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Most people realize breast asymmetry includes situations where the breasts are drastically different in size. However, breast asymmetry may also include situations such as uneven nipples or shape of the breasts differing. One study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons indicated surgical procedures designed to correct breast asymmetry can result in a significant increase in self esteem for women who suffer from breast asymmetry.
Women who have uneven nipples may feel self conscious about their appearance and may find selecting clothing to attempt to mask the condition to be frustrating. Additionally, they may be uncomfortable wearing form fitting clothing, such as a bathing suit ,or changing their clothes in a gym locker room or other communal location for women. Fortunately, there are surgical procedures which can help to correct uneven nipples. These procedures can be performed to relocate one or both of the nipples or to change the size and the shape of the nipple and areola. Typically, there is a short recovery period following the surgery but most women report a remarked sense of relief and a boost in self confidence once they have fully healed from the procedure.
Uneven breasts can result from various types of breast surgery. Procedures such as breast augmentation, breast reduction, breast lift and even breast reconstruction can all result in breasts which are asymmetrical in either size or shape. The asymmetry may be a result of errors in judgment by the surgeon, swelling which does not subside, changes in hormones or even capsular contracture. Regardless of the cause of the uneven breasts, many patients may opt to undergo additional types of breast surgery to create more symmetrical breasts. For example, in the case of a breast reduction, the results of the procedure may be that one breast remains noticeably larger than the other. In this case, the patient may opt to undergo an additional breast reduction to make the larger breast smaller or may opt to have an implant placed in the smaller breast to make the smaller breast match the larger one.
Other procedures such as breast lifts and breast augmentations may also result in breast asymmetry. When this occurs the patient can discuss the options with the surgeon to determine which additional procedures will be most beneficial. However, patients who are hoping to avoid the need for additional surgeries should seek out a qualified surgeon with a great deal of experience in performing breast surgeries. This will help to minimize the possibility of surgeon error leading to the need for additional surgeries to correct asymmetry.
The need for additional breast surgeries to correct uneven breasts may be evident as soon as the swelling from the first procedure subsides. However, in other cases, the patient may not need additional surgeries right away but may find breast asymmetry develops within the first three years after the initial procedure.
According to a study conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), undergoing surgery to correct breast asymmetry had a significant effect on the self esteem and quality of life of the women who participated in the study. The findings of this study were released in October 2006 at the annual meeting for the ASPS and indicated having even breasts after the surgery had a profound effect on the confidence level and quality of life for those who participated in the study.
This study included 35 patients who underwent a surgical procedure to correct some type of breast asymmetry. Asymmetry may include breasts that are located unevenly on the body or differ in shape and size. The patients in the study were questioned six months post-operatively and all study participants were found to have an overwhelming increase in vitality, mental health and self esteem.
Most women have breasts which are slightly different in size. However, when one breast is significantly larger or smaller than the other, it may cause problems and the patient may opt to undergo a surgical procedure to make the breasts more even in size. Uneven breast size, which is noticeable by the patient but not likely detectable by others, is usually not a cause for concern. However, when the uneven breast size is obvious to others, such as in a case when there is a difference of a cup size or more, the patient may begin to feel self conscious about her appearance. This can lead to a pronounced lack of self esteem.
Patients who are considering correcting the asymmetry of the breasts may do so by either undergoing a breast augmentation procedure or a breast reduction procedure. In the case of an augmentation, the smaller breast will be enhanced, while a reduction will involve removing fat or breast tissue from the larger breast. The patient will have to make the decision to undergo an augmentation or a reduction and will likely make the choice based on which breast size is proportional to the body. Whichever option the patient chooses, it is wise to wait until breast development is complete before undergoing a surgical procedure to make the breasts more evenly sized.
Patients who have breasts which are normally symmetrical and become asymmetrical should consult their doctor as changes in breast size could be a symptom of a more serious condition. Changes in breast size may result from a number of different causes such as breast feeding, hormonal changes or the presence of noncancerous cells. However, a noticeable change in breast size can also indicate the presence of breast cancer.
Patients who are concerned about breast asymmetry may consider breast surgery to create more symmetrical breasts. While slight asymmetry is extremely common, women who suffer from pronounced asymmetry of the breasts may be quite self conscious about their appearance. Fortunately, there are a number of breast surgery options available for women who want to create more symmetry in the breasts.
Breasts which are asymmetrical in terms of placement on the body can also be corrected through breast surgery. This may include breasts in which one sags significantly lower than the other. To correct this asymmetry, a lift of the lower breast may be required. Additionally, relocation of the nipple and areola may also be necessary to achieve symmetry.
Patients who opt out of having a breast surgery to correct uneven breasts have some options available to them. This may include patients who developed breasts which were asymmetrical and patients who lost a significant amount of breast tissue during a mastectomy to eliminate cancerous cells. While in both cases the patient may opt to undergo a surgical procedure to produce breasts which are symmetrical, patients who opt to forgo these types of procedures may use clothing to mask the asymmetry.
Mastectomy bras can be used when breasts are asymmetrical in size. Mastectomy bras are designed for either bilateral mastectomies or mastectomies of only one breast. These specially-designed bras have a pocket where an insert can be placed to create the appearance of a larger breast. For women who are embarrassed by breast asymmetry, but do not want to undergo surgery, this can be an ideal option to boost self esteem. It is also a viable option for cancer patients who are not eligible for breast reconstruction surgery for reasons like the need for additional cancer treatments, obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes. In these cases, the patient may not be able to have reconstruction surgery until the other health concerns are addressed. However, in the meantime, garments such as mastectomy bras can help to make them feel less embarrassed about their appearance.
Still, other patients may opt to make no special attempt to mask their breast asymmetry. For these patients, uneven breasts may not be a source of embarrassment or cause a loss in self esteem. These patients may continue to live happy and fulfilling lives despite the breast asymmetry.
There are a number of different options available to patients who wish to undergo a breast surgery to improve breast asymmetry. These breast surgery options are available to both men and women, as applicable. In general, there are two options available for correcting breast asymmetry which involves breasts of different sizes. The patient may choose to have the larger breast reduced or to have the smaller breast augmented. The patient should make this decision based on personal preference and input from the surgeon regarding which breast size would be more proportional to the body. For example, the surgeon may advise the patient that augmenting the smaller breast to the size of the larger breast is not recommended because the larger breasts may result in back, neck or shoulder pain in the future. In this case, a breast reduction of the larger breast would be recommended and a breast lift may also be required as fat or breast tissue is removed from the larger breast. However, if the larger breast is proportional to the frame of the body it might be worthwhile to use a silicone or saline implant to augment the smaller breast and create symmetry.
Another asymmetry problem is the sagging of one breast, while the other breast remains significantly higher than the other. The breast surgery which may be most beneficial is a breast lift procedure to lift the sagging breast to a more youthful and natural position. If the breasts are relatively the same size and the sagging of one breast is the only difference, a simple breast lift procedure should help to create symmetry of the breasts.
There are still other breast surgery options available for patients who have other asymmetry problems, such as uneven nipples or breasts which are shaped differently. In these cases, a breast surgery to relocate one or both of the nipples or a surgery to change the shape of one or both of the breasts may be required to achieve the desired level of symmetry.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|