While many patients who get breast augmentation surgery do so for aesthetic purposes, some patients get breast augmentation to compensate for a deformity to the shape of the chest and breast.
Pectus carinatum (pigeon chest deformity) is a congenital condition that affects approximately one in 400 women where the chest and sternum bow outward, like a pigeon’s chest.
Breast augmentation surgery can help minimise the appearance of deformities and create more natural looking breasts.
How does breast augmentation correct pigeon chest deformity?
For patients with pigeon chest deformity, the goal of breast augmentation is to reduce the appearance of the sternum’s prominence while increasing the size of the breasts.
It’s important to note that breast augmentation will only disguise pigeon chest deformity, not correct it. With severe cases of pigeon chest deformity, surgical correction may be necessary to reposition the sternum with rods or wires.
Plastic Surgeons who specialise in pigeon chest deformity usually use high profile breast implants. Implants with a high profile have more projection and less diameter, resulting in a fuller cleavage. Using this type of breast implant helps to cover the full width of the chest while disguising the protruding sternum.
A protruding sternum will be further disguised if the breast implants are place behind the chest muscles. Breast implants that have a low profile have more width than height and will emphasise the outward bowing of the chest wall.
During the consultation with your Plastic Surgeon you will need to make some choices about breast size, shape and the type of breast implant.
To achieve a natural looking breast augmentation, consult with a highly skilled and trained Breast Surgeon with experience in pigeon chest deformity.
1 Size of your breast implant
The size of your breasts after breast augmentation surgery will depend on the size of the implant chosen. Breast size will also depend on the size of your breasts pre-surgery. Detailed measurements at the consultation include your:
- Chest wall diameter and shoulder to hip ratio,
- Breast width and nipple position on the chest wall, and
2 Shape of your breast implants
Breast implants are available in round and teardrop shapes. Round breast implants are the same shape all over and make the breasts appear fuller. The advantages of round breast implants include:
- A fuller upper breast,
- Less likelihood of implant rippling, and
- A smooth, soft implant shell can be used.
Teardrop implants (sometimes called ‘gummy bear’ or ‘form stable’ implants) are tapered at the top and thicker at the bottom. This implant is ideal for women who don’t want to risk looking “fake. The advantages of teardrop breast implants include:
- A reduced risk of ‘wrinkling’ due to the type of gel used,
- Natural looking breasts with fullness at the bottom of the breast, and
- A reduced risk of developing capsular contracture.
3 Type of breast implants
Breast implants are made from silicone gel or saline. A smaller incision for breast implant placement is required with saline filled breast implants. After the Breast Surgeon is happy with the placement, the implants are filled with saline. Compared to silicone filled implants, saline breast implants can look less natural.
Because silicone gel filled breast implants are pre-filled, they require a longer incision for implantation. Many patients prefer silicone implants because they look softer and more natural. You can read more about the types of breast implants here.
4 Breast implant position
For patients with pigeon chest deformity generally have the breast implants placed under the muscles. This approach is taken to disguise and cover up the upper part of the implant.
What happens during breast augmentation surgery for pigeon chest deformity?
Dr Kourosh Tavakoli is a Sydney based Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon that has performed over 6,000 breast augmentation procedures.
Watch Dr Kourosh Tavakoli perform a dual plane breast augmentation on a young female with slight asymmetry and mild pigeon chest.
Get more information about post surgery care here.
Are there any complications with breast augmentation surgery?
While detailed and careful surgical planning aims to minimise the risks of breast augmentation surgery, it’s important to know that complications can occur. Because of the nature of pigeon chest deformity, due to the rigidity of the sternum in some cases the breast implants can become displaced laterally. To provide the breasts with the right amount of support and to maintain the appearance of the cleavage, some Plastic Surgeons recommend wearing a supportive bra as much as possible including when sleeping.
Other risks and complications of breast augmentation surgery include:
1 Breast implant rupture
Breast implants rupture because of normal life activities that repetitively flex, fold, and place pressure on the implant wall. While the average expected life of breast implant is around 20 years, ruptures can occur sooner or later. If a silicone breast implant ruptures, it’s usually not detected by the patient (a silent rupture).
2 Breast enhancement scars
After your breast augmentation surgery, there will be a small scar that is usually under your breast (in the fold) through which the breast implant has been inserted. These scars generally fade over time, but will never disappear completely.
3 Further surgery over life
Most women who have had their breasts enhanced will need to have a further operation at some point in their life. This surgery is needed to revise, replace or remove the breast implants.
Where to find the best Australian Breast Augmentation Plastic Surgeons
While breast augmentation can help your pigeon chest deformity, it is important to note that there are potential risks and complications.
To achieve the breast enhancement result you want, take your time to research and consult with highly trained and experienced Plastic Surgeons.
Being realistic about your own situation and anatomy is essential to achieving satisfaction with your breast augmentation outcome. Find the best Australian Breast Plastic Surgeons here.