Do I Have Tuberous Breasts, or Poland's Syndrome? (photo)

I have two children, and my breasts stopped growing when I was 16. They have always been this way, and it's made me very self conscious. I do not know why they are like they are, and it upsets me tremendously. Do I have Tuberous breasts or Poland's Syndrome, or just lopsided breasts? I didn't know if it was a medical problem or just my imagination. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 8

Tuberous Breasts vs. Poland's Syndrome

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There is a whole spectrum of developmental conditions that may result in breast asymmetry.  Poland's syndrome can most easily be diagnosed by confirming absence of your major chest muscle, the pectoralis major.  While it is not possible to diagnose you without performing a physical exam, your appearance in photos does not clearly indicate the absence of that muscle.  I DO believe that you do have a form of asymmetric tuberous breast deformity.  This is a developmental condition where the lower portion of the breast is constricted by fibrous, dense, scar-like  tissue that narrows the breast and creates an unusual shape.  While your breasts do not have a classic tuberous shape (think of a yam), you do have some classic features such as flattening and tightening of the lower, inner pole of the breast, and a classic rounded, bulging appearance of the outer aspects of the breasts that end in a crease or fold toward the arm pit.  I consider treatment of this condition a reconstructive procedure, as it is treatment of a developmental abnormality.  Some insurance companies will indeed cover this type of reconstructive surgery, so it would benefit you to see a plastic surgeon who has experience with reconstruction of this condition.

All the best,

Dr. Skourtis

DrMSkourtisPlasticSurgery .com

Portland Plastic Surgeon

Breast asymmetry

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It is difficult to tell from the photograph if you have Poland's Syndrome. This often means that a portion to all of the pec muscle is missing, the nipple is hypo plastic or missing,t he breast is missing or hypo plastic, there may be a latissimus deformity , and finger and arm deformities as well. You may have a component of tuberous in the photo.  An exam in person is key.

Balancing Uneven Breasts, Lift? Reduction? Augmentation?

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Having breasts of different size and shape is vey common.  Your photos do not clearly show either a Poland's syndrome or a tuberous breast but the label does not matter.  It would be very reasonable to balance your marked asymmetry.  Most likely you would need a breast reduction on your large side and a breast lift on the smaller breast, but you should participate actively in the choice of what to do.  A good outcome is entirely possible.  good luck!

Do I Have Tuberous Breasts, or Poland's Syndrome?

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The photos demonstrate tuberous asymmetric deformity not Poland's Syndrome. Only surgery/ies can correct this deformity. Seek in person evaluations. 

Poland's syndrome v. developmental breast asymmetry

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There is definitely an asymmetry. Poland's syndrome is a genetic condition in which either the absence of the breast or failure to develop is associated with the absence of the pectorals major muscle, chest asymmetry and often a disparity in size between the hand and arm of the affected side versus the other side. Based on the photograph, I do not believe that you have Poland syndrome. I will say, however, that insurance companies are extremely recalcitrant in terms of paying to correct developmental disorders which, in my opinion, is tragic.

Breast asymmetry

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You appear to have developmental breast asymmetry. It is very doubtful that you have Poland's syndrome and by the pictures you do not have a tubular breast.

Breast asymmetry can be just that

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Sometimes breast asymmetry is just that, and your breast is neither tuberous, nor caused by Poland's syndrome. Polands is a condition where the chest muscle is absent, and the breast very undeveloped. There can also be development issues with the arm or hand on the affected side.

Tuberous breast or Poland's syndrome

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It is impossible for me to tell from the pictures which you have. Poland's syndrome involves deficiencies of the breast, pectoralis muscle and hand and arm on the same side. You may just have a marked breast asymmetry. You could seek a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who could not only help you decide which you have but could also discuss with you the options for treatment. Good luck to you.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

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.