Incidence and Classification of Chest Wall Deformities in Breast Augmentation Patients

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2017 Dec;41(6):1280-1290. doi: 10.1007/s00266-017-0953-5. Epub 2017 Aug 4.


Although chest wall deformities (CWDs) are seen four times more often in males than in females, most patients who consult plastic surgery clinics in our country are females. Breast augmentation and augmentation mastopexy were performed with a total of 812 breast implants in 406 patients. Forty-three of these patients had various CWDs. The CWD patient ages ranged from 18 to 43 years. Patients were observed for 6 months to 8 years (mean of approximately 3 years). Pectus excavatum (PE) was present in 22 patients, pectus carinatum (PC) in five patients, Poland syndrome (PS) in two patients, sunken chest deformity (SCD) in three patients, barrel chest deformity (BCD) in five patients, body builder deformity (BBD) in three patients, and long upper chest wall (LCW) in three patients. None of the patients had functional or cardiac deformities. A total of 86 round, anatomically textured gel implants in various profiles were used within a range of implant volumes for all patients. There were no serious complications in the 43 CWD patients. The frequency of CWDs in the total population of 406 patients was approximately 10.6%. PE was present in 51% (22/43) of the patients with CWDs. The deformity rates among patients who underwent augmentation mammoplasty were as follows (%): PE, 5.4; PC, 1.23; PS, 0.5; SCD, 0.73; BCD, 1.23; BBD, 0.73; and LCW, 0.73. The three most common deformities observed in this study were PE, PC, and BCD. The least common deformity was PS. Patients with CWDs should be carefully evaluated preoperatively, and all the associated measurements and calculations must be meticulously performed. The implant selection may differ according to the deformity pattern. For example, in patients with PE, prostheses with larger base diameters cover the deformity better. Although high-profile prostheses are preferred on the affected side in cases of PS and SCD, low- or middle-profile prostheses are preferred on the opposite side. Despite this common consensus, there was an asymmetry of approximately 1 cm between the sides, as observed postoperatively. However, the patients did not express dissatisfaction with this situation. Low-profile prostheses should be preferred for PC and BCD protruding CWDs because asymmetry becomes more prominent and over-projection occurs more frequently in cases of high-profile prostheses. The BBD projection is also a problem. For this reason, high-profile prostheses should be preferred in these patients. It is possible to obtain satisfactory results by using appropriate breast implants in patients with CWDs. Level of Evidence IV This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors .

Keywords: Breast augmentation; Chest wall deformity; Funnel chest; Poland syndrome; Sunken chest wall.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Breast Implantation / adverse effects
  • Breast Implantation / methods*
  • Breast Implants
  • Esthetics
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Funnel Chest / diagnosis
  • Funnel Chest / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty / adverse effects
  • Mammaplasty / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pectus Carinatum / diagnosis
  • Pectus Carinatum / epidemiology*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Thoracic Wall / abnormalities*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult