Pediatric Breast Conditions
Breast issues in children may seem like an oddity, but they are actually quite common, in both boys and girls. One of the most frequent pediatric breast conditions we see is breast asymmetry, where one breast is larger than the other.
The difference in size can be due to certain underlying conditions, trauma experienced to the chest or breast bud area hindering growth and development, or simply the child’s genetic makeup.
Conditions that may contribute to the asymmetry include:
Poland Syndrome is a rare birth defect marked by the absence, or underdevelopment, of the chest muscle (or pectoralis) on one side of the body. This could affect the size, shape, or position of the breast on the afflicted side. Other symptoms of Poland Syndrome may include webbing of the fingers (**link to page on Congenital Hand Differences), or other noticeably undeveloped areas of the chest or torso.
A fibroadenoma is a benign mass present in one breast making it appear larger than the other. It has the feel of a firm, but smooth, lump that is easily moved throughout the breast cavity when examined, and is painless to the touch.
If your child’s breast asymmetry is significant, we are able to “balance the breasts,” with plastic reconstructive surgery to help them appear more uniform in shape and size. Surgery may involve reducing the size of a breast, or adding an implant in order to match it to the larger one.
Options for augmenting the breast include using your child’s own body tissue or a traditional saline implant.
Because children’s breasts are not yet fully developed, surgical procedures must be timed appropriately and proportions well-calculated. We will take the utmost care in tailoring your child’s treatment to best suit their growing body.
We also know that this type of procedure is of a very sensitive nature and can cause mental anguish to a child, or teenager. Our staff is dedicated to serving their needs in the gentlest manner possible in order to ensure both their physical, and emotional, well-being.
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (https://www.luriechildrens.org/en-us/Pages/index.aspx)