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Congenital breast malformations begin in the fetal stage and may not be recognizable for many years. Malformations of the breast area can cause serious physical and psychological damages to the person who has them. Often, there are several types of surgeries available for people with breast malformations. Only a board-certified plastic surgeon can accurately and correctly diagnose and surgically improve congenital breast malformations.
These malformations vary in size and severity and may not even be detectable to the person who has them. Congenital breast malformations tend to be grouped into two major categories: supernumerary breast tissue and underdevelopment of breast tissue.
Supernumerary breast malformations are the result of the body's failure to develop a properly working milk line. This causes the body to react during development and create several new nipples or other breast tissue around the chest area, in addition to the two normal ones. Supernumerary breast malformations are usually not physically harmful, but can cause anxiety in the person who has them. The most common form is called supernumerary polythelia and is the presence of extra nipples but no additional tissue (such as an areola or hair).
Supernumerary breast malformations in the form of expanded or additional tissue can also occur. This tissue may be below the breast area and may enlarge during normal growth. This type of malformation may also occur on the buttocks, back, face, or neck. Excision of this type of malformation can usually be done at a young age.
Sometimes the breast malformation may be in the form of an absence or underdevelopment of breast tissue. This malformation may occur in one or both breasts. Since most breasts are not the exact same size, malformations of this sort are usually minor.
Sometimes the differences can be severe, however. In rare cases of breast malformation, there can be a complete absence of breast tissue on one or both breasts. Usually malformations of this type occur with an underdevelopment of one breast.
In most cases of breast malformations there are several surgical options available that can reduce or completely erase any problems. Additional tissue or nipples can be surgically removed at a young age and result in a complete absence of the extra skin. Malformed breasts can be reshaped using various plastic surgery techniques. One smaller breast can have implants injected into them in order to be the same size as its partner for example. In extreme cases, the surgery may be invasive and lengthy, but is usually safe and effective.
All cases of breast malformation surgery should only be done by a board-certified plastic surgeon and only under very sterile hospital conditions. A successful surgery for breast malformations is the first step in regaining one's physical and psychological identity.