Patient Comments: Poland Syndrome - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with Poland syndrome.

Comment from: Senior Male, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 29

I was born without my left pectoral major muscle. The doctor noticed my condition right away. He told my parents not to be concerned and not to treat me as handicapped. I was self-conscious about my Poland syndrome in my teen years, but I was able to do everything that my peers could do. It was rarely mentioned in my family when I was growing up. I was given a 4F classification for military service and could never serve. I was worried that I may pass this condition to my children and grandchildren, but I'm happy to report that none of my family has it. At my age, I just move on with little impact on my life.

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Comment from: 40yearoldPS, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 28

When I was born with Poland syndrome 40 years ago, a very wise doctor told my parents that my 'disability' would only be as big as they made it. I'm glad they listened. I do not have my right hand, only 2 tiny little fingers, and no right pectoral muscle. But, I played, baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball and tennis. I've rock climbed, ridden mountain bikes, zip lined, etc. I can't do monkey bars, but the Poland has never stopped me from doing what I want to do. I also am married with 2 very active boys and I am out on the field playing catch or soccer or whatever is needed. She will do whatever she wants to do!

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Comment from: Alainasmom, 0-2 Female (Caregiver) Published: June 22

My daughter is almost 2 and she was diagnosed with Poland Syndrome last year. I am so worried that once she starts puberty, her left breast will not develop and she will need an implant. Thank goodness nothing else is abnormal (such as arms or hands or fingers). As a female, we grow up with a complex and this makes me sad. The doctor told us that she will not be able to play in any sports, basketball, baseball, or anything where she has to lift her arm high. She is such an active baby, she loves to dance. The doctor wants to monitor her every year to monitor her developments.

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Comment from: Leigh, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 22

I am 50 years old and never knew what caused the deformity of my right breast or lack thereof. It wasn't until my mammogram this year that the technician who was doing the mammogram suggested that I look into Poland Syndrome. No doctor has ever been able to tell me what I had. I have been embarrassed by this my whole life. I have always wanted to have surgery to correct, but insurance will not pay for it and I cannot afford to pay out of pocket. More needs to be brought to light about this syndrome and Insurance companies need to be a little more understanding of the psychological effects this has on you. I would love to feel whole and normal even if it has taken 50 years to get there.

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Comment from: Chakayalf, 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: May 10

I noticed my son had a small nipple that looked tattooed on his left side, but the doctor dismissed my worries. When he was about 5 or so, I googled his symptoms: absent pectoral muscle, smaller fingers on left side, left clavicle at a different angle, etc. Poland syndrome covered all the symptoms. My son is 13 now and midway through puberty. The differences between one side of his body and the other are becoming more marked as he grows and he is now beginning to be self-conscious about it. I am not sure what to do next. Do we see the doctor and get a confirmation, so it is on his records if he wants something done at a later date (i.e. pectoral implant), or not. I don't want him to feel more insecure than he does now. Those teenage years are a mine field as it is.

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Comment from: the king, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 02

I am 58 and now as I'm getting old my left arm is getting very weak and I can't hold anything for long. I have Poland syndrome on the left side of my chest. When I hold something for more than a few minutes it becomes painful.

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Comment from: LuckyMom5, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 30

I just learned the name of my deformity is Poland syndrome; missing development of right side pectoral muscle and breast. I had implants at age 34 and was pleased with results. I have been told that my maternal grandmother had this condition. I have right kidney that 'floats' and is palpable. I have had some minor issues over the years but have had 5 normal births. I just learned that I have scleroderma per ANA blood test. So far I only have some digestive issues. Thanks for the information on Poland syndrome as I was also curious about my condition and no medical personnel ever informed me as to the name.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Poland Syndrome - Treatment and Surgery Question: Please share your experience with surgery to treat your Poland syndrome.
Poland Syndrome - Features Question: What physical differences has Poland syndrome caused in your body?
Poland Syndrome - Diagnosis Question: When were you diagnosed with Poland syndrome?
Poland Syndrome - Response Question: What steps have you taken to address the complications of Poland syndrome?

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