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Recognizing and Repairing Symmastia after Breast Augmentation

By Dr. Suzanne Yee on December 12, 2015


Doctor holding various sizes of breast implantsBreast augmentation is a very popular cosmetic procedure that is meant to increase a patient’s self-esteem by helping them to improve their figure. Breast augmentation allows patients to enhance the size and shape of the breasts so that patients achieve the contours and body proportions that they desire. While the majority of breast augmentation procedures do allow patients to successfully achieve their aesthetic goals, there are rare instances when complications occur. These complications can cause physical discomfort, as well as emotional distress. One of the most rare, but also most devastating complications is symmastia. Dr. Suzanne Yee can correct breast augmentation symmastia at her Little Rock, AR practice so that patients are able to realize the results that they had hoped to obtain from their initial breast augmentation procedure.

What Is Symmastia?

Symmastia is one of the least common complications of breast augmentation, but when it does occur it can greatly affect the appearance of the breasts, and may also cause some physical pain and discomfort. When this condition occurs, the skin lifts off the breast bone, causing the breast implants to meet in the middle of the chest. When the implants have been placed beneath the chest muscles, even the muscle can lift away from the sternum and eliminate the separation that should exist between the breasts. What results is a shifting of the breast implants to the middle of the chest. This complication, which is often referred to as uniboob (because of the distortion of the breasts), can only be disguised beneath a top that does not reveal any cleavage.

Repairing Symmastia

Symmastia often causes physical discomfort as well as a great deal of distress because the desired results of breast augmentation were not achieved. It is important to repair symmastia to restore the appearance of the breasts, and to give patients back their physical comfort and emotional well being. Symmastia can be repaired through surgery, but the exact technique that is used will depend on the initial placement of the breast implants. Below are some of the symmastia treatment options for patients with implants in the subglandular position, and those with implants in the submuscular position:

  • Subglandular position: If the implants have been placed in the subglandular position, the surgeon can remove the implants and create a new breast implant pocket beneath the pectoral muscles. By moving implants to the submuscular position, most patients are able to achieve the results they desired from breast augmentation.
  • Submuscular position: When symmastia affects implants that have been placed in the submuscular position, patients have a few options to consider. The first is to move the implants to the subglandular position. Another option is to keep the implants where they are, but to repair the cleavage. This can be done by either using the implant capsule as a type of anchor and suturing muscle and tissue to the sternum, or by using tissue grafts to anchor the implants to the sternum.

Dr. Yee is happy to meet with patients to discuss their specific case of symmastia and recommend a repair option that is most likely to give them the type of cleavage they are looking for.

Schedule an Appointment

Whether you are interested in learning more about breast augmentation, or have suffered complications following a previous breast augmentation procedure, Dr. Suzanne Yee can help. Schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience to discuss your situation and learn more about your cosmetic treatment options.

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Love Dr. Yee! She is very caring and patient, and she answered any questions I had. She has a very knowledgeable and friendly staff as well. Highly recommend her. Best of the best!

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