Poland syndrome is a congenital malformation of the breast
This congenital malformation causes chest abnormalities sometimes associated with abnormalities of the upper limb.
The deformity often affects only one side, either the left or the right side.
Thoracic abnormalities can be very discreet or quite pronounced :
- partial or total absence of the pectoralis major muscle ;
- breast hypoplasia (abnormally small breast) or breast aplasia (no breast) ;
- small areola placed too high and to the side ;
- chest bone damage ;
- absence of the latissimus dorsi muscle.
Anomalies of the upper limb, where they exist, are also either minimal (short fingers) or particularly disabling (complex malformations).
Poland syndrome is rare (from 1 out of 30,000 to 1out of 70,000 births) and can affect both men and women, however it is more prevalent in males.
Its exact origin is unknown, however the vascular system seems the most likely cause. A lack of blood supply to certain arteries during the life in the womb explains the lack of chest development.
Treatment of thoracic abnormalities is always surgical and uses different techniques, combined or not :
- the insertion of breast implants for women andou chest implants for men ;
- lipofilling (fat injections) ;
- certain techniques of breast reconstructionsuch as the abdominal advancement flap or techniques for areola and nipples reconstruction.
The treatment of Poland syndrom is difficult and several interventions are usually necessary. The side that is not affected is often modified to obtain a good overall symmetry.