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Poland Syndrome is a rare anatomic defect caused by a malformation of the homolateral hand and manifests as the absence of the pectoral muscle. This absence can be complete or partial and is most often visible to the naked eye because there is a clear asymmetry at the level of the chest. Poland Syndrome occurs in men (characterised by a depression under the clavicula) and in women (characterised by a breast asymmetry). Fortunately, this defect can be fixed through surgery. Results are definitive and recovery time is very fast.
Anyone who is struggling with Poland Syndrome is encouraged to make an appointment at Centre for Surgery for a consultation. Please keep in mind that the recommended age for this procedure is different for boys and girls. Due to breast development, young women are advised until their chest area is fully development before they have surgery, while boys can go through the procedure starting with age 13. Although this defect does not cause any health abnormalities or impair movement, it is a major aesthetic concern for people who suffer from it, affecting their self-confidence and body image. Therefore, if you have been diagnosed with Poland Syndrome and feel that it affects the quality of your life, modern 3D custom printed implants are now a great solution.
During consultation, the surgeon will assess the extent of the defect and take measurements to establish the size and shape of the 3D custom implant. They will then bring you up to date with the steps of the procedure and tell you what to expect after the operation.
The average procedure time for Poland Syndrome treatment is one hour, but it can last two hours or more in complex cases when the defect affects an extensive area. The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and the hospitalisation period is usually three days. During the procedure, the surgeon will fill the missing muscle with a custom implant, made of high tech polymerised silicone. Poland Syndrome treatment typically involves one single surgery, but, if you wish, you can have a follow-up procedure afterwards, where the surgeon can inject your own fat tissue to make the area even fuller.
After surgery, you will be required to stay in hospital for three days so that the surgeon can monitor your progress. After three days, you will be allowed to go home, but you will have a 15-day sick leave. Sports and other forms of intense physical activity are strictly forbidden for three months. You will be required to wear a dressing for about a week and then have a follow-up visit to the doctor. However, you will not have to worry about stitch removal, because the stitches used in this procedure are dissolvable. Because there is no drain, the risk of developing haematomas is extremely low. Pain is common, especially in the first days following surgery, but it can be treated with basic pain medication.
Poland Syndrome treatment surgery is relatively simple and risk-free, but, like in any surgical procedure, complications may occur. Your body will be most sensitive in the couple of days following surgery, but you will under the constant monitoring of a professional. After you get home, there is a certain risk of bleeding and bruising, which is why you should stay with someone who can look after the house for you. The feeling of full or swollen chest is another common side effect of this procedure, but it can be kept under control with the help of a loose gauze. Make sure you clean and care for the wound, otherwise you will risk an infection.
Is the implant safe?
Yes, it is. The implant is made of silicone rubber, not gel, and it will not interfere with your body in any way. Also, because no drains are used, the risk of haematoma is also low.
Will I be left with scarring?
The edges of the implant are invisible and we only use dissolvable stitches, so that scarring is minimal. For a few weeks, the place of the incision will be red and visible, but in time the scarring will fade. If you are concerned about this, you can apply over the counter scar reduction creams to speed up healing.
Can I still do sports after surgery?
Yes, you can, but only after three months, otherwise you risk complications. You can get back to work after 15 days, but even then you should refrain from lifting more than five pounds. After three months, however, if recovery went smoothly and you didn’t have another follow-up surgery for result refinement, you can start working out.
What type of bra should I wear after this treatment?
In the first days after surgery, you should wear the special bra provided to you by the clinic. Once your breasts start to heal, you can wear your own bras, but make sure you avoid underwire for six weeks. The area will be quite sensitive and underwire can cause injury.
When can I get back to work?
You will be given a medical leave of 15 days and after that, you can get back to work.
Can my child benefit from this treatment?
Poland Syndrome is an aesthetic defect that can take a toll on a child’s mental development, especially throughout puberty, when teenagers are already confused by all the changes taking place in their body. Boys can have this surgery done starting with the age of 13, but girls are advised to wait until their breasts fully develop.
Will I be in pain after surgery?
The implant will be placed with the patient under general anaesthesia, so you will not feel anything. However, for the following days the doctor will administer stronger painkillers to reduce local discomfort.