What is Breast Asymmetry?
It is extremely unusual for the right breast to be an exact mirror image match to the left breast. There are usually some small asymmetric differences in everyone’s breasts. However, there are a small number of patients who have more severe breast asymmetry when one side sags or is larger than the other.
If your breast size does not match, there is also probably a difference in the position of the nipple. Typically in the smaller breast, the nipple-areola sits a little higher on the chest wall. In addition, the position and fullness in the lower pole of the breast, or bottom of the breast will sit higher on the chest as well.
These positions and dimensions are very important to take into consideration when enhancing the breast.
Procedures for Breast Asymmetry
Breast Augmentation is one way we can help eliminate asymmetrical breasts. During a traditional breast augmentation, we utilize the same sized implants for both breasts. If there are minor differences in the breasts, Dr. Schneider recommends still using implants of the same size and volume.
The reason for this is that in our experience, implant size differences that vary by as little as 30cc can be felt and seen by the patient. We have heard from patients in who we have used different implant sizes, that their breasts are now different in a different way. In these patients, even though their breasts look the same photographically, the breast with the larger implant, in their mind, is the bigger because it weighs more and now has a larger diameter and projection.
Thus, most patients do best using the same sized implants.
However, for patients with more significant breast asymmetry, we recommend different sized implants to not only augment the breast, but also reduce any asymmetry.
A Breast Lift is another option afforded to patients who have a size and breast position discrepancy between the left and right sides.
If both breasts have sagging, then a breast lift will allow us to lift each breast to better match their height. In addition, some tissue can be removed from the larger breast so that each breast now has a similar total quantity of tissue.
If we are doing a lift and augmentation, this allows us to have the same amount of breast tissue, raise the breasts to the same height, and use implants that are the same size. This produces a final appearance of the breasts that is more symmetrical and desired.
Implant One Side – Implant Lift the Other
In some cases, the patient may have sagging on one side and no sagging on the opposite side. In this case, the option of having a breast lift and augmentation on the sagging side, combined with an augmentation alone on the non-sagging side, is a good option.
For this procedure, we usually opt to use the transaxillary augmentation procedure on the side that does not need the lift. This creates a small 3-4 cm incision in the armpit. Either a gummy implant, silicone, or saline implant can be put in through this approach.
On the sagging side, a lollipop incision breast lift is performed and the same size and type implant is put in directly under the muscle through these incisions. No other incisions are necessary.
The procedure takes about 90 minutes to perform and patients are usually able to return to work in 5-7 days.
The procedure is performed in our AAAHC certified office surgery center while the patient is asleep with a deep twilight anesthesia.