The treatment for Poland Syndrome is dependent on the severity of the condition, the patient’s age, how the condition affects the patient and the desires of the patient. We offer a wide variety of treatment options for Poland Syndrome. Often the best option for patients is not to treat this condition with surgery.
For asymmetry or underdevelopment of the breast, we can offer breast augmentation either with an implant or with the patient’s own fat from elsewhere. Usually an implant is required but breast augmentation for Poland Syndrome is more difficult than in a patient without this condition as there is often not enough breast and fat tissue to place an implant directly behind the existing breast tissue, and the muscle that Plastic Surgeons would normally use to camouflage the implant in this situation is missing in Poland Syndrome. It may be necessary to move a muscle from the back into the chest to cover the implant to give the best result.
For contour problems in the chest due to the missing muscle, we can offer various options for filling the contour including custom made implants, fat transferred from another part of the body, or for very mild asymmetry, filler material injected through the skin. Often the best results are obtained by using a combination of a custom made implant covered by a muscle, transferred from the back. This muscle can also be used to re-create the fold of skin between the chest and the armpit, the anterior axillary fold.
For hand and finger underdevelopment, we have specialist congenital hand surgeons, who can assess and advise on the best plan for providing the most useful hand. This may include procedures at various ages to separate or to lengthen fingers, in combination with hand therapy, which we provide.
A good physician-patient relationship throughout childhood and puberty is very important in Poland Syndrome in order to plan the right treatment at the best age. For example, we would not want to undertake any surgery for chest asymmetry of a female patient until puberty is complete, as surgery to this area may lead to further problems with breast development.
Aftercare is also particularly important if implants are used. Even many years after surgery, these can become infected, can shift position or rotate, can form a hard or painful capsule around them or can even come through the skin. They will not grow or change as the patient’s body changes with age, so an implant which once gave good symmetry may not give good symmetry forever. In these cases, further surgery is likely to be required. The chest, especially, is an area that changes dramatically in both sexes during adolescence and it is important that any treatment for Poland Syndrome is planned to give the best long-term result into adulthood.
At Children’s Health℠, we can offer a full multidisciplinary team approach to the treatment of children with Poland’s Syndrome including Pediatric Plastic Surgeons, experienced in treating Poland Syndrome, Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeons who may be required if the ribcage is inadequate, Congenital Hand Surgeons and Hand Therapists who can get the best function from an underdeveloped hand, and Clinical Psychologists who can help children with any problems they face as a result of this condition.