The goal of any plastic surgery procedure is to enhance a patient’s appearance and self-image. It can therefore be especially frustrating when a procedure’s outcome is unsatisfactory or, worse yet, embarrassing. At our Manhattan practice, we make it our priority to perform all surgeries right the first time, giving patients the results they deserve. Still, less experienced doctors or individual risk factors can lead to complications that require revision. When it comes to breast augmentation and similar treatments, symmastia is one such problem. To help our patients prevent or treat this implant complication, we offer the following information.
What Is Symmastia?
Symmastia refers to the condition in which breasts appear to merge at the center, creating what is sometimes negatively referred to as a “uniboob.” This can range from a lack of clearly defined cleavage to the inner tissues actually connecting near the sternum. Although there are cases of symmastia arising due to a congenital condition, the majority of cases are due to poor surgical technique.
Symmastia does not pose an immediate risk to one’s health. However, the longer it goes untreated, the more likely tissues are to merge and breast implants are to shift. As a result, revision surgery becomes potentially more complex and invasive as time goes on.
What Causes Symmastia?
In order to fit implants within a breast pocket, a certain amount of tissue must be removed. However, when too much tissue is removed or it is removed too close to the middle of the chest, it weakens the breasts, allowing implants to slope inward. This eventually causes the breasts and their tissues to move as well, stretching and re-healing near the center.
Symmastia is often associated with implants that are relatively large, overfilled, or located below the pectoral muscles. But the size and position of implants are not so much a factor as is the surgeon attempting to compensate for them.
How to Avoid Symmastia
Unfortunately, there is little a patient can do on her own to avoid this complication. Since symmastia is a result of surgery, the best precaution against it – and other complications, for that matter – is to choose the most experienced, skilled, and recommended surgeon possible. As an ivy-league trained, nationally renowned plastic surgeon, Dr. Greenberg has extensive credentials in implant procedures. For nine consecutive years now, Dr. Greenberg has been voted one of the top doctors in the Long Island region.
As an additional precaution, it is helpful to know what your body can and cannot support in the way of implants. Women with a narrower breast base, for example, should be wary of implants deemed too big or that have too wide a profile. Similarly, any previous problems within the breast or pectoral tissue may pose a risk, and should be discussed with your doctor prior to surgery.
Treatment for Symmastia
With revision surgery, symmastia can be corrected and the breasts restored to their intended appearance. The exact procedure depends on multiple factors, including the position of the breasts, the position of the implants, and how the inner-tissues have healed. In most cases, some or all of the following steps are taken:
- Scar tissue is removed from the breast pocket and possibly used for the adherence of sutures.
- The implants are repositioned and held in place within the breast pocket.
- Permanent internal sutures are used to hold the skin against the sternum and prevent the breasts or implants from migrating toward it.
- Implants may be replaced with a different size or positioned above or below the pectoral muscle, depending on their original placement.
Ensure Stunning Results
Don’t increase the risks of surgery by relying on an inexperienced doctor. If you’re considering breast implants or require revision surgery, let Dr. Greenberg help you achieve amazing results. Contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation.