Breast Augmentation for Uneven Breasts: 5 Things You Should Know
Submitted by Dr. Fasching on Thu 09/12/2019 - 00:00
Breast asymmetry can be a source of distress for women, often affecting the clothes they wear and their self-esteem. While it is perfectly normal to have breasts that are slightly different in shape and size, some women’s breasts are so asymmetric, finding a bra that fits can be difficult.
It is estimated that 25-50 percent of all women express some concern over uneven breasts. Fortunately, there is a solution; breast augmentation.
What Causes Uneven Breasts?
Understanding breast anatomy can help shed some light on breast asymmetry. Breasts are actually glands that are made up of 15-20 lobes, and within each lobe contain smaller structures called lobules where milk is produced. Breast lobes are connected together via a network of tiny tubes called ducts, which come together into larger ducts that eventually exit the skin in the nipple, facilitating the release of breast milk.
Breast shape is dictated by connective tissue and ligaments found within the breast surrounding its various structures. Changes in the size and shape of breast lobes and other factors can affect the connective tissue of the breast, leading to changes in beast shape and asymmetry in breast appearance.
The term breast asymmetry refers to having one breast that is different in size, volume, position, or form from the other. Nearly half of all women have some degree of breast asymmetry as the shape of a woman’s breast can change over time. Trauma, puberty, and even hormonal changes throughout a women’s life can affect breast tissue in various ways affecting shape and volume. Ovulation and pregnancy can actually make breasts grow larger due to water retention and increased blood flow. Once these stages of a women’s life have completed, breasts do their best to return to normal shape and size.
Not all cases of breast asymmetry are so common, however, as in the case of Juvenile Breast Hypertrophy. Considered a relatively rare condition, juvenile breast hypertrophy can cause one breast of adolescent girls to grow significantly larger than the other, often leading to considerable distress and mental anguish during this sensitive period in a girl’s life. These young women often face social issues secondary to poor fitting clothes, trouble exercising, and public scrutiny due to their breast asymmetry.
While small differences in breast size and shape are generally nothing to be concerned about, having one breast that is one or more cup sizes greater than the other causes psychological distress. There are options to correct this asymmetry, however. Breast augmentation is the most long-lasting solution to breast-related concerns.
What Is Breast Augmentation?
Considered the most popular cosmetic surgery in the United States, breast augmentation can enhance the appearance of your breasts, correct asymmetry, and improve overall self-confidence by placing implants under the breast tissue or the chest muscle.
There are several different kinds of breast implants available today, all of which enlarge and/or shape the breasts. However, not all implants are made equally, with advantages and disadvantages depending on the type you ultimately choose. The following are some of the most common breast implants used today.
- Silicone Implants: This form of implant has the distinction of looking and feeling the most natural. This is due to the fact that silicone implants are comprised of a silicone shell filled with silicone gel, a think, sticky fluid that closely resembles the feel of real breast tissue. However, due to the structure of this form of implant, larger incisions are required to properly situate them during surgery. Choosing a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon can help reduce the appearance of scars or make them easily hidden by clothing.
- Saline Implants: This form of implant is the best choice if you want to reduce the overall appearance of scars, as only a small incision is required to insert the implant, which is then inflated with saline solution. Essentially a silicone shell filled with saltwater, saline breast implants are available for women as young as 18. Saline implant rupture will also leave the tell-tale sign of a deflated breast size, but the body will absorb the saline and dispense with it with no ill effects.
- Cohesive Gel “Gummy Bear” Implant: One of the newest forms of breast implant, this implant retains its shape better while leaving breasts naturally soft to the touch. Comprised of a silicone shell filled with a more cohesive type of silicone, gummy bear implants maintain their shape in cases of shell rupture or breakage, much like a gummy bear candy would if cut in half.
How Do I Prepare For Breast Augmentation?
An initial consultation will be arranged with Dr. Fasching before you are scheduled to undergo surgery. We’ll discuss your expectations and determine if your overall health will be a factor in performing the surgery. A typical consultation will comprise of a complete review of your medical history, including past and present medical conditions. A physical exam helps us determine the best breast augmentation options for you, taking into consideration the quality, tone, and laxity of your breast tissue.
Dr. Fasching will also inform you of the risks and benefits involved when performing breast augmentation to better prepare you for the recovery period.
Additional preparation may include:
- Being at a healthy weight: Being of normal weight reduces your risk of complication during and after the surgery
- Arranging for a friend or family member to help you post-surgery: Having someone to take you home and stay with you as you recover is ideal during the recovery period.
- Quitting smoking: Smoking can reduce blood flow and slow down the healing process.
- Avoiding certain medication: Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, and various types of herbal medication will need to be avoided to decrease bleeding risk.
- Obtaining a baseline mammogram: Often recommended to identify any potential changes to breast tissue several months after the procedure.
What can I Expect after Breast Asymmetry Surgery?
It is important to allow your body to rest after receiving breast augmentation, as you will need to conserve your energy to ensure the healing process goes smoothly. It is recommended to take at least one week off of work or any other type of major responsibility to help limit the time spent on your feet.
A typical breast augmentation procedure can take about two hours to complete, depending on the type of implant received and surgical techniques utilized. Despite being an invasive procedure, most patients are able to return home that very day with a family member or friend who can take you home safely and stay with you for the initial 24 hours after having undergone breast augmentation.
During the first few days, you will experience some pain and swelling of your surgical incision sites. This is normal and with go away with time as your body heals. Pain medication will be prescribed to ease any discomfort you experience. You may also be required to wear a surgical bra at all times for several days post-surgery as these garments provide implant stability, increase circulation, and can prevent edema (the accumulation of fluid).
You can expect to be able to perform light exercise about two weeks after your surgery. This may include walking and gentle aerobics. Rigorous upper body workouts, running, and weight lifting should be postponed for at least a six weeks after getting your implants.
Generally, after two months, most patients are able to resume all normal activities. However, Dr. Fasching is the only one qualified to assess how far along your healing has progressed. It is vital that you maintain regularly scheduled follow-up visits and adhere to all of Dr. Fasching’s instructions after having undergone breast augmentation surgery to ensure proper healing and limited complications.
Are There Alternative Options to Correct Breast Asymmetry?
Breast augmentation isn’t the only procedure that works for patients with uneven breasts. These alternatives may work for you:
Breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty) can be a suitable option for uneven breasts if you are happy with the overall size of the smaller breast; with the plastic surgeon only having to reduce the size of the larger breast to make it proportionate to the other. Breast reduction for asymmetric breast sizes can work especially well if your breasts relatively the same shape but differently sized.
Breast reduction surgery removes excess breast tissue, fat, and skin in order to reduce their overall size and shape. The procedure can also be used to reduce the size of the areola as well. Occasionally liposuction may be used in conjunction with breast reduction surgery to aid in the removal of fatty breast tissue or can even be used alone if excess skin isn’t an issue.
Breast reduction can remedy more than unevenness. Neck, shoulder, and back pain caused by having significantly large breasts are thought to be due to changes in a woman’s center of gravity. These issues can lead to prolonged bending postures and continued tension of the muscles in the upper back and shoulder region.
Over time, pregnancy, weight fluctuations, and the effects of gravity can change the appearance of a woman’s breast, leading them to appear deflated, saggy, and often asymmetric. Breast lift (mastopexy) procedures can improve breast shape while size enough to make them even. This is achieved by removing excess skin and tissue of the breast and lifting breast tissue. However, if an increase or decrease in breast size is desired, breast lift procedures can be done in combination with breast augmentation or breast reduction.
With the expert guidance and artistic skill of Dr. Michael Fasching, a highly recognized plastic surgeon, you can achieve stunning natural-looking breasts that are larger, fuller, and provide symmetry to your unique body type.
To learn more about breast augmentation and other surgical procedures to correct breast asymmetry, schedule a personalized consultation with Dr. Michael Fasching. Located in Plymouth, MN, Dr. Fasching is committed to helping you realize your true beauty potential. Call (763) 577-7500 today!