
periodic adjustment of the pressure of the braces.
In the case of 14-year-old Antoine Marcil, he noticed differences
between himself and his classmates at gym class. At first his mother
and father reassured him that they were just minor physical
differences. As the symptoms increased, though, he and his parents
began to fear a serious illness. He was informed that if the protrusion
weren't cancerous, therapy existed to reduce it. Fortunately, following
X-rays and other testing, he was reassured that the pectus carinatum
was more of a cosmetic than a medical disorder.
Antoine says, "I was happy to find out that it wasn't cancer and that
I'm not the only one with this condition."
Antoine has been measured for the Dynamic Compression System chest
brace. He will be seen on a monthly basis to adjust the brace as the
therapy progresses. He is happy that it won't be very visible under
his shirt and that he won't be uncomfortable wearing it.
After months of stress and anxiety, his parents are relieved that thanks
to the Chest Wall Clinic their son will not have to undergo surgery.
"The support we have received from the Shriners Hospital and the entire
team has been fabulous. The wait times have been kept to a minimum. The
Shriners does not look like a hospital, no white coats and everyone is
all smiles," says mother Marie-Josée Denis.
Bracing costs for pectus carinatum can reach $3,000, and remains
significantly less expensive for the health care system than surgery.
Thus, bracing can provide excellent outcomes in a fiscally responsible
manner. As for all braces, Shriners Hospitals for Children - Canada
currently fund the apparatus for families without supplemental
Located in Montreal, Shriners Hospitals for Children® - Canada is a bilingual, short term, acute care centre providing elective
pediatric orthopaedic health care. The role of the hospital is to
promote health and to provide treatment and rehabilitation to children
with orthopaedic and neuromuscular problems. The hospital is committed
to excellence and innovation in clinical practice, research and
education and to providing a caring environment to families. The
hospital is affiliated with McGill University and provides clinical
experience and teaching for residents and allied professionals. The
hospital is present in communities across Canada thanks to
Telemedicine, Outreach Clinics and since January 2009, a Satellite
Clinic in Winnipeg. Shriners Hospitals for Children -Canada has been
helping kids defy the odds since its opening on February 18, 1925.
The Montreal Children's Hospital (MCH) is the pediatric teaching hospital of the McGill University Health
Centre and is affiliated with McGill University. The MCH is a leader in
providing a broad spectrum of highly specialized care to newborns,
children, and adolescents from across Quebec. Our areas of medical
expertise include programs in brain development/behaviour,
cardiovascular sciences, critical care, medical genetics and oncology,
tertiary medical and surgical services, and trauma care. Fully
bilingual, the hospital also promotes multiculturalism and serves an
increasingly diverse community in more than 50 languages. The Montreal
Children's Hospital sets itself apart with its team approach to
innovative patient care. Our health professionals and staff are
dedicated to ensuring children and their families receive exceptional
health care in a friendly and supportive environment.
SOURCE SHRINERS HOSPITAL FOR CHILDREN (CANADA)
For further information:
Interim Public Relations Manager
514-282-6990 / 514-207-1057
Public Relations and Communications
The Montreal Children's Hospital (MCH) McGill University Health Centre