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Can breast implants correct breast asymmetry?

by Hamawy, Adam

Mammary asymmetry means that one breast is either larger or shaped differently than the other. It’s fairly common, and most women have mammary asymmetry to some degree (though it’s often so slight, it’s not detectable in a bra/clothing). But either way, if you feel like you have uneven breasts, you’re not alone! Let’s look at two aspects of mammary asymmetry: correcting it with breast implants, and avoiding it after breast implant surgery.

Correcting Mammary Asymmetry With Implants

There are many degrees of mammary asymmetry. If you have an extreme case (one breast is very noticeably larger than the other), you may want to think about breast implant surgery. Regarding correcting mammary asymmetry, there’s a case to be made for saline implants, and a case to be made for silicone. You’ll need to consult with a surgeon who can guide you in the decision.

Whichever you choose, you and your surgeon will need to think carefully about whether or not you use different size implants. If you choose saline, the surgeon might put more saline in one side in order to correct your asymmetry. This only works if you have minor differences in breast size. If the surgeon fills the implants with significantly different amounts of saline, your breasts may be the same size, but one will be firmer than the other. If your surgeon uses two different size implants (actual implant shells that are different sizes), then the implant dimensions such as base diameter will be different, and you may not get the results you want. There will always be trade-offs, and implants won’t be able to give you perfectly symmetrical breasts. If your case of mammary asymmetry is severe, your surgeon may take a different course altogether, and use a reconstructive or reduction technique, combined with implants.

Asymmetry After Surgery

The other time mammary asymmetry can occur is after breast implant surgery. There are a few reasons this can happen. It may be an error on the part of the surgeon. There are various types of incisions the surgeon can make to place the implants (see “What are the different incisions that can be made?”). If the surgeon uses the through-the-belly-button approach, you may be at greater risk for mammary asymmetry because it’s a long way from the incision site to the placement of the implants, and it’s easier to make an error. Mammary asymmetry can also happen as a side effect of healing; the implants may settle differently in the chest. It can be very slight (you may not even notice it, especially when wearing a bra), or more problematic.

Depending on the severity, you may need another cosmetic surgery to correct it. The surgeon may need to reposition the implants altogether. Or, if it’s a case of one breast appearing too high, you may just need some scar tissue from that side removed (a relatively simple procedure). If the implant has settled too low, the surgeon may need to reconstruct the pocket that the implant sits in, which is a more extensive procedure.

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Princeton Plastic Surgeons, based in the New Jersey area, boasts board-certified surgeons who specialize in procedures such as facelifts, breast lifts, breast augmentations, and tummy tucks.

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