Remaining healthy, active, and physically fit has always been a big part of my life.  Growing up in Alpharetta, GA, just north of Atlanta, I spent my high school years as a competitive swimmer, and competed in both soccer and basketball as well.  When I attended college at Georgia Tech, I completed my collegiate swimming career with three school records!  After college, I moved to Berkeley, California, for graduate school, and there I picked up cycling and running to race in triathlons for Cal University.  Even today, I spend a great deal of my time coaching the Cal Triathlon club team, training for triathlons myself, hiking, and skiing.

Poland Syndrome Spotlight Patient RKHowever, I was also born with a congenital condition known as Poland Syndrome.  During adolescence, my right breast and pectoralis major muscle did not develop normally, and as I grew older that abnormal development created a muscular and aesthetic imbalance.  In high school, I was always known as the swimmer that always ran into the lane rope and had a lopsided bench press in the weight room!  I spent practically every day in a swim suit, and even though I was always okay in a one-piece swimsuit, I never wore nor felt comfortable wearing a bikini.  When buying bras, it was very expensive because I needed special ones with removable pads so that I could adjust them to compensate for my smaller breast.  By the time I was a senior in college, my uneven breasts had become quite obvious, and I was quite self-conscious.  I knew that the muscular imbalance would always be a struggle, no matter what I did, but I eventually started to seriously consider cosmetic breast surgery to change what I could aesthetically.  It was an emotional experience.

I had first considered talking to a doctor about my condition when I was just seventeen, during my senior year of high school.  However, I didn’t really have the opportunity to do anything about it until years later after my mom underwent treatment for breast cancer.  As a life-long medical professional, she did a lot of research to find the best surgeon available and when Dr. Philip Beegle performed her breast reconstruction, she was very pleased.  I felt comfortable speaking to her about my concerns and she said she trusted Dr. Beegle completely, was confident about his abilities, and recommended that I consult with him.  During my initial consultation, I explained that I wanted to continue leading an active lifestyle and I had many questions about breast implants, in particular how they might affect my athletics.  I explained that I wanted to have a family in the future and I was concerned about how an implant might affect my ability to breast feed.  He listened intently to all of my concerns, and thoroughly explained the options, procedures, and risks.

He recommended that I undergo a right breast augmentation to achieve symmetry.  I returned for a second consultation with more questions and he was very reassuring.  I underwent the augmentation in 2011 and today I am SO HAPPY!  My breast feels completely natural, my scar is barely noticeable, and I continue to lead a very active lifestyle!  I wear swim suits every day and the best part is that NOW I wear bikinis confidently and I can buy normal, pretty bras!  My entire surgical experience was great!  On the day of my surgery, Dr. Beegle and his staff were very calming and took great care to make sure that I was comfortable.  The procedure was relatively quick and I recovered well.  The highlight for me was when Dr. Beegle told me I would eventually forget which breast had the surgery.  I felt I would always know which one had been smaller, as it had been the focus of my entire adolescence, but in the end Dr. Beegle turned out to be right!

About Dr. Philip Beegle

Dr. Philip H. Beegle, a board-certified Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon, has been on the forefront of cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery for over thirty years.  If you are interested in learning more about your own plastic surgery options, please contact Dr. Beegle at our office to schedule a personal consultation.  You can see examples of Dr. Beegle’s work in our before and after plastic surgery gallery, and check out our Blogging for Breast Care site or follow him on Twitter to get the latest breast care tips.