Symmastia is a rare complication that may occur after breast augmentation. Dr. Boyd can perform breast revision to surgically correct symmastia, improve the placement of the implant(s), and restore a more natural breast appearance.
What Is Symmastia?
Symmastia is the confluence of breast tissue toward the center of the chest. It occurs when a breast implant shifts toward the center and crosses over the sternum. This may be associated with a lack of cleavage, painful scar tissue, and visibility of the implant(s). It can frequently occur with both breast implants. Symmastia typically occurs when one or both implants are initially positioned too close to the center of the chest because the breast pockets were over-dissected during breast augmentation surgery. This condition is not related to the size of the implants but is a problem with the breast pockets.
Who Is At Risk?
Symmastia is rare and occurs in only about one to two percent of breast augmentation patients. Usually, this condition is a result of a technical error during surgery. In other words, symmastia is more likely to occur if the surgeon over-dissects the breast tissue and places the implants too close to the center of the chest in an attempt to maximize cleavage.
How Can I Recognize Symmastia?
Symmastia may be recognized by movement of one or both breast implants across the sternum. Affected patients may experience mild discomfort or painful scar tissue and may be able to see the implant(s) in the center of the chest. It may be possible to diagnose symmastia yourself by identifying the following signs:
- Your breasts appear to touch in the center
- Your breasts no longer seem to be separate from each other
- Your skin no longer rests against your sternum
- You can put pressure on your sternum and force your implants to separate, but upon releasing the pressure, they appear to spring back toward each other
- The implants rest more toward the center of the chest instead of being centered on the nipples, causing the nipples to appear to rotate outward
How Can Breast Revision Surgery Correct Symmastia?
Symmastia is difficult to correct, and only an experienced plastic surgeon should perform breast revision for this complication. To correct your symmastia, Dr. Boyd may adjust the breast pocket on each side so that the pocket can better support the implant in its proper location. He may use an acellular dermal matrix to contain and support your breast implant(s), essentially creating an internal bra to hold the implant(s) in place. Dr. Boyd may use sutures to close the part of the breast pockets that are too central over the sternum so that the implants cannot rest so close to each other. He may also replace your implants with higher profile implants, which are narrower at the base and project further from the chest. Higher profile implants may minimize the risk of recurrence. Breast revision can restore a more natural appearance by clearly separating the breasts with more supportive breast pockets that prevent the implants from shifting toward the center of your chest.
If you have symmastia or wish to have your symmastia diagnosed and treated, schedule your consultation with Dr. Boyd for breast revision surgery. Please call (310) 597-4734 or complete our online contact form to reach us today.