The condition where breasts are different from each other in terms of volume or shape is called breast asymmetry. Although slight differences in paired organs such as ears, eyes, breasts, hands and feet are natural, significant size and shape differences are considered asymmetric. Especially when breasts have different bra cup sizes, the situation affects the patient’s self-esteem to a higher degree, making clothing difficult and impairing quality of life. Breast asymmetry can also happen in male patients and a treatment for this situation can be planned.
The cause of breast asymmetry may be developmental, due to trauma or past operations. It can also occur after breastfeeding. In both cases, it is possible to restore symmetry with surgery to be performed by a plastic surgeon. While in some cases, asymmetry only consists of one breast being visibly bigger than the other, most often the placement of areola and its shape are different. Sometimes the breast tissue is completely absent on one side.
Breast asymmetry operations are one of the most difficult procedures of plastic surgery. The operation is not complicated for the patient. However, in cases where remodeling each breast with techniques that are quite different from each other while aiming to preserve the symmetry in long term, selection of an experienced plastic surgeon with an excellent command on the techniques will be beneficial for the patient.
Planning before the operation is the key to satisfactory results. In many breast asymmetry cases I endeavor, I make sure to photograph the patient preoperatively for a flawless pre-planning. If necessary, I also keep various types of different sized and shaped prostheses during the operation.
Most of the asymmetry operations require surgery on both breasts. While in some cases, placing different sized implants in different levels is sufficient to obtain symmetry, reducing one breast and simultaneously placing an implant to the other will be necessary in more advanced ones. In this case, although size and shape seems similar in early post-operative stage, the difference will be visible in the long term. I use an anticipating approach where I remove a higher volume of breast tissue from the bigger breast, replacing it with an implant to avoid this situation. Despite these measures in severe cases, although rarely, additional small corrections may be necessary after 6 months.
We suggest waiting until 18 years of age to correct developmental asymmetries, however we may operate on younger patients in cases like Virginal Hypertrophy and Poland Syndrome.
A one night stay after the surgery is sufficient. Recovery process will be the same as the other breast surgeries. In any case, it is possible to return to moderate physical activities 5 – 6 days later.
Correction of breast asymmetry is a procedure that is extremely helpful to the patient’s mental health and self-esteem.