About the Breast Program

Early evaluation for breast disorders is important. Timely treatment can significantly improve outcomes and the quality of life for children and adolescents struggling with these conditions.

The Pediatric and Adolescent Breast Program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia cares for children and adolescents with breast and chest wall disorders. Boys and girls come to us for a variety of issues associated with breast and chest wall conditions, including pain or discomfort, functional problems that limit activity, and concerns about their appearance.

The Breast Program includes specialists from plastic and reconstructive surgery, pediatric general surgery, endocrinology, adolescent medicine and psychology, and our comprehensive clinic meets monthly to coordinate patient care. This multidisciplinary team will provide your child with a full range of treatment options and follow-up care.

Patients treated through our Pediatric and Adolescent Breast Program have access to:

  • Coordinated care for all types of breast and chest wall disorders
  • Specialized surgical expertise and collaboration between medical and surgical specialists on complex cases
  • Comprehensive assessment of overall health and functional problems
  • Support for body image concerns, screenings for psychological disorders, and access to perioperative counseling and support services as needed
  • Guidance regarding health insurance and medical documentation, such as letters of medical necessity and additional letters of support
  • Consultations for conditions that can cause chest wall and breast disorders, such as scoliosis or conjoined twins
  • A single facility that is equipped to handle everything from the most routine to the most complex conditions and surgical procedures, and the support your child needs before and after surgery

Quality of life: Functional and psychological issues

Whether congenital or acquired, breast deformities can cause functional and psychological problems. Some of the functional problems our patients deal with include clothes not fitting properly and inability to play sports and join in on other social activities.

Body-image concerns, already common in adolescence, are often much more pronounced in adolescents with breast differences, and can have a significant impact on quality of life for affected children and adolescents.

These factors reinforce the importance of treating not just the physical problem but also the related social, emotional and psychological issues.

Treatments and services we offer

Surgery to treat breast deformities

The timing and type of surgery to treat breast and chest wall disorders depends on the needs of the individual patient. Many factors are considered when determining the best treatment plan for your child, including age, degree of disfigurement and psychological health.

Surgical procedures used in the treatment of breast deformities include:

  • Excision of a breast mass or tumor
  • Breast reduction surgery
  • Surgery for breast asymmetries, which may include the placement of breast expanders or implants, breast reduction, or a mastopexy to reshape the breast
  • Surgical treatment of Poland’s syndrome with a muscle flap, chest wall or breast implant
  • Gynecomastia surgery
  • Breast and chest wall reconstruction, which may include the placement of breast expanders or implants, muscle or skin flaps, or a mastopexy to reshape the breast
  • Scar release or tissue expansion to treat deformities due to trauma and burns

Learn more about what to expect during your child's appointment with CHOP's Breast Program »