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Grey's Anatomy

Behind the Medical Jargon: What’s Pectus Excavatum?

In last week's episode, little Drew was brought back to the hospital after having pectus excavatum surgery. Pectus excavatum is a congenital deformity in which the ribs and sternum do not grow properly, resulting in the chest appearing a bit caved-in. Usually it's not a big deal, but it can sometimes result in pain or cardiac and respiratory problems. After seeing that Drew was in a inordinate amount of pain, Meredith ran a CT scan and found that he had developed a perforated ulcer. When she and Alex opened him up, they saw that that ulcer was on his interior duodenum — the first section of the small intestine. Alex suggested a Graham patch, which involves taking tissue from the stomach or liver to cover a perforation.

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11.24.2010 / 11:18 PM EDT by Dan Clarendon
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