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Breast Asymmetry

Most women have slightly asymmetrical breasts. Usually this difference in breast size or shape is quite unnoticeable and perfectly normal.  Our bodies are never completely symmetrical, for example, our feet are often slightly different in size.  However, when it comes to significant breast asymmetry, this can make you feel self conscious and embarrassed.  Often the shape and size of your breasts is determined throughout puberty, a time when we are sensitive about the way our bodies are changing.  To experience different sized breasts at this point in your life can be difficult to accept.  As well as changed in puberty, breast feeding later in life can also change the appearance of our breasts, causing one to differ from the other.

It is important to remember that breast asymmetry is a common problem and if this is affecting the way you live your life, surgery may be an option. Depending on the look you desire there are various different options to consider if you decide to have surgery.  Mr Ghattaura would help you decide which one is right for you at your consultation.  Techniques to symmetrise the breasts include:

   •  Putting an implant in the smaller breast to match the larger breast

   •  Having a breast reduction on the larger side to match the smaller breast

   •  Using different size and/ or shape implants in each breast

   •  The procedure you have is tailor-made to suit your specific needs. 

What is involved in the procedure?

Once you have decided to go ahead with surgery, you will decide on a date that is suitable for you.  You will generally need to stay in hospital for 1 night following surgery to ensure you feel well rested and pain free after the surgery. 

If you have an implant(s), a small incision is made under the breast fold and a pocket is made under the muscle or breast tissue.  This allows a space for the implant to be inserted into position.  This procedure should take around 1 hour.

If you have a breast reduction on one side, this involves removing excess tissue and skin from the breast and re-positioning the nipple to reshape the breast in the most natural way.  You will usually have a scar around the nipple, a vertical scar running down from the bottom of the nipple to the fold beneath the breast, and finally a scar along the bottom fold of the breast.  This procedure will take around 2 hours.

For both procedures you will have a general anaesthetic, so you will sleep throughout the entire operation.  Dressings will be applied once the surgery is finished, and you will need to wear a soft supportive sports style bra for 6 weeks afterwards. 

Time to Recover

During the first week of recovery you will need plenty of rest and limited movement to allow your body to heal.  You will probably need to take two weeks off from your normal work or busy routine.  After one week, you will return to hospital to have your dressings removed.  Post surgery you will need to take it easy for 4 weeks.  After this time you can expect to return to your normal life, including exercise. 

Breast asymmetry surgery is extremely common and can have a really positive effect on your confidence and well being.  Ultimately, you should be able to find that perfect bra without the feeling it doesn’t fit properly, which will in turn make your clothes feel and look so much better.  

Available at HMT Sancta Maria, Spire Cardiff Hospital, Nuffield Health and BMI Werndale

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