Poland Syndrome is a congenital birth difference, meaning that it is something a person is born with rather than something a person develops or “catches” during their life. However, Poland Syndrome is not always provided as a diagnosis at birth. Sometimes this is due to the rarity of the syndrome and other times it is simply not seen.

Whilst many people who have Poland Syndrome have a notable difference in their hands this is not always the case. Sometimes it is the chest area that is affected only. This may not be detected by those in care of a child until they grow or unexpectedly end up under the care of a medical professional where it is picked up.

We discovered a blog post which may be of some interest to our readers. “Poland Syndrome, Symmetry and the Spirited Child, Part 1 “. The author describes an incident where their young daughter has a minor accident. On closer inspection it is thought there is cause for concern as one wrist appears to be swollen. After medical investigation it is learned the young girl (3 years old) has Poland Syndrome. The author concludes the piece in a thoughtful state wondering why they hadn’t noticed the difference in symmetry of the chest area.

Many parents on receiving a diagnosis of Poland Syndrome which was not apparent before may ask themselves the same question. How can something so obvious now have gone unnoticed until now. It can feel like someone removes the rose-tinted glasses and reveals a reality that you somehow missed. But before you go beating yourself up about your parental credentials read on….

On writing this piece we recalled a short story told to one of the communities we belong to. A person with Poland Syndrome described how they felt they had not addressed “the elephant in the room” with some of their friends in relation to the obvious hand difference they had. This individual had decided to be brave and broach the subject. They were surprised when one of the friends responded “You do have a difference? Where? let me see, I’ve never noticed it before” To the individual with Poland Syndrome this was quite a revelation as they believed the difference to be very apparent and acute.