Breast/ Nipple Deformities & Asymmetry Overview
Congenital breast abnormalities are defects in the breast that are present from birth. The most common types are extra, or accessory, nipples and breast tissue. Between two and six percent of people are estimated to have these deformities. Most people with accessory nipples have more than one and they can occur from the underarm to the groin. Sometimes patients are not even aware of their existence because they may be mistaken for moles. Accessory breast tissue is most often found in the underarm area.
Poland’s Syndrome and other Breast Abnormalities
Poland’s syndrome is a congenital cause of breast asymmetry in which there are underdeveloped or absent chest muscles and breast bone on one side of the body. In milder cases, Poland’s syndrome might not be noticeable until a child reaches puberty, when breast and chest development make missing muscle mass apparent. It occurs much more frequently in males than in females.
Other types of congenital abnormalities that are relatively uncommon are severe underdevelopment or absence of one or both breasts or nipples. When the breast tissue is missing, it usually occurs in tandem with abnormalities of the underlying muscles and rib cage. Plastic surgical correction can remedy these deficits and offer a significantly better quality of life.