Is a Pec Implant an Option for a Male with Poland's Syndrome?

A pectoral implant seems to be able to quickly solve the problem, is there anything I don't know that I should?

Doctor Answers 9

Pectoral implant procedure as a solution to Poland's Syndrome

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Pectoral implant is one of my specialties and I've worked with several patients with uneven chests; from various severity of Poland's syndrome to pectus excavatum, pectus carinatum, traumatized and rupture of pectoralis, etc.  


In your case, one unilateral implant might be a solution to consider.  A proper physical examination is required however for a definitive answer.  You should seek a qualified surgeon and some musculoskeletal studies (XRays, MRI, #-D imaging) might be required to assess the deficient volume.  

The pectoral implants are carvable so a qualified plastic surgeon with an artistic eye would be able to provide you with a close match.

We have 3 options of shape in Canada, a swimmer's type of implant, a thick body-builder type, and a third one in between.  Each 'shape' or 'model' comes in different sizes.  A pectoral #implant is made of solid yet soft silicone material (gummy-bear type i.e. not a gel hence no possibility of leakage).  The pectoral implant is inserted via s small incision within the underarm (hair-bearing-area), hence easily camouflaged once healed.  The implant is placed under the original pectoralis muscle, blunting all edges of the implant so it looks smooth and natural.  Pain is present for 3-5 days post-op and pain-killers and antibiotics will be prescribed.  Commonly, one small drain would left in the sub-pectoral pocket for 3-5 days post-op to collect fluids.  People with desk work can often return to work within 10-14 days, gently.  People with physical-type of work may need 3-4 weeks.  No gym is allowed for 6 weeks.  

See my video, attached.  Hope this helps!  best of luck.  Dr. Marc DuPere, Toronto Plastic Surgeon, Board-Certified.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Pec Implants

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You may be a good candidate for Pec Implants. The chest area in men can be augmented through the use of FDA approved implants made of a silicon elastimer. Male patients who wish a fuller more sculpted look in the chest/pectoral area are good candidates for pectoral augmentation. In addition, patients who have had injuries or congenital deformities will also benefit.

The procedure is done utilizing incisions in the underarm area. The implant is placed beneath the chest muscle. Small plastic drains may be used and are in place for several days. A compressive wrap is used for several days after the procedure. There will be some degree of bruising and swelling. Patients can return to work in one week. More strenuous activities should be avoided for 4-6 weeks.


Pectoral implant for Poland's syndrome

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Poland's syndrome comes in a wide variety of severities.  Some patients just have mild deformities, some have complete absence of the pectoral muscle, and some are in between.  Other deformities, such as hand deformities can occur as well.

Women with Poland's syndrome can also have mild to severe asymmetry of the breasts.  Girls with this problem may even need breast implants at an age much younger than we normally do breast implants to reduce the asymmetry, and adjustable implants can be used to compensate for the growth of the breast on the opposite side as she grows.

For men, reduction of the asymmetry with pec implants may be a good choice.  Normally, pec implants are placed under the pectoralis major muscle, but they can also be used if there is not any muscle present.  For most men with this problem who want to improve the deformity, there really are not any other good choices at this time other than pectoral implants.

James Nachbar, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon

Pec implant is a good choice for male Poland's

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Hello! The pec implant is a very good choice for male Poland Syndrome. The "feel" of the implant is similar to a muscle, and it is inserted via the axilla-- so no scars on the chest.

There are different sizes too. The best thing to do is find a surgeon familiar with this operation. Good Luck.

Anne Taylor, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Pectoal Implants with Poland's Syndrom

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Poland's Syndrome can vary from partial pectoral muscle absence to complete muscle absence. It is not possible to reconstruct the bridge of the lateral pectoral muscle border that joins the shoulder in complete absence. This is explained and generally still acceptable to patients with complete absence of the muscle. For those with partial absence of the muscle, pectoral implants can be shaped to improve the appearance and gain more symmetry between the two sides. It is often a good idea and preferred to add fat into various areas around the implant as well. With complete or partial muscle absence, the implant placed in the sucutaneous position will often tend to have a "shrink wrap" effect of the tissues as they heal around the implant, making the implant much more obvious in appearance. I think it is important to cover the subcutaneous portion of the implant, or the whole implant in complete muscle absence, with Strattice. Strattice is an acellular dermal matrix that prevents capsular contracture or a "shrink wrap" effect. Strattice is FDA approved for several uses in breast implant repair and revision and is used in a similar way for pectoral implants for Poland's syndrome, and malpositions. 

Is a Pec Implant an Option for a Male with Poland's Syndrome?

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If there is only a difference in the pectoral muscles, a pec implant offers a reasonable solution. If there are other asymmetries of the nipple or areola, these can be addressed as well.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Poland's syndrome

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Pec implants may be an option for you but I would highly recommend that you research a good surgeon who is a board certified plastic surgeon and has experience with this type of surgery to examine you and give you good advice.

Pec implant is a great procedure for male with Poland's syndrome

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Poland's syndrome is partial or complete absence of the pectoralis major muscle, sometimes also associated with hand abnormalities. This syndrome occurs in males about three times as frequently as in females. Women with this syndrome usually present with partial or complete absence of breast development on one side, causing major asymmetry as the opposite breast develops normally.

In a man, absence of the pec muscle causes a flat undeveloped chest on that side, an inward-sweeping fold in the armpit, and (higher) malposition of the nipple areola complex. Exercise won't help, as you can't exercise what's not there, but most men have tried this and have even bigger pecs on the opposite side!

A solid (soft) silicone implant, placed via an axillary (armpit) incision beneath the skin on the affected side, can provide bulk, improved symmetry, and better nipple areola position. Most implants are pre-made at the factory, but can be trimmed and adjusted in the operating room; I have also used external moulages (a fast-setting silicone molded as it hardens) to have custom chest wall and pec implants created when a "standard" one won't do. Most implants have one or more perforations that allow scar tissue to "fix" them in place; even without these, the scar that forms around your implant holds it in place (they are rectangular, so they can't rotate like female breast implants).

Fluid, infection, and malposition are all possible but rare. Absolute symmetry is always my goal, but rarely achieved. Scarring is usually well-concealed in the armpit area, and generally fades nicely over time.

Poland's isn't as rare as you think; I've operated on probably about a dozen patients with this over two decades, and I'm in private practice, not at a university hospital. Of these, only two had hand deformities.

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Pectoral Implant Can Work Well

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In a male with Poland's syndrome, a pectoral implant can work very well, as long as the right size is chosen and planned accordingly.  The goal is to secure it internally at the proper position so that it does not try and rotate over time.  Like any implantable device, it can develop scar tissue around it over time, rotate, become infected, possible extrude, need to be replaced etc.  These are all very small occurrences, but something to be aware of when undergoing this procedure.  I hope this helps.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.