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Correcting Symmastia with Breast Implant Revision

By Brian Kobienia, MD, FACS on March 08, 2016


A woman crossing her arms over her breastsBreast augmentation can help women feel confident about their bodies. However, in rare cases it may result in a condition called symmastia. Symmastia, commonly referred to as “uniboob,” will not resolve on its own and requires surgical intervention. Fortunately, revision breast augmentation can help correct symmastia, creating beautifully defined and sculpted breasts. Dr. Brian Kobienia improves the appearance of the breasts and restores confidence with breast implant revision for symmastia at his Edina, MN practice. If you have developed symmastia, we encourage you to contact Dr. Kobienia to discuss your treatment options.

What Is Symmastia?

Symmastia is a rare condition that may develop after breast augmentation. Sometimes called “uniboob” or “bread loafing,” symmastia causes the breasts to appear as one large breast instead of two distinct breasts.

What Causes Symmastia?

Symmastia may occur as a result of the glandular and connective tissues of the chest pushing the breast implants together or as a result of the pectoral muscles pushing the breast implants closer together. Symmastia may also occur when breast implants are too large for the patient's body frame or simply from poor placement. If breast implants are placed too close to the sternum, the connective tissue separating the breast may weaken, resulting in the breasts “fusing” into a single breast.

Although rare, symmastia is more likely to develop in those who have had their breast implants placed under the pectoral muscle, as in submuscular breast augmentation, than those who have had their breast implants placed over the pectoral muscle, as in subglandular breast augmentation.

Preventing Symmastia

There isn't much a patient can do after breast augmentation surgery to prevent symmastia from occurring, rather, the most effective way to prevent symmastia is choosing a highly skilled and experienced plastic surgeon. An experienced surgeon will consider all factors when planning your breast augmentation, including breast implant size and shape in relation to the your frame and breast implant placement.

Treating Symmastia with Breast Implant Revision

Correcting symmastia requires breast implant revision. The approach used during revision surgery will be decided largely based on how the initial breast augmentation was performed.

  • Submuscular revision: Patients who develop symmastia after undergoing submuscular breast augmentation will require repair of the pocket made to house the implant beneath the pectoral muscle. Alternatively, a new pocket may be created between the old pocket and the chest muscle. 
  • Subglandular revision: In patients that develop symmastia after undergoing sublandular breast augmentation, the old breast implants may be removed and new breast implants may be placed beneath the pectoral muscle.
  • Capsulorrhaphy: Commonly known as the “internal bra procedure,” capsulorrhaphy can correct symmastia through the placement of internal sutures, which help separate and reposition the breasts. 

Is Breast Implant Revision Right for You?

If symmastia has left you feeling unhappy with your previous breast augmentation, breast implant revision may be right for you. To discuss your treatment options, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kobienia.

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