While some degree of breast asymmetry, or difference in size and shape between the two sides, is present in most women, breasts can occasionally develop significantly differently.
Breast and Chest Wall Deformities
The scope and range of conditions that can be treated by reconstructive plastic surgery is great. We treat children and adolescents with congenital or acquired breast and chest wall deformities including:
Breast hypertrophy is a condition in which breasts grow so heavy that they cause problems. Common complaints with this condition are neck or back pain, rashes developing in the skin folds under the breasts and embarrassment about the shape and size of the breasts.
Breast hypoplasia is development of inadequate breast tissue to meet the individual’s expectations of an adequate or desirable breast size. While there is no universally agreed cut off between breast hypoplasia and small breasts, breasts can be considered hypoplastic if there is no breast development, where there is insufficient breast tissue to support breast feeding, or if the amount of breast tissue is small enough to cause significant psychosocial consequences for the individual.
Gynaecomastia is the development of breast tissue in a male patient. It is a common condition and is most often seen in boys going through puberty due to hormonal changes occurring at this time. Most of the time, this gynaecomastia disappears by itself without any need for treatment but it may not go completely; or it may be caused by a problem with the production or regulation of hormones, or even a type of tumor, in which case it is likely to need treatment.
Poland Syndrome is a rare condition in which one side of the chest and one arm does not develop as expected. The extent of the problem is very variable: some patients are only affected by an asymmetry in the contour of their chest as part of the ‘pec’ muscle has not formed, but in more severe forms of the condition, patients can have no pectoral muscles on the affected side, incomplete development of part of their ribcage and an underdeveloped hand with short or missing fingers.
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