Will A Deltoid Implant Be Safe And Effective For My Shoulder Deformity?

Q:  Dr. Eppley, I am interested in getting deltoid and biceps implants. I am not a body builder nor am I trying to bulk myself up. I have a congenital deformity involving my left shoulder and arm. No one knows why but it never developed right and my shoulder has a big indentation in it and is very embarrassing for me. I also can not lift my left arm even up to 90 degrees on that side. I just want to look more normal in appearance. I have attached some pictures for you to see and tell me what you think.

A: I can see that you have an ipsilateral deltoid hypoplasia. It almost seems that there is a general delto-pectoral hypoplasia present on your left side. Deltoid augmentation would definitely help for symmetry. The question is whether this should be done with an implant or fat injections. Each has their own distinct advantages and disdvantages. The advantage of an implant is that the volume would be stable. Its disadvantages are that there is no preformed implant that matches your deformity, it requires an incision for placement, the outline of the implant may be visible, there is a risk of infection and the location of the implant may interfere with raising your arm. The advantages of fat is that it would have none of the aforementioned complications of an implant because it is natural and could be tailored better to the entire shape of the deltoid deformity. Its disadvantage is that its volume retention is not always predictable.

From a biceps standpoint, I see no specific hypoplasia on the same side. They appear symmetric between the two sides. I am assuming that the request for biceps augmentation is to simply augment what you already have, not correct a deformity.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana