Breast Asymmetry Correction Surgery
Perfectly symmetrical breasts are rare: most women have some variation in size, shape, nipple alignment, or height between their breasts. However, for some women, this is a more pronounced condition, with variations of a cup size or more between breasts. Breast asymmetry is most often caused by a congenital condition, and may become evident at puberty and more pronounced thereafter, although most responsible surgeons will wait until a patient has turned 18 before attempted surgical correction. Breast asymmetry may also be a result of trauma or injury to the breast. A sudden change in the size of one breast may be a sign of a developing tumour, and should be investigated immediately by a physician. However, asymmetric breasts are not always a sign of an underlying medical condition. Despite this, they can significantly affect a woman’s body image and self-esteem, and some women have even reported difficulties with breastfeeding.
Corrective Cosmetic Surgery
While asymmetric breasts may not pose an immediate medical concern, they are often the source of embarrassment and sometimes significant psychological distress. Luckily, corrective cosmetic surgery is an option for many women, usually through a combination of breast lift and breast augmentation.
There are a number of ways to correct breast asymmetry, including making the smaller breast larger, or the larger breast smaller. A larger breast can be made smaller through breast reduction, where fat is removed through an anchor-shaped incision using a liposuction technique. A small breast can be made larger through augmentation with a silicone or saline implant, or by means of fat transfer, where fat is harvested from another part of the body and injected into the breast. While only one breast may receive an implant, your surgeon may recommend a breast lift to both breasts for optimal results. Sometimes, a breast lift is all that is needed to restore symmetry, as in cases where nipple misalignment is the primary issue. Rarely will both an augmentation and a reduction be performed.
Poland Disease & Tuberous Breasts
In more severe cases of breast asymmetry, such in cases of Poland disease, a rare genetic condition in which a person may be born without a pectoral muscle, a custom breast implant may be made to fully camouflage the deficiency. Another cause of breast asymmetry is a condition called tuberous breasts, which may affect one or both breasts. Tuberous breasts exhibit a pronounced constriction at the base, causing them to be shaped like tubes rather than a more typical conical shape. Tuberous breasts are also corrected through surgery, often by widening the base of one or both breasts.
Risk & Complications of Surgery
It is important to be aware of the risks and limitations of asymmetrical breast augmentation. Because it is a surgical procedure, asymmetrical breast augmentation carries the same risks of any surgery, including the risk of bleeding, scarring, infection, and adverse reaction to anaesthesia. Breast augmentation carries its own short- and long-term risks, including implant rupture, rippling, capsular contracture (painful hardening of the tissue surrounding the breast), calcium deposits, loss of sensation, implant shifting, and interference with mammograms. In the case of breast reduction, patients should be aware that it may impact their future ability to breastfeed, as it may involve the excision of milk ducts, and will leave a permanent scar that is generally more visible than a breast augmentation scar. Breast reduction may also cause a loss of sensitivity in the nipple and breast area. It is important to keep these factors in mind when deciding between augmentation and reduction.
How is a Breast Asymmetry Correction Procedure Performed
Like a traditional breast augmentation/reduction, the procedure is usually performed under general anaesthesia on an outpatient basis, and can take anywhere from 1-4 hours, depending on the type and extent of work to be performed. Patients can normally return to sedentary work within a week following surgery, and may be asked to wear a support garment, such as a sports bra, to promote effective healing. Strenuous activity, such as exercise and heavy lifting, should be avoided for at least a few weeks following surgery.
While it is important to maintain realistic expectations, asymmetrical breast augmentation procedures are generally very successful, and patients can expect a good restoration of symmetry, although perfect symmetry is generally not possible or even desirable. Nonetheless, many women report a dramatic increase in self-esteem following asymmetrical breast augmentation, as a result of better balance in breast size and shape, improved silhouette, greater ease finding clothing that fits, and reduced self-consciousness when wearing form-fitting clothing or in intimate situations. Clinic 360’s ultimate goal is patient satisfaction, and you can rest assured that you are in the hands of qualified, specialist surgeons who will guide you through every step of this highly individualized procedure to ensure an optimal result.