Minor differences between breasts are very common and considered normal. Surgery may be considered when there are more obvious variations in the size, shape and/or position of the breasts and the nipples.
Breast asymmetry correction surgery is performed to minimise symptomatic differences between the breasts. The asymmetry can occur naturally with each breast developing differently or it may be the result of previous surgery or medical treatments such as radiotherapy. Depending on the amount of difference between the individual’s breasts and their characteristics, a number of aesthetic and reconstructive breast surgical techniques can be considered to correct breast asymmetry.
Possible surgical options include breast augmentation with a breast implant, breast lift with or without a breast implant, or a breast reduction to one or both breasts. Each breast may have a similar procedure to a differing extent (for example different sized breast implants) or each breast may have a different procedure (such as a breast reduction for the larger breast and a breast augmentation for the smaller breast).
Breasts can change significantly during a woman’s life. Some common reasons include pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight loss, aging and hormonal changes. These changes will potentially impact the size and firmness of the breasts. It is possible that these factors affect the breasts differently following breast asymmetry surgery and further surgery may be necessary in the future to maintain breast symmetry.
At Avery, we welcome the opportunity to have an open conversation with you to understand the changes you are looking for with surgery. Our patients’ stories matter a great deal to us. You can discover some of our wonderful patients’ journeys here.
Wherever you are on your personal journey, we would like to assist you. Dr Avery will listen to your concerns and what you want to achieve with surgery. Dr Avery will assess your health and medical history to ensure any surgical procedure you are considering is a safe and appropriate choice for you.
There are two main pathways to a consultation with a Specialist Plastic Surgeon. Your GP or another health practitioner can make a referral to Dr Avery. Alternatively, it is possible to refer yourself for a consultation. The decision to have surgery may be made after talking with family or friends or following your own research into plastic surgery and Dr Avery.
The purpose of your initial consultation with Dr Avery is to discuss both your concerns and your goals. It is an opportunity to openly communicate what you want to change, alleviate, improve, restore, enhance, or remove. We will discuss any concerns you may have about your potential surgery and its outcome. We will also collect information that is specific and tailored to you, to add to the knowledge you acquired through your research outside of the consultation process.
When you arrive at Avery, you will check in with our front-desk team and complete a medical history form, if not already completed. We encourage you to bring a supportive family member or friend who can remain with you throughout the consultation if you like, and be a sounding board during your decision-making process following the consultation.
The consultation with Dr Avery will include an examination of the area of your body that you are concerned with and considering changing. Our aim will be to determine if plastic surgery can achieve what you hope it will, and if so, what specific plastic surgery procedures will address your concerns and meet your expectations in a realistic way.
Plastic surgery procedures generally impact both physical appearance and your psychological response to the new changes in your body. Besides all the advantages of having plastic surgery, it is important to be fully aware of any potential limitations of the operation and how they apply to your unique situation. This includes possible complications and what can be done if these occur.
We will discuss what the surgery involves, how it relates to you specifically given your uniqueness and current state of health, what the possible risks of the surgery are, and then decide if having the surgery is a safe and appropriate choice for you as an individual.
After your consultation, our support team will be there to talk through any further questions you have, including the cost of the surgery.
At Avery, our goal is to ensure you are equipped with the knowledge needed for you to feel empowered throughout the decision-making process, surgery and post-surgery.
Breast Asymmetry Correction Surgery will typically take between 1-3 hours depending on the nature of the procedure, and if surgery will be performed on one or both breasts. The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and the patient may require surgical drains following surgery which are generally removed prior to leaving the hospital.
This surgery may involve a series of procedures that will vary between people. The techniques and surgeries will be determined by the patient and their goals. These are some of the potential procedures involved:
Breast reduction surgery involves a combination of skin and breast tissue removal and reshaping. The surgery aims to reduce the size and weight of large breasts by lifting the breasts off the lower chest and upper abdomen. The objective is to leave the breasts smaller and lighter, sitting higher on the chest and closer to the body.
Discover here what is involved in breast reduction surgery and how this surgical procedure can help to address physical limitations and discomfort.
Augmentation mammoplasty, commonly referred to as breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that aims to increase the size, shape, or fullness of the breast using implants. Individuals might consider this surgery when they want to restore their breast volume lost after weight reduction or pregnancy, achieve a more rounded breast shape or improve their natural breast size asymmetry.
Visit the breast augmentation surgery section to learn more about what to expect from this surgery.
A breast lift or mastopexy aims to create or restore fuller and firmer breasts by raising the breasts on the chest and reshaping them. Women who experience changes in the position or firmness and fullness of the breasts through the process of pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuation and ageing may benefit from a breast lift.
Get a deeper understanding of what is involved during breast lift surgery here.
Breast lift surgery with breast implants combines the benefits of breast augmentation surgery with a breast lift. The aim is to increase volume, shape and fullness (breast augmentation) while raising the position and altering the shape of the breast.
Breast asymmetry can be performed as a day procedure or with a short hospital stay following surgery. Depending on the complexity of the surgery, up to 3 weeks off work may be recommended.
We encourage our patients to have another adult stay with them during the first night after surgery and have a person to drive you back home.
After breast asymmetry surgery, you will be required to wear a supportive surgical bra for 4–6 weeks to provide support and reduce post-operative pain or swelling, which generally subsides about two weeks after the surgery. After 6 weeks’ recovery you should be able to resume a normal level of physical activity.
A customised pain relief program will be created for you and issued before you leave the hospital. If your circumstances change at any stage during the recovery period, we can adjust the pain medication accordingly.
FAQs (Please also refer to Breast Reduction, Breast Lift and Breast Augmentation)
It is possible that your nipples and/or breast skin might lose sensation partially or completely after surgery. For most women, any change in sensation will be temporary, but in some women, there can be a permanent change in nipple sensation.
All surgical procedures carry a risk of revision surgery. If required early, this may be to correct minor irregularities or issues with scars. Following surgery for breast asymmetry, particularly if implants are used, the composition of each breast may be different and the change that each breast experiences with time may be different. Breast implants also carry a risk of requiring surgery in the future. For these reasons it is possible that further surgery may be required many years after initial breast asymmetry correction.
Typically, it is possible to breastfeed following breast augmentation when it is performed with an incision in the lower breast fold. Dr Avery generally uses this technique.
For most women, it is generally possible to breastfeed following breast reduction surgery. Typically, the nipple and areola will remain attached to the breast tissue maintaining the pathway from the milk-producing part of the gland to the milk ducts in the nipple.
Depending on your personal goals, we can either modify the size of one breast (breast reduction or augmentation) with the intention of matching the other breast or we can modify both to bring them to create symmetry.
There is no increased risk of breast cancer following breast surgery. A relatively new finding is a type of lymphoma known as BIA-ALCL (Breast Implant Associated – Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma). This is a rare condition associated with some types of implants. It will only be an extremely unlikely possibility for those patients who need implants to create breast symmetry.