When it comes to feminine beauty and attractiveness, having beautiful breasts is probably on top of the list. Every woman wants good-looking breasts that can complement the rest of her physique.
Breast asymmetry is very common. In fact, it is believed that almost all women have some degree of breast asymmetry, however, it is not always obvious. Uneven breasts become problematic when the difference in size and shape becomes too prominent. In such cases, it might cause you to lose confidence in your body image and become too self-conscious about the way you look. Many women with lopsided breasts avoid wearing revealing clothes and become anxious in the bedroom.
If you’re unsatisfied with your uneven breasts and you’d like to fix them, Dr Rebecca Wyten in Melbourne can help you. Dr Wyten has years of experience in fixing uneven breasts and performing life-changing cosmetic breast surgeries on thousands of women. Several surgical options are available to correct breast asymmetry, and this will depend on your specific case.
Keep reading to learn more about breast asymmetry, causes, treatment, costs, and more.
What are asymmetric breasts?
Breast asymmetry is a very common condition seen in women of all ages. Research suggests that the vast majority of women have some degree of breast asymmetry, however, in most cases it’s insignificant. Breasts asymmetry means having breasts that don’t look alike. The difference can be in their size, shape, and/or projection. For example, one breast can be more round, or less projecting, or of a smaller size than the other. This discrepancy between the two breasts is usually minor and causes patients no concern. However, in many young women and teens, it can cause anxiety, embarrassment, and psychological distress. Lopsided breasts corrective surgery is usually offered to women who are dissatisfied with the symmetry of their breasts.
What are the causes of breast asymmetry?
Throughout your life, your breasts will go through many changes. Starting with puberty, breasts grow over a few years to reach their adult size. Asymmetrical growth can be seen in many teenage girls during this stage. Later on in life, hormonal changes, medical conditions, and other factors can cause breast asymmetry. Here’s a list of some of the common causes of uneven breasts:
1. Developmental and genetic causes
In most cases, breast asymmetry first starts during or after puberty. During this period, the breasts start growing and developing into their adult form. In some girls, and due to unclear reasons, the breasts might develop into uneven sizes and/or shapes. This process might be related to errors during fetal development, where the cells responsible for the future breasts might not have come together properly. Some doctors also theorize that breast developmental problems might have a genetic root or an unknown syndrome causing them.
2. Hormonal causes
Breast tissue is very sensitive to hormonal changes. Hormonal fluctuations during puberty, pregnancy, ovulation, and menopause can all affect the size and shape of your breast. In some women, one breast might be more susceptible to the effects of estrogen and/or progesterone, and this can lead to breast asymmetry especially during puberty.
3. Breast implant complications
Breast augmentation is a solution and a possible cause of breast asymmetry. Breast implants are very popular among women who want to pump up their breasts and flaunt their beauty. However, these devices are not lifelong, and eventually, they might cause some complications. Breast implant displacement, capsular contracture, and late seromas can all be a cause of uneven breasts after breast augmentation. It’s important that you visit your plastic surgeon for a full assessment and possible revision surgery if this happens.
4. Breast tumors
Breast tumors can be benign or malignant (breast cancer). Naturally, having a tumor growing in one breast will eventually change its size and/or shape, and make it look different compared to the other breast. If you can feel a lump growing in your breast, or you’ve started noticing asymmetry later during adulthood, you should not delay visiting your gynaecologist to rule out breast cancer. Several studies have found that breast asymmetry might uncommonly be associated with breast cancer.
5. Breast Trauma
Breast trauma can lead to changes in your breast tissue. Over the years, calcium deposits or scar tissue might grow in your breasts and cause them to look uneven.
As you grow older, your breasts will lose elasticity and become deflated and droopy. That is the harsh truth. In some women, one breast might age at a faster rate, and become saggier or more deflated than the other. This is usually corrected with bilateral breast lifting with or without breast implants to restore youth and symmetry.
Should I be concerned about breast asymmetry?
When asymmetrical breasts start showing during or right after puberty, they’re usually not a cause of concern. Breast asymmetry is mostly just a result of your individual anatomy, physiological development, and genes, and does not signify a concerning condition. Nevertheless, it would be wise to bring it up during your routine check-ups.
On the other hand, if you’re well into adulthood, and your breasts just recently and rapidly started becoming unequal, you should seek medical assessment. This can be especially concerning if you can feel a lump in your breast or armpit, you have an abnormal discharge from your nipples, your nipple is retracted inward, or if your breast is painful and showing skin redness. These can signify a benign or malignant tumor, and a doctor’s visit should not be delayed.
How much breast asymmetry is normal?
There’s no standard degree of discrepancy in breasts’ size and shape that determines how much breast asymmetry is normal or abnormal. In general, breasts that obviously look asymmetrical are considered abnormal. In all cases, this is not what you should be asking. The right question to ask is: are you satisfied with how uneven your breasts are? Are they causing you cosmetic concerns? If they are, then you should come to visit Dr Rebecca and learn how the asymmetry can be fixed.
Who’s a good candidate for corrective breast surgery?
Breast asymmetry corrective surgery is an invasive surgery, and hence you should meet certain criteria in order to prevent complications and get the best possible outcomes. You are a good candidate for corrective breast surgery if:
- You have a stable weight for the past 6-12 months
- You’re not planning on getting pregnant again
- You’ve stopped breastfeeding more than 6 months ago
- You’re not a smoker, or you can completely quit 4-6 weeks before your surgery
- Your chronic medical conditions are under control (hypertension, diabetes, etc.)
- You can accept a small scar on your breast
- You have realistic expectations of how your outcomes would be
Results may vary from patient to patient, and corrective surgery would not prevent future aging of your breasts. Breast surgery scars are usually well hidden under your breast fold, however, in certain cases, a scar might be visible on the lower pole of your breasts. Dr Rebecca uses state-of-the-art techniques in all her cosmetic breast surgeries to ensure minimal scarring. In most cases, scars fade away and become much less visible with time.
What are the benefits of asymmetric breast correction surgery?
There are many advantages to correcting uneven breasts:
- Psychological advantages: It has been proven that asymmetrical breasts can lead to decreased self-confidence and poorer mental health in young women and teenagers. A study done by Dr Brian Labow in 2018 in Boston Children’s Hospital highlighted just how important corrective surgery is in young women who have uneven breasts. The study, done on 45 young women, showed that the surgical correction had lead to “significant improvements in self-esteem, social functioning, and emotional roles, as well as in overall mental health” (as described by the ASPS).
- More self-confidence: Fixing your asymmetrical breasts at any age can give you more confidence when wearing a swimsuit, sexy lingerie, and when naked.
- Better body proportions: Beauty is all about perfect proportions. Getting your lopsided breasts corrected can give you the chance to change their size and shape to better suit the proportions of the rest of your body.
How is breast asymmetry corrected?
The only way to correct breast asymmetry is corrective plastic surgery. Dr Rebecca offers a wide variety of surgical options to fix uneven breasts, and the choice of surgery usually depends on your specific case. Corrective surgery can involve one or both breasts and many times, It includes a combination of procedures to achieve the desired goals.
Here are the possible procedures and solutions to correct unequal breasts:
- Breast augmentation with implants: You might know this better as a “boob job”. It is a very popular procedure used to correct breast deformities, asymmetry, and pump up the size of your boobs. If you have lopsided breasts and prefer how your larger breast looks, Dr Rebecca might insert an implant in the smaller breast to augment its size. If both breasts need enhancement, implants of two different sizes might be used to correct any asymmetry and perk up your boobs.
- Breast augmentation with fat grafting: Fat grafting or autologous fat transfer is a less invasive and more natural method to also increase the size of the breasts and correct the difference in size and/or shape. It’s a way to fix uneven breasts without implants. A fat graft boob job allows Dr Rebecca to finely tune the size and contour the shape of your breasts. During this procedure, Dr Wyten removes fat by liposuction from other parts of your body. She then purifies the fat and injects it carefully into your breasts to adjust their size and shape with high precision.
- Breast reduction: If you prefer the size of the smaller breast, Dr Wyten will reduce the size of your larger breast to an even size. The surgery involves removing excess tissue on one side and might be combined with breast implants or augmentation on the other side to get the best cosmetic results possible.
- Breast lifting (Mastopexy): If you have saggy and deflated breasts that look different from one another, then breast lifting is a must in your procedure. During a mastopexy, Dr Wyten will lift your breasts back into their normal position and re-align your nipples higher up. This can be combined with fat grafting, breast implants, or breast reduction depending on your specific case and desires. In any case, breast lifting can treat breast asymmetry and give you tighter and younger-looking breasts.
What to expect during recovery from breast surgery?
Full recovery from breast surgery and return to normal daily activities can take several weeks. During this time, you will notice some of these symptoms that should fade away as the days pass:
- Mild pain
- Numbness in the nipple or breast skin
You will need to rest for 2-3 weeks, during which you should avoid any strenuous activities.
What are the risks of breast surgery?
Breast surgery is usually very safe, however, there’s always a risk of complications:
- Seroma: This is an early complication. A seroma is when fluid accumulates in your wound and causes localized swelling
- Hematoma: This is also an early complication. A hematoma is when blood accumulates in your wound and sometimes oozes out.
- Numbness: After breast surgery, you might lose sensation in your nipple or certain areas of your breast. Breast sensation usually returns to normal gradually, however, sometimes it might be permanent.
- Inability to breastfeed: Breast surgery can damage your milk ducts and make it harder to breastfeed. If you’re planning on getting pregnant after your breast correction, make sure to let Dr Rebecca know.
How much is the cost of fixing uneven breasts?
The price for fixing asymmetrical breasts varies widely depending on your specific case. Some people might require only a single procedure, others might require a combination of procedures to make their breasts even. Another factor that comes into play is the hospital or clinic where you’re going to have breast correction surgery and the anaesthetist fees. Dr Rebecca will give you an approximate quote once she examines you and determines what needs to be done to even out your breasts.
Will insurance or Medicare cover breast surgery for asymmetry?
Usually, medicare and insurance do not cover cosmetic surgeries. However, if you have severely deformed and asymmetrical breasts, it might be considered a medical necessity. In such cases, you might be eligible for a partial rebate for your surgery to correct uneven breasts. Read more about Medicare coverage of Plastic Surgery.
More frequently asked questions on asymmetrical breasts
What does breast asymmetry mean on a mammogram?
- On a mammogram, breast asymmetry means something completely different than what was explained in this article. Breast asymmetry on mammography means that the density and appearance of one breast’s tissue are noticeably different from that on the other side. This guides your treating physician and tells them that maybe further investigation is needed.
Is asymmetric breast tissue on mammography a sign of malignancy?
- Having asymmetric breast tissue on your mammogram only tells your physician that possible further testing is needed, but it’s not in itself a sign of malignancy.
Can you fix breast asymmetry with sports?
- Many women ask if uneven breasts can be fixed with exercises like push-ups and weight lifting. Such sports can tighten your chest muscles and straighten your back, however, they do not affect the actual size and shape of your breasts.
Can you prevent breast asymmetry?
- Unfortunately, breast asymmetry is not preventable.
Can you fix uneven breasts without surgery?
- Unfortunately, the only way to fix lopsided asymmetrical breasts is corrective breast surgery (augmentation, reduction, fat transfer, or a combination of these)
Does sleeping on your side cause uneven breasts?
- It is possible that if you chronically sit or sleep on a single side, the other side might be more prone to the effect of gravity. Over time this might lead to one breast sagging more than the other.
If you have unequal breasts, there are two important things you need to know. First, the condition is more common than you can imagine, so you’re not alone. Second, many surgical options are available to correct the problem and give you beautiful symmetrical breasts. So, if you’re considering breast surgery in Melbourne, give us a call or come visit us to learn how Dr Wyten can help.
- Breast Asymmetry: Classification and Management – Academic Oxford Aesthetic Surgery Journal
- Breast asymmetry and phenotypic quality in women – ScienceDirect
- The relationship between breast asymmetry, breast size and the occurrence of breast cancer – National Library of Medicine PubMed
- The Psychosocial Benefits of Plastic Surgery for Young Women With Congenital Breast Asymmetry – ASPS
- Breast asymmetry: literature review and a new proposal for clinical classification- Revista Brasileira de Cirurgia Plastica
- Congenital Breast Asymmetry: Subjective and Objective Assessment – British Journal of Plastic Surgery