What is breast asymmetry?
It is normal to have breasts of slightly different sizes and shapes. However, in some women the difference is significant and a cause of considerable psychological distress. This difference usually becomes obvious during pubertal development in the teenage years. Sometimes a slight difference becomes marked in later life after pregnancy. There is a therefore a spectrum with simple asymmetries to very complex ones.
How is breast asymmetry corrected?
There are a variety of surgical procedures available that may help you if you have breast asymmetry. These possible operations include breast reduction, breast uplift (mastopexy), breast implants (augmentation), inflatable breast implants (expanders) and fat grafting. These can be performed singly or in combination depending on your specific circumstances and desires.
I will discuss with you the operation(s) and options that are appropriate for you. Occasionally two or three operations may be needed, spaced apart. This, for example, may include the use of an expander implant to slowly enlarge the smaller breast, followed a year later by a replacement of the expander with a silicone implant, and adjustment of the larger breast to match (for example by performing a combination uplift and implant procedure – an augmentation mastopexy).
The benefits of the surgery are to try and match your breasts as closely as possible: not only in terms of volume, but also in terms of shape and nipple/areolar size and position. It is however important to have realistic expectations, as this anomaly makes the breasts behave differently and therefore, a perfect match does not occur. Indeed even the normal breasts are not perfectly matched.
What is the postoperative care?
Following surgery to your breasts, you should go straight into a support bra which you continue to wear for most of the day and night for 4-6 weeks. Your wounds will be dressed with medical tape. (check information sheet on post op wound care) You will be able to return to sedentary activity (i.e. an office job or light duties) within a few days, depending on how you feel.
You should avoid heavy physical activity and contact sports for 4-6weeks. I do, however, recommend light shoulder exercises after the surgery to prevent stiffness. One of the ways to start is to wash your own hair the day after the operation. This also has the added benefit of making you feel much better!
The operations have a high success rate, but, as everyone is different, the likely outcome you will obtain will be discussed directly with you.
Please see the specific procedure information sheets for details of the different operations and possible complications.