small degree of breast asymmetry is quite normal. Surgical
intervention may be indicated when the differences in
volume or shape lead to physical discomfort. Through
breast augmentation or breast reduction, the appearance
of full, balanced and even breasts with even nipples
may be accomplished.
How is a Breast Asymmetry procedure performed?
Asymmetrical breasts can be made more even either by
augmentation of the smaller breast, or by reduction
of the larger one:
Augmentation: In this procedure, the surgeon makes
an incision either under the armpit, in the crease under
the breast, around the areola (the pigmented tissue
around the nipple), or through the navel. The surgeon
then lifts the breast tissue, creates a pocket in the
chest area - either above or below the muscle, and then
places the implant inside the pocket. Almost all implants
used today are filled with a saline solution.
Reduction: In this procedure, an anchor-shaped incision
is made on the breast itself. The excess fat tissue
removed in a liposuction-type procedure, and then the
incision is closed, creating a breast contour closer
in size and shape to the other one. If less tissue will
be removed, a doughnut-shaped area of skin may be removed
just around the nipple. An advantage to this procedure
is that the incision and stitches may be less visible.
How long does a Breast Asymmetry procedure
The length of the surgery depends on the type of procedure
you choose, your anatomy, the incision technique, and
type of anesthesia.
What type of anesthesia is used?
The breast asymmetry procedure is most often performed
under general anesthesia. In some cases, you may choose
to be sedated instead. (This will make you sleepy and
comfortable without being completely asleep).
Where is the procedure performed?
The location chosen for the surgery depends on the
procedure performed and the extent of the work being
performed. Most breast augmentation and reduction surgeries
are performed in a surgical suite as an outpatient procedure.
When can I return home and
resume normal activities?
If surgeries are performed in a surgical suite as an
outpatient procedure then you'll be able to return home
within a few hours of the surgery. However, if large
amounts of tissue are removed during a reduction procedure,
your doctor may want you to stay overnight in the hospital
where medical personnel can monitor your initial recovery.
How do I prepare for a Breast Asymmetry
During your initial consultation, your surgeon will
discuss the changes that you would like to make to your
appearance. Since the appearance of your breasts is
a matter of personal perception and preference, you
will need to discuss your concerns in detail so your
surgeon can determine the appropriate alternatives.
Your surgeon will explain how your age, the size and
shape of your breasts, and the condition of your skin
may affect the results of this procedure. You also should
make arrangements ahead of time for someone to drive
you to and from your procedure and to assist you with
your daily activities during your recovery period.
Prior to your surgical procedure, the surgeon will
perform a complete health history and physical. This
will include examining and measuring your breasts, as
well as photographing them as a frame of reference during
the surgery and afterwards. Your surgeon may also require
you to have a mammogram (breast x-ray). Knowledge of
your allergies, medications and previous surgeries should
be brought to your surgeon's attention at this time.
Specific instructions to assist you in preparing for
this procedure will be given to you after the health
history and physical is complete. Depending on your
individual health status, the instructions may include
guidelines regarding your diet, alcohol intake, smoking
and which medications to take or avoid. Your experience
will be much smoother if you remain compliant with your
What precautions are necessary during recovery?
You will receive instructions about changing the gauze
and keeping the incisions clean, positions for sleep
and rest, raising your arms, breathing exercises and
breast massage. Whether you choose augmentation or reduction,
Expect to feel tired and tender for the first 24 to
48 hours. Your breasts will be bruised and sore, therefore,
an adequate amount of rest is advised.
Drink plenty of fluids and be sure to follow your medication
Allow enough time for recovery. If your job is not too
physically demanding, you'll probably be able to go
back to work in a week or so.
Avoid vigorous or strenuous exercise for six weeks.
Know what to expect. Your stitches will be removed in
a week to ten days. The incision scars will be firm
and pink for at least six weeks, and then will begin
to fade. Your breasts will remain swollen for three
to four weeks following surgery. They will be tender
to touch and movement.
Avoid lifting and pushing for two weeks, and no heavy
lifting or pushing for four weeks.
Allow about two months for complete recovery.
Discomfort following surgery (which reduces and disappears
over time) is expected; however, be sure to tell your
There is an increase in pain, swelling, redness, drainage
or bleeding in the surgical area.
You develop headache, muscle aches, dizziness or a general
ill feeling and fever, nausea or vomiting.
These can be symptoms of infection, and may require
medical attention. The usual follow ups after surgery
are at one week, one month, three and/or six months,
and thereafter at annual exams.
What are the possible complications after
a Breast Asymmetry procedure?
>> Breast Augmentation:
Even though the implant is well tolerated, your body's
natural reaction to a foreign material is to surround
it with a thin membrane called a "capsule"
in order to stay in the desired pocket. The formation
of this capsule is not a problem and occurs in every
patient. In some cases, for reasons that are as yet
not completely understood, this capsule can shrink around
one or both implants, compressing the implant and making
it round and firm. This is called capsular contracture
and can occur in varying degrees. Although some women
may consider some firmness desirable, the capsule can
cause the breast to become unnaturally firm, misshapen
or uncomfortable. Capsular contracture may occur from
a few weeks to several years after the initial procedure.
There is no way to predict your body's reaction and
if you will develop capsular contracture. Placing the
implant under the muscle, in some cases, can reduce
the incidence of this condition. If a patient does develop
capsular contracture, surgical intervention may be required.
The opposite of capsular contracture can also occur
when breast implants are in a satisfactory position
but several months later there is spontaneous expansion
of the capsule. This is described medically as an inferior
and lateral migration of the implants. If this happens,
the patient will require closure of the breast pocket
to reposition the implant either through the original
incision or through a small inframammary incision.
While there is no evidence that the saline breast implant
causes breast cancer, it is recommended that the patient
have a preoperative mammogram as a baseline. Thereafter,
when having a mammogram be sure to go to a radiology
center where the radiologist is experienced in the (Eklund)
special technique required for an accurate x-ray of
a patient with breast implants.
It is emphasized that regular breast examination and
mammograms are the best way to detect early cancers.
It is always important to be informed about the possible
complications before any surgery. Be sure to discuss
any concerns you may have with your surgeon.
>> Breast Reduction:
The scars in breast reduction procedures are placed
in natural skin demarcation lines around the areola,
down the breast, and across the bottom of the breast.
In most women, the scars from the incisions will be
pink for about six months and gradually fade thereafter.
It is important to know that all scars are permanent
and their height, width and final color are never completely
As with any surgical procedure, small nerves to the
skin are interrupted during surgery. Portions of the
nipple area may feel numb or have less than full feeling.
Sensitivity returns over several weeks, but some diminished
feeling may last indefinitely. This does not usually
interfere with erotic sensation and many women even
report an increased erotic sensitivity with their new
No procedure is without risks; however, the majority
of complications known to be associated with a breast
reduction are minor when the procedure is performed
by an experienced board certified plastic surgeon. It
is always important to be informed about the possible
complications before any surgery. Be sure to discuss
any concerns you may have with your surgeon.
What results can I expect after a Breast
Your breasts will be wrapped with gauze bandage, plus
a tighter bandage for protection and support. You also
may have small drainage tubes coming out of the incisions,
to help drain some of the excess fluid. It is important
to take the medication prescribed to you by your doctor.
Someone will need to drive you home, and you may need
assistance at home over the next couple of days.
If your breast skin is very dry following surgery,
you can apply a moisturizer, but be sure to keep the
sutures (stitches) area dry.
Breast asymmetry can help clothes to fit better as
well as improve the overall contour by balancing the
breasts. Remember, though, that as with breasts in general,
the pull of gravity will affect a surgically corrected
breast over time. However, since the breasts are now
more equal in size and weight, they may undergo such
changes more evenly.
Choosing the right surgeon
To obtain further information regarding Breast Asymmetry,
we advise you to consult with a qualified and experienced
board-certified plastic surgeon. Regardless of the type
of procedure you are considering, it is crucial to choose
the right surgeon for your individual goals. To receive
a complimentary consultation with a specialist in your
area, simply fill out our Online Referral
Form or call Toll Free 800.449.1884.