A 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.
is a breast asymmetry procedure performed?
breasts can be made more even either by augmentation of the smaller
breast, or by reduction of the larger one:
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.
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.
long does breast asymmetry procedure take?
length of the surgery depends on the type of procedure you choose,
your anatomy, the incision technique, and type of anesthesia.
type of anesthesia is used?
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
is the procedure performed?
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.
can I return home and resume normal activities?
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.
do I prepare for a breast asymmetry procedure?
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.
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 surgeon's
precautions are necessary during recovery?
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, you should:
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
Drink plenty of fluids and be sure to follow your medication schedule.
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
Allow about two months for complete recovery.
Discomfort following surgery (which reduces and disappears over time) is expected;
however, be sure to tell your doctor if:
There is an increase in pain, swelling, redness, drainage or bleeding in the
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.
are the possible complications after a breast asymmetry procedure?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 predictable.
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 breasts.
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.
results can I expect after a breast asymmetry procedure?
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.
your breast skin is very dry following surgery, you can apply
a moisturizer, but be sure to keep the sutures (stitches) area
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.