Poland syndrome is a rare condition that presents at birth and can affect upper chest and hand growth on one side of the body.
These issues can cause men and women discomfort and self-consciousness, and plastic surgery is recommended as the most effective way to restore chest volume and create a more symmetrical appearance.
That being said, many patients may have never heard of this condition and wonder: What is Poland syndrome? Keep reading to learn all about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for Poland syndrome.
What Is Poland Syndrome?
Poland syndrome is a congenital condition that’s believed to be caused by lack of blood flow during embryonic development.
This results in a unilateral (one sided) underdevelopment of the chest wall and hand abnormality.
What Are the Symptoms of Poland Syndrome?
Patients with Poland syndrome are born with a chest wall deformity, that includes the absence of a breastbone.
Additionally, they may be missing all or some of the pectoralis muscle, which causes the chest to appear concave, uneven, or flat. Girls and boys may also experience breast and nipple abnormalities.
Other parts of the torso that can also be impacted by Poland syndrome are the shoulder blades, arm bones, and rib cage (shortened ribs or absence of upper ribs).
What’s more, the hand on the affected side of the body may present with webbed fingers, short fingers, or a combination of hand abnormalities.
How Can Plastic Surgery Help Individuals With Poland Syndrome?
Plastic surgery is considered the gold standard in the treatment of Poland syndrome, and many insurance carriers will cover procedures that are due to a congenital condition.
Chest wall reconstruction involves grafting tissue from the patient’s thigh or abdomen in order to build up an undeveloped or sunken chest. Perforator flaps are also being used to restore chest volume without an implant.
Breast reconstruction can be performed in order to create symmetry between the breasts. Using an implant expander, a plastic surgeon may adjust the breast implant until the both sides are the same size.
A pectoral implant made of silicone gel can be customized to restore chest volume in men with Poland syndrome. During this surgical procedure, nipple position may also be altered for improved symmetry.
Latissimus Dorsi flap reconstruction utilizes a portion of the latissimus dorsi muscle in the back to build up the chest wall.
Hand abnormalities can be repaired in a number of ways depending on the issue(s) specific to each patient.
If you have Poland syndrome and are considering plastic surgery, please call our office today to schedule a comprehensive consultation.