Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery Expert Forum
Poland's Syndrome
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Questions in the Cosmetic Surgery forum are answered by Dr. Howard Rosenberg and Dr. Wolfeld. Topics include bariatric surgery reconstruction, breast augmentation, chemical peels, cosmetic or reconstructive surgery, face lift, nose reconstruction, and tummy tucks.

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Poland's Syndrome

I am a 26 year old male.  I am a college student, so I am basically broke and in debt.  I was born with Poland's Syndrome.  My right hand is smaller than the left, my right arm is under-developed and my right pectoralis major is non-existent.  My hand definitely bothers me, but I would not want to go through the surgery necessary to make it look a little more normal (too risky and painful).  My arm is not so bothersome.  My pec, on the other hand, bother's me immensely.  I have not gone swimming in probably 10 years.  I have not gotten into a relationship in 6+ years because I am extremely frightened of taking off my shirt.  Basically, my birth defect has really affected the quality of my life.

I went to a plastic surgeon four years ago and was told the procedure to "fix" my pec would be close to $5,000.  I did not have that kind of money, so I did not do anything.  I even tried to have a physician write a letter to my insurance saying that my life was being extremely affected by this and they still denied coverage. My life has become too affected by this and I want to have surgery, however the money is a huge issue.  

I am so sick of spending so much energy trying to hide it and it has affected my life terribly.

Are there any "charities" or foundations that would help me out?  Are there any plastic surgeons who do pro-bono work on people like me?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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The issue of "free surgery" is one that I have repeatedly answered in past questions.  Setting aside the processional fees for plastic surgery services, there is also the large expenses of facility operating room and anesthesia costs.  In your case, there would also be the probable need for a custom implant.

Your best option would be to find a university teaching hospital with an associated plastic surgery training program.  While the services will not be free, assistance with insurance coverage and reduced fees may be possible.  It is highly unlikely that anyone in private practice will be able to arrange reduced or no facility, anesthesia and implant costs.
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