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Thread: Front chest wall uneven

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Front chest wall uneven

    The front of my chest (the same side as my rib hump) is sort of caved in/twisted towards the back so that my breast on that side is considerably smaller than the other ... does anyone else have that? or at least is the front of your chest uneven? I've been considering a thoracoplasty to fix my rib hump, but i'm bothered more by the uneveness in the front of my chest than the hump and I haven't read anything about the surgery that says that characteristic is fixed ... just wondering if anyone else has/had this and if the thorocoplasty fixed the front as well as the back. thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Sorry, bad news! My chest was perfectly even before my thoracoplasty, though my rib hump was over 60. The thoracoplasty made no difference.`Since my spinal correction, though, I have the twisting you mention - it is as if my right breast is being sucked into my armpit. No-one warned me of this beforehand.
    So, sadly, neither op will make it better and spinal straightening might make it worse. I now have to wear an underwired and well-padded bra to give me a normal shape.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    I have this problem also. My ribcage is sunken on the right hand side so that my right breast is raised towards my armpit. Try experimenting with different types of bra to see which styles hold the breasts in the most natural position. Balconette and strapless types work best for me. Surgery might be helpful if you let the surgeon know that chest assymetry is a specific concern for you, so that they can give you a realistic assessment of what is possible for your case.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Mine doesn't raise up, mine still has a curve but it goes forward, if that makes sense. They were only able to correct my curve so that now it is down below 15%. So I have the shoulder blade that sticks out, and on the front my ribs on my left side. Most people can't tell unless I get tired and relax my shoulders. If you keep the shoulders up with good posture (as much as we're able), its not as noticeable.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005

    I'm interested to know if your left rib became more prominent after surgery. mine did and I feel cheated and let down that I had no warning about this.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    My chest too was even (right breast being slightly smaller, but at an even height to the left) before surgery and now I notice that the right breast is slightly pulled back toward my armpit and is now an entire cup size smaller than the left. I also have noticed that my left ribcage sticks out more than my right. My thoracoplasty was done on the right side. I asked my MIL (who is a nurse) to feel the left rib cage just the other day because I was worried it might be something wrong with my stomach, but she confirmed that it's the ribcage and it sticks out now because the right ribs grew in flatter after being removed.

    I've also have been feeling pretty down about both in the past couple of months since gaining my pre-surgery weight back and having both become more noticeable. My husband tries to tell me that it looks fine, but I feel like I went into this surgery to get things (back, shoulders, etc) straightened out, not to end up with more/different uneveness. I know it's a risk you take with surgery and that others have had far worse results in the end, but it really is disappointing. I put on a bikini for the first time this Summer just the other day and was really saddened by the breast and ribcage uneveness...I was never really affected by my uneven attributes prior to surgery, but now it seems I'm so aware of my body that I just can't get it out of my mind.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

    Breast Assymetry

    I am wondering if anyone has has breast augmentation to correct this sort of assymetry. I had breast augentation years ago to make the uneven breasts less noticable but after I had my spinal fusion, the right breast appears to be much smaller than the left side. My insision was directly under my breast and I thought that may have affected it. I tried to get my insurance company to cover reconstructive surgery on my right breast but they consider it to be cosmetic. Although I was not in life threatening danger from my spinal condition, my need for reconstructive surgery is no different from a breast cancer survivor. My insurance company would cover reconstructive surgery if I had cancer, but not scoliosis. Has anyone out there had a similar experience and was anyone able to get help from their insurance company? If so, I would like to know how to get my insurance company to cover this reconstructive surgery too. Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Same problem post-thoracoplasty - appearance improved with breast implant

    Hi Ellebee,
    I also have breast asymmetry as a result of my Scoliosis, despite having had a thoracoplasty. My rib hump protrudes to the right (under my arm) and backwards (under my shoulder-blade), the left ribcage does the opposite, so my left breast is pushed forward and my right breast kind of sits in a dip / concave area. I also find that my left breast is closer to my arm than my right breast, so as well as the difference in size, they seem to have rotated around towards the left.

    This only became really noticable when I got to the age of 16/17 (2-3 years after surgery) and I found it affected my confidence badly, even more than my back deformity. I was referred by my GP for a breast augmentation (on the NHS) and I had surgery to insert a saline implant behind my right breast (although he did suggest doing both - wish I had!) I was very pleased with the results - it made a really big difference - I could actually wear a bra or swimming costume without massess of padding and feeling very self-conscious!! It was definitely the right decision for me at the time and worked wonders for my confidence.

    The only down side is that implants have a life-span. 11 years on (I am now 28), mine has 'deflated', and become a bit hard and lumpy, so I am waiting to see the surgeon again. No doubt it will need to come out, but I will then be back to square-one unless I have it replaced, which means another op in 10-15 years time when that one reaches the end of it's lots to think about.

    Having said all that - don't let this put you off the Thoracoplasty. I had my thoracoplasty and surgery 14 years ago, so surgical techniques and expertise have probably come a long way since then. It would really be worth discussing this with your scoliosis surgeon as it may be that they can now influence the appearance of the front of the chest as well as the rip hump at the back?
    Hope this is of some help to you.
    Best Wishes,
    Sara (Wales, UK)
    p.s. Scroll down if you want more details on my scoliosis/surgery....

    I was diagnosed with Scoliosis (Double Major) at the age of 9 (here in the UK) - and wore a Boston Brace until I was 12. Unfortunately, the curves continued to worsen despite the brace, and I had an Anterior Fusion of the Lumbar curve using Zielke procedure (at St James' University Hospital, Leeds). I think the idea was that the Thoracic curve would also reduce as a result of the fusion, but I had a particularly rapid growth spurt following the initial surgery and the opposite happened, so at age 14 I had a Harrington rod inserted and a thoracoplasty at the same time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Uneven ribs

    Even though a great spinal correction might be obtained the ribs can remain deformed front and back. The bony material has been permanently misshapen. The larger and more severe the deformity pre-op the more chance of this residual deformity. This holds true for thoracic (chest) curves because the ribs go along for the ride as the spine curves and become "pointed" or "sunken". ...Rather heartbreaking.
    The thoracolasty involves removing sections of the ribs forming the hump. Only a certain amount can be removed without crowding the lungs underneath.

    The lumbar spine is not attached to the ribs so large curves there do not impact the chest unless a compensatory chest curve ensues.

    I still have a pointed humpette from my original adolescent curve even though a thoracoplasty was done and my thoracic residual curve is 40 deg.

    I look so much better. I saw some videos taken in 2001 and was shocked how bad I looked pre-op.

    Moral of the story: Don't let it get so bad.
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

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