Breast Surgery for
Serving Chicago, Illinois
Symmetry is considered one of the essential elements of beauty. Scientific studies of the subject have shown that people respond positively to symmetry of the face and body. Although perfect symmetry is not the norm or the goal, and minor asymmetry is well tolerated or even deemed beautiful, significant variations from the norm may have undesirable consequences. Unfortunately, breast asymmetry is common, and often rises to the level of aesthetic detriment. Fortunately, though, breast asymmetry can be managed using a variety of plastic surgery techniques.
Breast asymmetry, in which one breast is larger or differently shaped than the other, affects both men and women. It is the result of many different possible causes, including:
- Congenital breast asymmetry, or breast asymmetry from birth and/or developmental processes, including asymmetrical virginal hypertrophy, in which a young woman has excessive sudden growth of one breast, and may require corrective surgery before the age of 18
- Uneven Gynecomastia in men
- Degenerative breast asymmetry in which both breasts are initially the same size, but one breast shrinks as a result of a localized disease or condition
- Acquired breast asymmetry as a result of
- Mastitis (breast infection)
- Uneven development during or atrophy after pregnancy/breastfeeding
- Weight fluctuations resulting in uneven deposition or removal of fat in breasts
- Exercise-related changes in breast size or shape
- Surgery for mastitis or other conditions including mastectomy of one breast as a result of cancer diagnosis
- Aging in which breasts respond to age differently
Breast asymmetry can be corrected using breast reduction on the larger breast, breast augmentation on the smaller breast, or a combination of both to produce breasts that are more similar in size and shape. A breast lift can be done to correct sagging in either breast. Other breast deformities can be corrected at the same time, including tuberous breasts and inverted nipple, and large nipples can be corrected using nipple reduction. Many individuals request correction of asymmetrically enlarged areolae.
No matter what the causes of breast asymmetry, breast surgery options are available for treatment.
Correction of asymmetry does not reduce the risk of cancer. Women with breast asymmetry are encouraged to undergo regular cancer screenings. If breast augmentation is part of the corrective procedure for breast asymmetry, submuscular breast implant placement can increase the effectiveness of screening post-surgery.
Breast Asymmetry Questions
What is breast asymmetry?
Breast asymmetry is when one breast size differs significantly from the other. This can be related to size, shape or both.
Why is breast symmetry important?
Both scientists and artists agree: symmetry is a major factor in determination of beauty. Faces and bodies are recognized as beautiful when symmetrical qualities exist.
While even Hollywood stars may have minor asymmetry, when great symmetrical variations exist, one might pursue a cosmetic solution to enhance their self-esteem and desirability.
How is breast asymmetry caused?
Numerous factors can influence breast development and result in unevenly sized and shaped breasts, including:
- Localized disease or condition – Also known as degenerative breast asymmetry, this occurs when breasts begin similar in size but one shrinks due to a disease or breast condition
- Natural aging – Each breast can react differently to gravity and other natural stressors of aging
- Drastic weight change – Either excessive weight gain or loss can cause an uneven gain or removal of breast fat
- Asymmetrical virginal hypertrophy – When a pubescent woman experiences excessive, sudden growth in one breast
- A bodies response after breast feeding and/or pregnancy can result in an uneven, redistribution of breast tissue
Does breast asymmetry increase cancer risks?
Yes. The risk of cancer development increases in women with breast asymmetry 1.5 times for each 100ml increase in asymmetry.
Will correcting breast asymmetry through reconstructive surgery decrease breast cancer risk?
No. Women with breast asymmetry should regularly undergo cancer screenings. For women who choose to correct their asymmetry through breast augmentation, Dr. Otto Placik can place the breast implants below the pectoral muscles to increase mammogram accuracy.
How can breast asymmetry be corrected?
Dr. Placik will examine your medical history and current breast condition to determine available, surgical solutions for your breast asymmetry. Common procedures include one or more of the following:
- Breast reduction on the larger breast
- Breast augmentation on the smaller breast
- Breast lift for the ptotic breast
- A combination of any of the above in order to reshape breasts to a desirable shape and volume
In addition to correcting breast size, women may choose to reconstruct their nipple to properly proportion nipple and breast size. Larger nipples can be corrected through nipple reduction and smaller nipples can be increased in size through areola tattooing.
Each instance of breast asymmetry is unique and requires a breast consultation in the Chicago, Illinois office of Dr. Placik, plastic surgeon, to determine what cosmetic solutions are available to you. Please contact our plastic surgery office today to schedule your personal consultation.