Symmastia is a rare condition in which women experience a fusion of their both breasts. This gives the appearance of one big boob usually, referred to as a “uniboob.” People who have this problem struggle with their body image.
Criticizing or calling out someone on the way they look is unacceptable behaviour. While social media may have its pros, it also has many cons, one of which is online body shaming. Many people constantly compare the way they look with other people. They feel unhappy and unsatisfied with their bodies if it doesn’t look like someone else’s.
Women who have symmastia feel like hiding their bodies. They avoid wearing certain clothes that would expose their cleavage. This condition can also make women feel self-conscious about their bodies in intimate situations. The whole experience can be discomforting and stressful, which is why many seek corrective surgery.
What is Symmastia?
Symmastia is a condition in which the breasts come together and merge into one so that the person has little to no cleavage. It can vary in severity from person to person. In some people, there is still some cleavage as the breasts are not that close together. Still, it is a symptom of this problem.
There are two different types of this condition which are as follows:
- Congenital Symmastia: This happens when someone is born with merged breasts. It is extremely rare. The English television personality, Charlotte Crosby, had congenital symmastia, meaning that she was born with it.
- Acquired/Iatrogenic Symmastia: This is something that can happen as a result of breast surgery when the implants are too large or not positioned correctly. The implants come close together.
It is important to stress that people with symmastia may seek surgery not only for cosmetic purposes. The mental toll that the condition can take on a person’s life can impact their quality of life. Moreover, this condition can also cause discomfort and pain. Depending on the cause of symmastia, if a person doesn’t get surgery, their condition can become more complicated.
Charlotte Crosby, star of The Charlotte Show, even admitted to getting surgery done after she was trolled online for her “uniboob.” When the images of her in a bikini surfaced where her two breasts appear merged, she said she was body-shamed for looking the way she did.
What Causes Symmastia?
The cause of congenital symmastia is not known. It is quite rare. Acquired symmastia, on the other hand, occurs when a complication arises as a result of breast surgery. It may be breast augmentation surgery, where the surgeon inserts implants or breast reconstruction. It can be a result of the following:
Excessive Removal of Breast Tissue
In the case of breast augmentation surgery, the surgeon needs to make space for the implants. For this purpose, he/she will remove some breast tissue. If too much breast tissue is removed from near the midline, it can end up weakening the breasts.
This can make the implants move towards the hollowed area in the middle of the chest. When this happens, this ends up giving the appearance of a uniboob. Your body will also start growing tissue in the area as it is healing. The growing tissue can make the revision surgery more complicated.
It can also happen if you’re getting your surgery done by a doctor who isn’t experienced in performing such surgeries. He/she might end up making a wrong cut. Besides, too much tissue might be removed, even if the size of the implant is smaller than the pocket that has been made for it. This can result in the joining of the two separate pockets, making them look like one.
Very Large Implant Size
Getting an implant that’s too large in size and volume can also result in symmastia. The too-wide implants can come together, giving rise to it. This type of acquired symmastia is more common than congenital symmastia, although this too is rare.
How Do You Know If You Have Symmastia?
The following are the signs of symmastia:
Breasts Joined Together
You can clearly be sure that you have symmastia if you notice that your breasts are not separate from each other anymore. They may appear one with an absence of clearly defined cleavage. In the case of implants, if you touch them in the centre of your chest, you may be able to move them apart. However, on removing your fingers, you will notice that they come back right towards the centre again.
The coming together of the breasts by the movement of the implants. Both of the implants or one of them might move across the cleavage. You may even see the implant in the centre of the chest after it has moved. This can make you feel discomfort and pain.
Acquired symmastia from breast augmentation surgery can also impact the appearance of your nipples. They might rotate outward since the implants are not placed below the nipples anymore.
How Common Is Symmastia?
According to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), symmastia is a “rare disease.” As far as acquired symmastia is concerned, that too is a “rare implant problem,” according to Breastcancer.org. The risk of this problem is higher in people who have had multiple breast reconstruction surgeries.
Furthermore, if a person receives breast augmentation from someone who has no experience with it, they have a greater risk of developing this condition. Improper placement of the implant or breast tissue, if not properly cut, can leave a person dealing with this problem.
You should make sure to consult with your surgeon beforehand, especially about the potential complication. The surgeon should advise you about the size and type of implant that will best suit you. Going for the biggest size can have negative consequences for your health. Moreover, it can give an unnatural appearance.
How To Fix Symmastia?
If you have congenital symmastia, you might not experience health problems as a result of the condition. However, with acquired symmastia, it is possible to experience discomfort and pain. If left untreated, the revision surgery can get more complicated. Correcting this condition is not possible without surgery. The surgeon might attach your skin to the breastbone. This will result in a clear mid-part between your breasts.
Many women with this condition wear clothing that hides their cleavage. While they may do so, they might still feel conscious about their bodies. Wearing a separator bra is common. However, of course, it is only a temporary measure. It will not bring lasting results or permanently separate your breasts. You need to go under the knife to correct it.
Treatment for Congenital Symmastia
During the surgery, it is possible that your surgeon changes the shape and size of your breasts. However, there is no fixed agreement between surgeons on the exact treatment for congenital symmastia.
The surgeon might perform liposuction, followed by attachment of the skin to the sternum. You might also have to wear a special compression garment for a few weeks after the surgery. This type of garment will reinforce the midline of the cleavage after the surgery takes place. For this treatment, the patient usually has to wait until their breasts are fully grown and they are at a stable weight.
Treatment for Acquired Symmastia
The treatment for acquired symmastia may be less complicated than for congenital symmastia. Still, an expert professional should perform the surgery. They should have experience performing breast revision surgery. The way the surgery will proceed will depend on the implants, the size of the breasts and the breast tissue.
The surgeon may have to repair the pockets that were made for the implants. The position of the implants will change. If the implant size was too large, the surgeon might replace it with a smaller implant so that symmastia doesn’t happen again.
Sutures will hold everything in place. Be careful about choosing the right surgeon. If the surgery isn’t performed correctly, you might end up with differently sized, asymmetrical breasts while dealing with other complications.
Can You Prevent Symmastia?
If you’re going to have breast surgery (reconstruction or augmentation), there are a few things that you should consider before the surgery takes place:
- Do your research and choose a board-certified, highly-skilled surgeon who knows what they’re doing.
- When selecting the size and the shape of the implant, you shouldn’t simply go for the biggest size because this may increase the risk of symmastia.
- Make sure to wear the sternum compression bras that keep the breasts separate from each other while providing them with support. This will also prevent its development.
Symmastia may negatively impact the self-confidence and/or mental health of a person. They might not feel comfortable with their body and feel like hiding it at all times. With the help of surgery, you can correct it. Longevita’s expert surgeons will guide you about the necessary breast surgery and offer a customized treatment plan. Contact us right now to book your symmastia correction surgery.