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.

Procedure Information

No woman has breasts that are completely equal, but some have noticeable differences. 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 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.

Who does this procedure suit?

Patients that are concerned with the difference in their breast size. 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. . 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

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.

Associated Risks and complications with surgery

  • Excessive accumulation of blood within the newly shaped breast may occur. This requires removal of stitches and washing out the bruising beneath the skin.
  • Increased or decreased nipple sensation may occur, and can persist for 2-3 months. Loss of the nipple blood supply is rare however modern techniques, quitting smoking and controlling diabetes help to minimize risk.
  • Keloid or unsightly thick scars – some people have a tendency to form poor scars which is sometimes unpredictable. Poor long-term healing may require additional scar treatment.
  • Infection is rare however antibiotics help to minimize risk.
  • Loss of blood supply to the breast can lead to temporary or permanent hardening of parts of the breast, however is rare.
  • Blood clots in the body are extremely rare but can be life-threatening. Inform staff immediately if you experience any leg pain, swelling or chest pain after surgery.

Please call our office if you experience any of the following: excessive pain or bleeding, abnormal swelling or fever during the first 24 hours.

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Our surgeons who perform this procedure

Meet our expert surgeons, delivering exceptional skill and expertise in the field of plastic surgery for transformative aesthetic and reconstructive procedures.

Andrew Greensmith

Specialist Plastic and Aesthetic Surgeon (M.B.CH.B, F.R.A.C.S.)
Mr Andrew Greensmith is a highly trained plastic and reconstructive surgeon with expertise in cleft lip and palate, craniofacial surgery, aesthetic surgery, rhinoplasty, ear reconstruction, and general paediatric plastic surgery.

Graeme Southwick OAM

Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon (MB BS FRACS FACS)
Assoc Prof Graeme Southwick is an accomplished plastic surgeon, holding multiple fellowships and memberships in prestigious medical associations, with extensive experience in teaching, research, and private practice.

Alenka Paddle

Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon (MBBS (Hons), PGDipSurgAnat, FRACS (Plast))
Dr. Alenka Paddle is a highly skilled Specialist Plastic Surgeon specializing in aesthetic and pediatric plastic surgery, with extensive training and experience in various prestigious institutions worldwide.

Board-certified plastic surgeons.

You can minimise your risks by selecting a surgeon experienced in liposuction procedures. All our surgeons at Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery have extensive training and experience in these procedures, so we offer our patients the highest level of safety and efficacy possible.

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