Poland syndrome is a condition that causes a lack of muscle development in one side of the body, and in women underdevelopment of the breast on the that side. Common symptoms include lack of chest wall muscles, as well as webbed fingers on the same side of the body. All signs of this condition occur on one side of the body only.

Common signs of Poland Syndrome may include

  • A lack of chest muscle in the pectoral area
  • A concave appearance to the chest
  • A missing or underdeveloped nipple on the affected side
  • Shorter fingers on one hand, or fingers that are webbed
  • Underdeveloped breasts in women
  • Reconstructive plastic surgery is often the most effective treatment option for Poland syndrome. During this procedure, it typically involves placing a tissue expander to expand the breast pocket. This is followed by a second surgery to replace the tissue expander with a breast implant. Another option for reconstruction is to use the patient’s own natural tissue such as a latissimus flap, or free flap such as deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap (DIEP flap) to rebuild the chest wall contour.

Beautifully You

Who is a Good Candidate for Poland Syndrome Treatment?

Individuals who have been diagnosed with Poland syndrome and wish to improve the appearance of their chest area can often benefit from treatment. A consultation with one of our plastic surgeons is the best way to determine if treatment is a good match for you. Contact our office today to get started.

Before and After


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Poland Syndrome Procedure

Reconstructive plastic surgery is often the most effective treatment option for Poland syndrome. During this procedure, it may involve using any existing chest wall muscles, as well as other muscles throughout the body to fill in missing portions of the chest. Grafting ribs to move them to the right location may also be done. Correction of various bones throughout the affected side of the body may be recommended. Overall, the exact steps of this procedure may vary depending on the severity of Poland syndrome, and how much reconstruction is desired.

Recovery Process

Poland Syndrome Treatment Recovery


The recovery from Poland syndrome treatment may look a little bit different for each patient, depending on the extent of their surgery. Swelling, bruising, and discomfort may occur, though should lessen over time during the healing progresses. Your plastic surgeon will speak with you regarding the best ways to care for your surgical site and how to properly take any medications that you are prescribed for the best possible outcomes. Please do not hesitate to contact our office regarding any post-procedure questions or concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you do if you have Poland syndrome?

Poland syndrome can be addressed with various reconstructive surgery approaches. It depends on the type of asymmetry present, but in general, it involves placing an implant to reconstruct the missing pectoralis muscle and underdeveloped breast tissue.

What are the chances of having Poland syndrome?

The chances of having Poland syndrome are within the range of 1 in 10,000-100,000.

Is Poland syndrome a birth defect?

Yes. Poland syndrome is a rare genetic condition that is evident at birth. The clinical presentation is variable, however, classically presents as unilateral absence of the pectoralis muscles and underdevelopment of the breast tissue in women.

Can Poland syndrome affect breathing?

It is possible that Poland syndrome can lead to breathing problems when there is an underdevelopment of the upper ribs.

How much does Poland syndrome surgery cost?

The cost of surgery for Poland syndrome varies based on your surgeon, where the surgery is being performed, and how extensive your condition is. This surgery usually costs $5,000-$10,000 but it is important to speak with Dr. Mahabir and Dr. Kurtovic for a more accurate estimation.

How old do you have to be for Poland syndrome surgery?

Women should wait until they are about 18, to allow for completion of breast development. Men and young boys can have surgery as early as 13 years old.

Is Poland syndrome surgery covered by insurance?

Since Poland syndrome surgery is a reconstructive procedure, most insurance will cover some of the costs. It is best to check with your insurance company to see if and how much they will cover.

Can you breastfeed with Poland syndrome?

Women with Poland syndrome often have only one breast affected and underdeveloped, and thus may still be able to breastfeed with the normal unaffected breast.

Silvia Kurtovic, MD & Raman Mahabir, MD

Board Certified Plastic Surgeons

At Tucson Plastic Surgery, we have a patient-centric approach that sets us apart from the rest. We take the time to really get to know you and your aesthetic goals during one-on-one conversations which help us to fully understand your motivations.

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