Symmastia is a rare complication following breast augmentation that occurs when the two breast implants meet in the middle of the chest and lift the skin away from the breast bone. If the implants were placed beneath the pectoral muscle, symmastia causes the skin and the pectoral muscle to be pulled away from the sternum. Symmastia usually causes pain, discomfort, and obvious distortion of the breasts, which can be corrected with breast revision surgery.

Characteristics of Symmastia

  • Breasts appear too close together
  • Skin and breast tissue becomes noticeably separated from the chest wall
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Can occur soon after surgery or much later

Causes of Symmastia

Symmastia most often occurs as a result of over-dissection of the breast implant pockets in an attempt to create prominent cleavage or to insert large breast implants. Symmastia usually becomes apparent soon after surgery if this surgical error is the cause.

When the implants are placed above the pectoral muscle, the skin and breast tissues can become stretched over time, causing symmastia to occur months or even years after the initial breast augmentation surgery.

Preventing Symmastia

Choosing a board-certified breast augmentation specialist will significantly decrease the risk of symmastia, but the complication can still occur at the hands of the most skilled surgeons. Choosing an implant size that is not too large for your existing breast tissue or chest width will also decrease your risk for symmastia.

Correcting Symmastia With Breast Revision

Breast revision to correct symmastia involves creating new pockets for the breast implants. If the implants were placed above the pectoral muscles during the primary breast augmentation, the new implants will be placed below the pectoral muscles.

There are a couple of options for symmastia repair when the implants were initially placed beneath the pectoral muscles. New pockets can be created above the muscles, or the same implant pockets can be used for new implants, and the cleavage area can be repaired. In this case, part of the implant pocket is used to reattach the breast tissue and muscles to the sternum. Tissue grafting is another option for revision that is very effective but is more costly than using the existing pocket.

If you are interested in breast revision surgery for symmastia repair with Dr. Allen M. Doezie, please schedule a consultation by calling 949.481.9850 or by filling out our online contact form.