How a trek at altitude turned my patient's breasts into a 'Picasso painting'

REAL CASE: The 50-year-old conquered the Himalayas but experienced unusual and painful symptoms along the way, writes Professor Max Kamien

Lydia, a 50-year-old patient, had just returned from trekking in the Himalayas.

Woman in Himalayas

Her presenting complaint was that she ‘looked like a Picasso painting’.

She reported that her breasts began to enlarge at an elevation of 4000m and at 5000m they became hard, swollen and painful.

The pain was worse when she was stationary and cold, but slightly better when she was walking and warm.

She was carrying a comfortable 7kg backpack that did not rub or cause discomfort.

She estimated that her breasts had