Breast Asymmetry Correction Surgery – Breast asymmetry refers to a condition where the two breasts are “uneven”. Of course, no woman has perfectly symmetrical breasts; one breast always looks a little bit different than the other. However, certain patients have a more noticeable degree of breast asymmetry or unevenness and may wish to consider procedures to correct the problem. Breast asymmetry can be extremely embarrassing for women, cause them to feel insecure about their appearance, and also make it more difficult to purchase properly fitting attire, especially bras and swimsuits.
Breast asymmetry can present as a very wide spectrum of abnormalities ranging from very subtle, minimally apparent differences in breast volume to enormous differences, where the two breasts look nothing like one another. Over the last 35 years, Dr. Handel has treated hundreds of patients with breast asymmetry. The surgical procedure used to treat the problem depends, of course, on the specific anatomy of any given patient.
In cases where there is only “mild asymmetry,” the problem can be corrected by asymmetrical breast augmentation. This means we would insert a breast implant on the side where the breast is larger and then on the contra-lateral side (smaller breast), insert a slightly larger breast implant so that in the end, the two breasts are the same volume. This is certainly the easiest way to correct breast asymmetry in its mild form.
Another option is fat grafting; fat can be harvested from areas where it is unwanted (the hip rolls, muffin tops, abdomen) and injected into the smaller breast to make it match the opposite side. The advantages of fat grafting include the fact that we use only the patient’s own “natural tissues.” There is no reliance on a silicone implant or any other foreign device. The other advantage of fat grafting is as the patient gains or loses weight over the years, the breast treated with fat grafting will become bigger or smaller, just like the opposite side!
Dr. Neal Handel has successfully treated hundreds of patients for breast asymmetry in Santa Barbara & Los Angeles, CA.
Some patients have more advanced breast asymmetry; in these situations, just inserting two different sized implants will not adequately correct the problem. In such cases, it is often necessary to perform a breast uplift (mastopexy) on the larger breast. Typically, the nipple is lower on the larger breast and needs to be elevated or raised up to a level to match the nipple on the opposite side. This is accomplished by the mastopexy, and then breast implants are inserted (usually on both sides). Sometimes, the same size implant is placed on both sides; sometimes two different sized implants are used to achieve the best final result. Correction of breast asymmetry using mastopexy results in scars on the breasts, but the overwhelming majority of patients feel it is a worthwhile “tradeoff.” They are happy to have the improvement in breast shape and symmetry. Typically, the scars heal well and over time, become unnoticeable.
Sometimes patients have “severe” breast asymmetry. Dr. Handel has seen patients who have a “D cup” breast on one side and an “A cup” on the opposite side. In these cases, the surgery typically consists of enlargement of the smaller breast, either with a tissue expander followed by a breast implant or directly with a breast implant. On the opposite side, the nipple and areola are elevated to the desired location, and the skin envelope recontoured using mastopexy procedures.
Sometimes, an implant is inserted; at other times, an implant is unnecessary on the larger side. In patients who have these extreme forms of breast asymmetry, it is usually possible to achieve reasonably good results. However, over time, there is a tendency for the breast that originally was larger to droop more readily and to sag more easily than the opposite side. Therefore, patients who are treated for severe degrees of breast asymmetry may require “touchup” or “revision” operations over the years, to maintain the best possible symmetry. This is also true in patients who become pregnant or breastfeed; because of changes in the native breast tissue, it may be necessary to perform “touchup operations” to maintain the best possible symmetry.
For more information on Plastic Surgery procedures and Medical Spa treatments performed by Board Certified Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Neal Handel please call (805) 682-9100 or click here to contact us. Office located in Santa Barbara, CA.