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Breast augmentation is among the most common plastic surgery procedures that women chose and is associated with an extremely high satisfaction rate in the vicinity of 94%. Despite such an astounding level of happiness, there are many variables and issues that can lead to less than desirable results. One relatively uncommon problem is where the two breasts seem to coalesce into one larger unit which is scientifically called symmastia (also synmastia) or in lay terms, a uniboob. In this situation, the breast implants can move or be moved so far to the midline that they may actually touch each other.

Symmastia 1

What are the causes and who is at a greater risk of developing this deformity? In general, women who are fairly thin and those who have a chest wall deformity known as pectus excavatum (where the sternum has a caved in appearance) are at a higher risk. This is risk is further amplified by a desire to have their breasts situated close together and by the selection of disproportionately large implants.

Symmastia is usually the result of overzealous dissection of the implant pocket medially (near the midline). In attempting to decrease the distance between the breasts so as to facilitate more cleavage, a surgeon may over-release tissue that is normally adherent to the underlying sternum. This allows the implants to migrate so far to the midline that they may actually touch. The skin then redrapes over the breast implants rather than discretely attaching to the sternum which results in the amorphous shaped uniboob versus two well defined breasts. Symmastia occurs both with breast implants that have been placed in submammary and submuscular pockets.

A few treatment options are available to correct this deformity including a relatively new approach using specially processed tissue (Alloderm® and Strattice®). Repair of symmastia can be very challenging and the results not always ideal. Selecting smaller and less wide implants will also assist in obtaining a more predictable and permanent correction.

If you would like additional information on symmastia, breast augmentation, breast implants, mastopexy or any other plastic surgery procedure or to schedule a consultation, you can call my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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A Message Regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19

In light of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to let you know of some of the major precautions we are taking in our office to maximize cleanliness and keep the environment as sanitary and safe as possible. Our highest priority is always to ensure the safety of every individual who sees us and we are taking extreme infection-control measures to maintain cleanliness and “sterility” of surfaces and the overall environment.

We will be limiting dates and times for office appointments and consultations due to safety and other issues. Consequently, if you have already made an office appointment or consultation prior to March 18, 2020 to occur at a later time, this may need to be changed.

For anyone considering plastic surgery, we are now offering Virtual Consultations and Telemedicine through Skype. A great number of aesthetic or insurance-related issues can be evaluated via pictures and online video conferencing, making this an excellent way to find out more about particular procedures, determine candidacy for treatment, receive answers to questions and facilitate being able to move forward with care once the government lifts all restrictions.

In an abundance of caution, we are asking all current patients who are experiencing a fever, cough, chills, fatigue or any type of respiratory illness to please delay any upcoming appointments at our practice. We can talk with you by phone or email to establish a new date and time for the appointment.

We are all in this together. Our team urges everyone to follow the guidelines recommended by local health authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which include frequent handwashing for a minimum of 20 seconds, social distancing, staying home if you are feeling sick, and contacting your healthcare provider if you feel you are experiencing symptoms.

For more information, please read our blog – Coronavirus and You: Important Information

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