Breast Asymmetry

Asymmetry is a compound word. It comes from two Greek words “a” and “symmetry” and means lack of symmetry. Breast asymmetry means lack of breast symmetry.

Breast asymmetry can refer to lack of symmetric breast volume, breast shape, nipples, nipple areolar complexes and other details of the breasts. Breast asymmetry can be congenital, developmental, acquired and post-partum (after childbirth).

Congenital breast asymmetry means that are congenital reasons affecting breast symmetry. Usually congenital breast asymmetry involves other parts of the body anatomy. A common example I see in congenital breast asymmetry is Poland’s syndrome.  Poland’s syndrome refers to the incomplete development of the muscles and breast of one side of the body. The other side is unaffected. So in the affected side the breast is underdeveloped and also the associated breast muscles behind the breast are underdeveloped. In some cases the upper arm muscles can be underdeveloped as well.

Developmental breast asymmetry refers to changes that occur in the breasts during development especially puberty. These are common and typically are isolated meaning they affect only the breasts and breast structures.

Acquired breast asymmetry refers to the fact that breasts can be uneven because of prior breast surgery. A breast lift, or breast reduction or breast augmentation can leave the breasts uneven following surgery.  This is a common reason why patients consult me for breast revision.

Post-Partum breast asymmetry refers simply to the fact that during pregnancy and after childbirth the breasts go through many changes primarily due to the effect of the estrogens. The breast changes that occur as a result make patients want to have breast asymmetry correction in combination with a breast lift a breast augmentation.

By nature most women have some degree of breast asymmetry. Very rarely do I see breasts that are perfectly symmetric. I always point out to them what exactly the differences are between their breasts especially when I do a breast augmentation. When a woman has a breast augmentation the differences of the breasts can appear magnified because simply the breasts are larger.  Every time I perform a breast augmentation I get to improve on breast symmetry.

When I perform the breast lift, breast augmentation or breast reduction procedures one of the main goals of the surgery is to create breast symmetry.

The main areas of Breast asymmetry are:

1)   Asymmetry of the shape. Uneven breast shapes.

2)   Asymmetry of the breast volume. Uneven volumes

3)   Asymmetry of the nipples. Uneven nipples. Uneven nipple size.

4)   Asymmetry of the nipple-areolar complexes. Uneven areolas.

5)   Asymmetry of the inframammary folds.


The main goals of breast asymmetry are to correct all the underlying reasons that create breast asymmetry.


How do I correct Breast Asymmetry?

To properly correct breast asymmetry I properly identify the causes and then treat them.

Breast asymmetry can be corrected by a breast augmentation, breast lift or mastopexy, breast reduction and augmentation/mastopexy together. The right choice of procedure varies from one patient to another.  The incisions to correct breast asymmetry have to do with the choice of operation. I prefer minimal incision procedures.

The degree of breast asymmetry is important for the final result of the breast procedure. If there are severe degrees of breast asymmetry then more than one operation may be needed to achieve ideal symmetry.

A special kind of breast asymmetry is called “Tubular Breast Deformity” or “Tuberous Breast Deformity”.  There are many different presentations to his condition. Therefore what I do for each patient is different. The principles of treatment of “Tuberous Breast Deformity” are:

1)   Make the Nipple-Areolar Complex smaller.

2)   Add breast volume with a breast implant.

3)   Make the breast round as opposed to a tube shape.

4)   Add volume to the lower part of the breast also called Lower breast pole.

5)   Lower the infra-mammary breast fold.

Breast asymmetry correction requires a plastic surgeon with skill in both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.