Are you worrying about breasts that are not symmetrical, specifically breast asymmetry? You are not alone. Many women’s breasts are uneven or are a slightly different size or shape. Having uneven nipples or breasts is not usually something to worry about. In fact, most women have a small amount of difference between their breasts and it does not cause problems or need correction.
Understanding Breast Asymmetry
While breast asymmetry can be normal, if you notice sudden or progressive changes in your breasts it may be a sign of breast cancer. This is when to seek professional input. Make an appointment to see your doctor to find out why.
Your doctor will base any diagnosis of breast asymmetry on a physical examination and your medical history. If they suspect a mass, they will order diagnostic procedures, such as a mammogram, especially if there is a family history of breast cancer.
For breast asymmetries that are long-standing, such as from puberty, or after breast feeding, then it is a functional or cosmetic issue. While that is the case, it may make you feel self-conscious, can make bra and cloth fitting difficult or cause back, neck or shoulder pain.
Causes of breast asymmetry
During adolescence, your breasts may develop at a different rate so can look asymmetrical until they have completely grown or can stay that way throughout your life.
Also, when your body experiences hormonal changes your breasts can change:
- During your menstrual cycle
- When your are going through menopause
- With the use of birth control pills
- During pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
If hormonal changes cause breast asymmetry, such as changes in the shape or size, or feel lumpy or they lose tissue, they should return to normal. But if the do not, see your doctor to check for any underlying medical problems.
Underlying medical conditions that can cause breast asymmetry include:
- Poland syndromewhere your chest muscle and breast fails to develop properly. This is a rare condition.
- Constricted (Tuberous) breast deformity – this develops at puberty, with “triangular” narrow breasts, large areolae and “saggy” breast, often both sides and often with asymmetry.
Other causes of breast asymmetry include:
- Weight loss or gain
- Previous breast surgery
- Problems with posture
- A traumatic injury.
If you want to correct your breast asymmetry, consulting a specialist plastic surgeon is your next step. There are a range of options a specialist plastic surgeon can use. Everyone is an individual so each case of breast asymmetry is unique. Your surgeon will make recommendations based on your considerations and expectations to get the best end result. Each breast may need a different technique to get your desired results.
The most common surgical procedures include:
- Breast reduction.Breast reduction surgery is also called a reduction mammoplasty. Its purpose is to remove excess skin and tissue to correct its size when the other breast is significantly smaller. During the procedure, the surgeon reshapes and lifts one or both breasts, so they have symmetry and balance.
- Breast augmentation.During breast augmentation surgery, the surgeon inserts implants to improve the shape and size of the breasts, either a single implant into the smaller breast, or two different implants to achieve the same overall size and shape.
- Areola/nipple reshaping.Areola/nipple reshaping surgery corrects their position when they move because of breasts that are drooping or stretched skin.
- Breast lift.Breast lift surgery tightens the underlying breast tissue and removes excess skin in drooping or sagging breasts. A breast lift can also be used in combination with other procedures, such as a breast reduction or augmentation, to get the best results, if required.
- A combination of these surgeries.For more complicated breast asymmetries, a mix of the above procedures may be needed, usually as a single surgery, but sometimes as 2 “staged” operations.
How to perform breast self-examination
It is important to do a self-assessment of your breasts on a regular basis so you can detect any changes early.
So what do you do? Following are five steps to make checking your breasts simple.
Step 1. Stand in front of a mirror with your hands on your hips
With you hands on your hips, use a mirror to check your breasts. Look to see if your breasts are:
- The same colour, size and shape as usual.
- Shaped evenly and there is no swelling or distortion.
Talk to your doctor if you see:
- Any puckering, bulging skin or dimpling
- Swelling, redness, soreness or a rash
- A nipple has moved position or become inverted instead of sitting out.
Step 2. Lift your arms
Now lift your arms and check for the same changes as listed in Step 1.
Step 3. Check for signs of fluid leakage
While looking into the mirror, check for leaking fluid from your nipples. This can be milky, yellow or watery fluid, or blood.
Step 4. Lie down and check for lumps
While lying down, feel your breasts for any abnormalities or lumps:
- Use your right had to check your left breast and your left hand to check your right breast.
- With the first few fingers sitting flat and together, press firmly.
- Move your fingers in a circular motion across each breast from side to side from under your arm to between each breast, and top to bottom downwards from the collarbone to the top of your abdomen.
Step 5. Stand or sit to check for lumps
Use the same method as in Step 4 while sitting or standing. It can be easy to do this while in the shower.
Make sure you are having regular mammograms and completing breast self-assessments to check for any changes.
Pure Aesthetics corrects breast asymmetry Sydney so if you have asymmetric breasts and are thinking of having surgery, schedule an in person consultation with a specialist plastic surgeon today. One of our skilled surgeons will examine you and discuss the options that will give you the best outcome.