Vacuum bell therapy was invented by Dr Eckart Klobe who is based in Germany. The vacuum bell is used to lift the chest wall by slowly pumping the air out of the bell creating a vacuum which ultimately pulls the chest wall out. It is considered as a non surgical option for rectifying PE. The device is supposed to be used for at least twice a day and at least 30 minutes each time for it to be effective. The only side effects that I experienced were redness and occasionally blood blisters however that may have been from over use. Presently the recommended course of treatment is between 12 - 15 months and should be used in combination with specific exercises.

Vacuum Bell Therapy
Dr Eckart Klobes Vacuum Bell
The price of Dr Eckart Klobe's version was €590 when I purchased it back in 2007 however this has probably changed. You can contact Dr Klobe through his website at http://trichterbrust.de . You will need to use a website translator plugin as the website is in German. However Dr Klobe writes perfectly good English so communicating is not a problem.

You will need to send Dr Klobe your measurements and photos of your PE as there are different sizes of vacuum bell. Please click here to open a PDF for further information on the vacuum bell from Dr Klobe.
Dr Eckart Klobe
Dr Eckart Klobe

Thirty-four patients (31 males, 3 females), aged 6-52 years (median 17.8 years) used the vacuum bell for 1 to a maximum of 18 months (median 10.4 months). Follow-up included photography and clinical examination every 3 months. Computed tomographic scans showed that the device lifted the sternum and ribs immediately. In addition, this was confirmed thoracoscopically during the MIRPE procedure. After 3 months, an elevation of more than 1.5 cm was documented in 27 patients (79%). After 12 months, the sternum was lifted to a normal level in five patients (14.7%).
There are currently no official long term results.

There are currently other Vacuum Bells on the market, the other main one serving mainly America was created by Dr Costa. This vacuum bell seems to be cheaper than the Dr Klobe version, for details e-mail Dr Costa at costapectus@yahoo.com .
Both doctors require that you consult your own doctor before purchasing the vacuum bell however Dr Klobe requires written permission from your doctor before you can make a purchase where as Dr Costa doesn't.