No woman has breasts that are completely equal, but some have noticeable differences that can affect their appearance and their self-esteem. Fortunately, there are many ways to correct asymmetry, giving women a balanced, proportionate body contour. If you are concerned about discrepancies between your breasts regarding size, shape or position, the experienced surgeons at Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery may be able to help.
What is breast asymmetry?
Breast asymmetry refers to a difference between the two breasts, which can range from relatively minor to prominent. Differences might involve either one or more factors, including the size, volume, contour or position of the breast, as well as the positioning of the nipples and areolas. These differences might be present from adolescence when the breasts first start to form, or they can develop over time, often as a result of an injury or medical condition. Some changes are temporary and caused by hormonal fluctuations, such as when you are ovulating. Others are due to medical issues; many of which might be permanent, but easily treatable.
Why does breast asymmetry occur?
Breast asymmetry is a widespread concern among women, affecting more than half of all women at some point in their lives. There are a variety of reasons why breasts may take on different sizes or shapes, including:
- Uneven breast development during puberty
- Juvenile hypertrophy, a condition during the teen years where one breast grows larger than the other
- Extreme weight fluctuations
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Trauma to one of the breasts that causes enlargement or shrinkage
- Changes in breast size due to a medical condition
- Breast cancer treatment, such as a mastectomy
No matter what the reason for the asymmetry, it is likely that there is a surgical procedure to restore balance and proportion to the upper body profile. The surgeons at the Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery have extensive experience in repairing breast asymmetry and have a variety of procedures and techniques at their disposal to provide patients with results tailored to their precise needs.
Who does this procedure suit?
Surgery to correct breast asymmetry is the right choice for women that are embarrassed about the differences between their breasts. These candidates may opt for enlargement or reduction of one breast to bring the two breasts into proportion, or a combination of procedures on both breasts to give them the exact results they want. Our surgeons will advise patients as to the surgery or combination of procedures that will provide them with the best possible outcome. What results should I expect? When surgery to correct breast asymmetry is handled by an experienced plastic surgeon, the procedure is likely to be both safe and successful. Options in breast asymmetry surgery might include:
- Augmentation of one or both breasts to create fullness and balance
- Reduction of one or both breasts to produce an even and attractive upper body contour
- Lifting of one or both breasts to ensure the two are in the same position on the chest wall
No matter which procedure you have, your results should be both dramatic and long-lasting. However, time and gravity may eventually take their toll, leading to sagging or other breast changes. If this occurs, you may require a revision surgery many years later to maintain your positive results.
What is the first step to take?
Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery offers the Vectra 3D system, which provides you with a three- dimensional image of your breasts so you can visualise what you might look like after your surgery. Imaging services can be very helpful to women that are concerned about whether surgery will help to create the balance and symmetry of the breasts that they are requesting.
In addition to the imaging, your surgeon will discuss your concerns and expectations with you, to ensure you understand exactly what your surgery will do for you. You will also be asked about your medical history, including a detailed account of your breast health so your surgeon will be confident your surgery will be both safe and successful. Our staff will also provide you with all the information you need to feel comfortable with your surgical choice and upcoming procedure.
How do I prepare for surgery?
Proper preparation for your procedure will go far in ensuring your surgery is successful and your recovery is complication-free. Some of the steps to take ahead of your surgery day include:
- Stop medications two weeks ahead that can affect bleeding, such as vitamin E and types of pain relievers. It is also prudent to avoid alcohol during this time. Some supplements, including vitamin B and E, are safe to take before surgery. Inform your surgeon of other supplements and other herbal remedies you regularly take so we can advise you accordingly.
- Nicotine increases your risk for many complications during and after surgery regarding blood circulation and skin healing. Our surgeons will advise you to stop smoking at least six weeks before your procedure. Quitting permanently is always the healthiest choice.
- If you become ill with a cold or another type of infection during the week of your surgery, notify our staff right away. Illnesses like these can affect the outcome of your procedure, and in some cases, you may be advised to reschedule.
What should I expect during surgery?
Surgery to correct breast asymmetry is performed under general anesthesia so that you are asleep and comfortable throughout your procedure. Specific incisions and techniques will vary based on whether you are undergoing augmentation, reduction or a lift. Our surgeons will cover your procedure with you in detail before your surgery, so you know exactly what to expect when the day arrives.
What should I expect after surgery?
Breast enhancement surgery to correct asymmetries can often be performed as a day surgery, although a night in the hospital after the procedure may be recommended as well. Most patients can return to light activities within one to two weeks, while heavy lifting is restricted for at least six weeks. Our surgeon will see you at regular intervals after your procedure to ensure your recovery process is progressing safely.
Correction of breast asymmetry is a relatively straightforward procedure as long as it is performed by a surgeon that has the experience and expertise to provide you with the highest level of patient care. To learn more about your options in breast asymmetry surgery, contact Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery today on 03 9508 9508.