What is Breast Asymmetry?
Breasts are not identical.
In most women, the slight differences between the breasts are not noticeable, but for others, there can be differences noticeable between the two breasts. This difference can be a result of genetics, hormonal changes, puberty or even trauma.
Differences in size or position can lead to discomfort and, in some cases, have impact on posture and balance. In cases like this, breast asymmetry correction (mammoplasty) may be on option to help change the size of symmetry and balance. The surgeon can use individualised techniques on each breast—for example, a breast augmentation mammoplasty on one breast and a breast reduction on the other.
What Types of Asymmetry Can Surgery Address?
- Different volume, shape, position, and crease position (IMC) of the breast.
Nipple/Areola Complex Asymmetry
Anterior Chest Wall Issues
- Different shaped chest wall behind the breast – concave or convex – can cause uneven breast development
There can also be other causes of breast asymmetry. For instance, postural problems (scoliosis), other diseases (breast cancer, Poland’s syndrome or effects of past surgery) and Iatrogenic causes.
Breast Asymmetry Before and After Gallery
See more of Dr Craig Rubinstein’s previous breast asymmetry patients in the this patient before and after gallery.
What are the Techniques for Reducing Breast Asymmetry?
Because each breast is unique, customized strategies may be needed, such as:
- Make the smaller breast bigger and more symmetrical
- Make the bigger breast smaller and more symmetrical
- Make both breasts smaller and more symmetrical
- Make both breasts bigger and more symmetrical
Approaches for Breast Asymmetry
There’s no one standardized approach that suits all patients. Breast asymmetry correction is individualized and surgically complex, meaning you must ensure a qualified plastic surgeon performs your surgery.
Possible techniques depend on each patient’s specific characteristics and wanted outcomes. Some approaches that may be suitable include unilateral (one side) or bilateral (both sides) surgeries, including:
- Breast Augmentation Surgery: Using implants or additional fat grafting
- Lift with Implants Surgery: To reposition or increase the size of the breast
- Lift without Implants Surgery: To reposition a breast
- Reduction Surgery: To reduce breast size
- Nipple/Areola reshaping surgery: To reduce differences with the other nipple-areola complex
- Other Breast Implant Surgeries: To change existing implant sizes or remove existing implants
Most asymmetry surgery relates to cosmetic changes. However, some women may experience pain from large, heavy and/or ptotic breast/s. Surgical intervention may help reduce pain and discomfort.
What is Involved in Planning for Corrective Breast Asymmetry Surgery?
Thorough pre-operative planning and customised procedure designs are critical.
Surgeons may use intra-operative sizers during surgery. These breast implant sizers are sterile temporary implants used during surgery to evaluate size options.
Some surgeons will also use liposuction during surgery to change symmetry.
Dr Craig Rubinstein typically performs several assessment measurements as well. For example:
- Breast volumetric tests
- Three-dimensional visualisation
- MRI imaging studies are usually recommended
Can Breast Asymmetry Scars be Minimised?
- While scars are inevitable with surgery, there are ways to reduce their appearance.
- Surgeons are attentive to scar placement and minimisation, with surgical scars fading over time.
- Furthermore, Dr Rubinstein’s team conducts follow-up treatments using Laser and Healite II to minimise your scars.
- Appropriate aftercare can help reduce their appearance over time.
- Silicone tapes and gels can also be helpful.
Risks and Complications of Breast Asymmetry
Like any surgical procedure, breast asymmetry corrective surgery carries certain risks and potential complications. These can include infection, bleeding, hematoma, poor scarring, changes in nipple or breast sensation, implant complications and anesthesia risks.
See the specific surgery pages for risks and visit our Plastic Surgery Risks page to find out more on general surgical risks and risks of plastic surgery.
Breast Asymmetry is an Ongoing Concern for Many Women
Unfortunately, some breast conditions may persist after surgery. In some cases, patients may require revision procedures.
Breast asymmetry cases are monitored regularly. You will attend multiple follow-up appointments during your recovery, allowing your surgeon to keep an eye on you, your results, and how you are healing. You will have multiple appointments between the 2-8 week marks (depending on recommendations by your surgeon) and then annually after 1 year.
If you are dissatisfied with the results, and after a discussion with your surgeon, they agree you may need to have revision surgery.
Further Reading – Medical References on Breast Asymmetry
Dr Craig Rubinstein published an entire chapter on breast asymmetries in the Medical Textbook: Surgery of the Breast that many Plastic Surgeons refer to for their procedures.
US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. December 2018. Breast asymmetry pattern in women with idiopathic scoliosis [online]. Available here
Also, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. December 2018. Correlation between scoliosis and breast asymmetries in women undergoing augmentation mammaplasty [online]. Available here
As well as, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. December 2018. Both Bilateral Breast Volume Discrepancy and Asymmetric Anterior Chest Wall Shape Contribute to the Unsightly Breast Contour in Female Right Thoracic Idiopathic Scoliosis [online]. Available here
About Dr Craig Rubinstein
Dr Craig Rubinstein FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) is an experienced Melbourne Specialist Plastic Surgeon for breast and abdominoplasty surgery.
Dr Rubinstein offers women personalised abdominoplasty surgery and all forms of cosmetic breast surgery.
BOOK A CONSULTATION 1300 599 990
Next Steps in Your Surgical Journey
Want more information about your Procedure?
- Download a Free Procedure Guide on your chosen surgery.
- Visit the FAQs and read patient reviews to learn more about your intended procedure.
- For more information about pricing visit our cost page.
- You can also talk to our Patient Care Team from 9 to 5 pm Monday to Friday on 1300 599 990
About Your First Consultation
- Dr Rubinstein’s Consultation fee is $300.
- A referral from your GP or specialist is essential.
- A referral helps when claiming Medicare or Private Health Insurance coverage.
- Please contact the Patient Care Team at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery to book your consultation.
What to Bring to Your Consultation
- You are more than welcome to bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
- Ensure you also take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents provided.
- Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes.
The content of this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is important to consult your physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on the information provided in this article. The author and publisher of this article do not guarantee the accuracy, applicability, or completeness of the content. The information presented in this article is at your own risk.
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