Vacuum Bell Therapy for Adults in 2022, Is It Effective?

Evidence Based This post has medical citations

Correction of pectus excavatum for adult patients with vacuum bell therapy is possible. This is backed by science.

Doctors believe adults have an advantage over teenagers, mainly because their ribcage is firmer and more stable.

The adult sternum doesn’t fall back into a hollow position as fast.

What Research Says

A 2006 study reported that pediatric patients have a more obvious elevation of the sternum during vacuum bell therapy than adults.

However, after removing the vacuum bell, the breastbone fell back to a sunken position faster in pediatric patients than in adults. The chest of the adults stayed elevated after vacuum bell therapy for about 30-60 minutes.

Also, adult patients showed slower but continuous improvement of pectus excavatum with vacuum bell therapy. 

At the end of the study, all adult patients, except one 19-year-old with isolated, asymmetric pectus excavatum, were satisfied and motivated to continue the vacuum bell application.

In 27 patients, or 79% of the adults and pediatric patients, after three months of treatment, a permanent sternum elevation of 1.5 was documented. This is fantastic proof that vacuum bell therapy for adults works.

61-Year-Old Patient Success

2019 scientific article from Verlag Orthopädie-Technik Dortmund, Germany, reported at least fair to good treatment success is possible even in middle-aged patients.

The study included a 61-year-old patient successfully treating pectus excavatum deformity by wearing the vacuum bell for three to four hours a day, mainly divided into two or three applications.

Before treatment, he had a chest depth of 4 cm and used the 26 large vacuum bell

Eckart Klobe Example

For example, Mr. Eckart Klobe fixed his deformity in his adulthood for 2.5 years. He repaired it to the point that no dent was noticeable any longer. 

Here’s a video of Mr. Eckart Klobe saying the following at the 0:30 seconds mark:

“The age of application normally is between 4 – 5 years, even up to 50 and 60 years old.”

How Should Adults Apply the Vacuum Bell

The daily application will differ from patient to patient. For example, grownups will have difficulty applying the vacuum bell at their workplace. Comparatively, kids have much free time, which they can use for correction.

The anterior chest wall of adult sufferers isn’t as flexible as younger patients. However, this will increase the duration of treatment. 

How Long Will The Therapy Last

With vacuum bell therapy, fixing adult pectus excavatum will last 24-36 months.

However, this time frame isn’t set in stone. Two patients of the same age may have different chest wall stiffness.

Because of this, if they apply the vacuum bell for the same time amount, one may see better results than the other.

Motivation and Discipline Are Important

For example, if the adult patient is more motivated and disciplined, he will see faster and better results.

Therefore, I am a massive advocate of discipline. Make it a habit to apply the vacuum bell daily, even when you don’t feel like doing it.

Vacuum Bell Therapy At Work

Some motivated adults with inverted chests apply the vacuum bell for 8 hours a day during office hours.

They don’t care what their coworkers think about them. Their purpose of correcting their abnormal chest without surgery is higher than other people’s judgments. Make sure you keep the device clean so it won’t smell bad while you’re at work.

Adults Are Often Overmotivated

Applying the vacuum bell too intensively can have side effects, especially on the skin. The 2019 study says that over-motivated adult patients should follow a few general rules that work well. 

  • The first week of treatment – a maximal application of 1 hour per day – 
  • The second week of therapy – a maximum of 2 hours per day 
  • And so on

Bodybuilder Vacuum Bell for Adults

The medium-sized “bodybuilder type” vacuum bell is built for adult patients. It has a reinforced silicone wall, which has a higher capacity for applying negative pressure.

The Bottom Line

Adult pectus excavatum patients may have an advantage over younger patients regarding vacuum bell therapy. The peer-reviewed scientific studies showed positive results from vacuum bell therapy in adults.

The chest stayed elevated for longer after each daily application. Slower but continuous progress in pectus excavatum improvement is noticed in adult studies.

Eckart Klobe said that the vacuum bells could be used even if you’re 50 or 60. 

Thank you for reading!

Article by:

Mihail Veleski

My name is Mihail Veleski. I used to suffer from the pectus excavatum deformity during my teenage years.

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