Poland’s Syndrome

Poland's Syndrome

Congenital deformities involving the breast may be minimal, ranging from small nipple or nipple-like asymmetries and small volume asymmetries to important asymmetries of shape, volume and position of the breast in the chest wall. Even when the changes are small, they cause great suffering for the patients, requiring complex surgical corrections that treat the deformity with the smallest possible secondary sequel. Among the congenital syndromes involving the breast, Poland’s syndrome is the main one characterized by abnormalities of the breast and chest wall, vertebral abnormalities and deformities of the upper limb.

There are several theories about the cause of this syndrome, being attributed to changes in embryonic formation, genetic factors or hormonal deficiencies. The incidence is estimated at 1:25,000 to 1:32,000 births. The ratio between man and woman is 3:1, and 75% of patients have the right side affected.

The deformities of the chest wall are less apparent at birth than those of the hand and cause more discomfort to patients during adolescence, when the alteration is accentuated by the absence or asymmetry of breast development. In Poland´s syndrome, the absence or hypoplasia of the pectoral muscles provides poor coverage for the reconstruction of the breast with prosthesis, causing the deformity that most disturbs the patients: the skin fold in the anterior axillary pillar.