The Causes and Treatment of Breast Asymmetry (Uneven Breasts)

The condition of breast asymmetry or uneven breasts is much more common than most people think.  As a Plastic and Reconstructive breast surgeon in Wisconsin, I would guess that approximately 65% of the women that I have examined have some form of breast asymmetry.  Breast asymmetry is defined as a difference of form, position or volume of the breast and in most cases the difference between the breasts is about ½ cup but occasionally may be a 1 to 2 cup size difference.  It is also interesting to note that this condition can cause some rather significant psychological problems, as noted in a recent study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  The causes are unknown but I feel the four main reasons that we see this condition are:

  • First, would be a hereditary cause, where this is passed down from generation to generation.
  • Second breast feeding on one breast more than the other can cause differences in size.
  • Third and thankfully less common is the presence of a breast mass.
  • Fourth, a deformity of the Chest wall may also contribute to displacement of the breast leading to the perception of asymmetry

The treatment for uneven breasts is dependent upon the severity of the condition.  Listed below are the three most common conditions and their recommended treatment.

  • Mild Asymmetry with no evidence of breast sagging …. A small augmentation (breast implant) of the smaller breast would usually be sufficient.
  • Larger breasts with some evidence of breast sagging on the larger side….. A breast lift of the larger breast.
  • Much larger breasted female with a significant asymmetry…. A breast reduction on the larger side.

The procedure for the treatment of breast asymmetry is:

  • Usually done under a general anesthetic in our office
  • The surgery takes about 2 hours to perform
  • A return to normal activity takes about 2 weeks, depending on the type of procedure done
  • This is usually considered as a cosmetic procedure and is therefore not covered by insurance.

Patient presented with significant breast asymmetry. Underwent

Bilateral Breast Lift.. Post-operative photograph at 4 months


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