Frequently, women considering breast augmentation near Phoenix ask me whether this procedure can correct breast asymmetry. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I feel that my goal for breast augmentation in most women is not just to make their breasts fuller – it is also an opportunity for me to improve their breast shape and symmetry.
Studies have shown that some degree of breast asymmetry is present in nearly all women. I can confirm these studies with my own experience seeing thousands of patients in my office. Breast asymmetry can include differences in the size or position of the areolas, the breast size and shape, the position of the inframammary creases (folds under the breasts), ribcage size and projection, or some combination of these things. As volume is added to breasts with implants, the degree of asymmetry is magnified unless care is taken to correct the differences.
Although some degree of asymmetry will persist after surgery, it is imperative for a surgeon to understand what differences exist before surgery and make plans to improve this in the operating room. In many cases, patients are not aware of their asymmetry before surgery. However, once the differences are pointed out, they will be more aware of the attention to detail needed to provide the best postoperative results.
The way I determine asymmetry is mostly though observation. During the initial exam, I measure the patient’s breasts, the distances to the nipples, the inframammary fold positions, and I assess the overall breast appearance on each side. I also ask patients if they feel one breast is bigger than the other in their bra or bathing suits. I also evaluate the patients’ ribcage shape and angles, and during surgery I assess each patient lying down from below to check the ribcage projection.
During surgery, I use implant sizers to double check what the real implants will look like before I make a final selection. I often check multiple shapes and sizes to ensure the best appearance. In patients that have a breast size asymmetry, I use a larger implant on the smaller breast side, or I remove a little breast tissue from the larger side depending on the situation. I also make internal adjustments to the inframmamary folds from inside the breast pockets, and I frequently adjust the nipple/areola positions as well.
When all of these variables are evaluated and addressed during surgery, significant improvements in breast symmetry can be achieved. Perfect symmetry is not a realistic goal, but if a surgeon pays attention to the details, breasts can not only made bigger, but better as well.