Poland Syndrome is typically identified by the lack of or underdevelopment of the chest wall muscle (pectoralis) and the absence of breast tissue. The condition can be apparent at birth or not noticed until puberty. Severity and associated features of Poland Syndrome vary from one individual to the next however generally only one side of the body is affected. Among those who have Poland Syndrome, 75% have symptoms on the right-hand side of their body. In some cases, additional muscles on the affected side, including muscles in the chest wall, side, shoulder arm and hand, may also be missing or underdeveloped.
Mild Poland Syndrome usually does not need treatment. In most cases, the abnormalities in the chest area do not cause health problems or affect movement. But when the condition is very noticeable or causes other problems, treatment may help and can improve an individual’s physical and emotional well-being. The goal of Poland Syndrome surgery is to restore the missing anatomy (pectoralis) on the chest wall. This can be achieved with 3D custom-made implants.
Poland Syndrome tends to go underdiagnosed especially mild cases in adolescent girls and women with an underdeveloped breast. Individuals may not seek medical advice until later in life. It is actually natural and normal to have some degree of asymmetry between the breasts. However, in some circumstances, excessive asymmetry is present. Without hand involvement, Poland Syndrome in females may never come to medical attention. Poland Syndrome is more common in males than females.
Specialist Screening Healthcare Ireland’s PectusCheck service will identify and diagnose Poland Syndrome by offering both a consultant thoracic specialist opinion combined with specialist investigative diagnostic tests specifically tailored to Poland Syndrome conditions.
Partial or complete absence of the pectoralis major muscle.
Absence of other muscles associated with the shoulder girdle.
Asymmetry in breast and nipple position.
Abnormally short, webbed fingers (syndactyly).
Abnormally small hand or shortened forearm.
Missing or abnormally placed underarm hair.
Heart, lung, or kidney abnormalities.
The end of the main chest muscle, where it attaches to the breastbone, is usually missing.
The skin in the area is underdeveloped (hypoplastic) with a thinned subcutaneous fat layer.
Underdevelopment (hypoplasia) or absence of chest muscles.
A chest that appears to curve inward, rather than outward, when breathing.
Missing ribs, underdeveloped ribs, or ribs that have formed in the wrong place. The ribs may be noticeable due to less fat under the skin (subcutaneous fat).
Underdeveloped or absent breast, nipple, or areola (the pink or brown skin surrounding the nipple).
Unusually elevated or underdeveloped shoulder blade (scapula).
A lump at the base of the neck due to the elevation of the shoulder blade.