Symmastia is a rare cosmetic condition that affects the breasts, in which the breast crosses the midline of the chest appearing to merge and creating the appearance of one breast spanning the chest. It can present in a few different ways:
- An empty web of skin between the breasts.
- A collection of skin, fat, and tissue.
- An abnormal grouping of collagen fibers.
What are the Causes?
There are two causes of symmastia.
- The first is congenital meaning you are born with it.
- The other is iatrogenic, or acquired, which usually occurs as a complication of breast augmentation or reconstruction surgery. Many times this can happen if the implant being used is too large for a person’s frame. It may not be immediately noticeable until the postoperative swelling goes down and could develop over a few weeks, but if after surgery, you notice it, please consult with a professional before the condition worsens.
Both types are very rare, but the acquired form is more common and also easier to treat.
How is it Treated?
Both congenital and acquired symmastia are treated with simple surgical procedures.
Congenital Symmastia is slightly more complicated because unlike with the acquired form, the issue is not with the size of the breast which could be solved with breast reduction surgery, but the structure. It is important to note that before considering surgery, your breasts should be fully matured and your weight should be stable because any fluctuations to either of those things might negate the results of the surgery. The most effective treatment is usually a combination of liposuction, reattaching the skinto the sternum, and postoperative intermammary compression for a few months after surgery. The compression bra supports the breasts while putting compression on the midline of the chest.
With acquired symmastia, a capsular pocket could have developed during a breast augmentation or reconstruction surgery meaning that the positioning of the breasts could shift causing the condition. Sometimes, this happens if the implants are oversized compared to the person’s frame or if the techniques used during the procedure were poorly executed. It can even be a case of the chest wall having a pre-existing deformity. To correct this, a surgeon might replace an implant with one of a smaller size, then repair the pocket, remove any scar tissue, and reposition the breasts.
If you are concerned about symmastia and its effects on you, reach out to the professionals here at Greenberg Cosmetic Surgery to learn more. Contact us today and schedule your consultation!