The purpose of this study was to use a meta-analytical technique to examine the efficacy of surgical repair of pectus excavatum on pulmonary function. Studies were retrieved via computerized literature searches, cross-referencing from original and review articles. Inclusion criteria were as follows: (1) reporting quantitative measures of preoperative and postoperative pulmonary function; (2) published in the English language; (3) indexed between January 1960 and September 2005; (4) reporting the duration between which preoperative and postoperative assessments were conducted; and (5) describing the pulmonary assessment procedures. The titles and abstracts of potentially relevant articles were reviewed to determine whether they met the criteria for inclusion. Twelve studies representing 313 pectus excavatum patients met the inclusion criteria and were used for the meta-analysis. Random-effects modeling yielded a mean weighted effect size (ES) for pulmonary function which was statistically nonsignificant (ES=0.08, 95% CI=-0.20 to 0.35; P=0.58). The findings of the present study indicated that surgical repair of pectus excavatum does not significantly improve pulmonary function. These findings, however, may be a result of testing pulmonary function under conditions in which pectus excavatum does not manifest itself.