Breast asymmetry, i.e., when the breasts are different in shape, size, or position, is a common occurrence. In fact, the majority of women have a certain degree of asymmetry in their breasts. However, if this asymmetry is a cause of dissatisfaction, correctional surgery is the way to go.
When the breasts are remarkably different in shape or size, it can seriously impact your look and the way your clothes fit. The embarrassment over body contours can permeate all areas of life, and turn out to be a major self-esteem issue. It might make you feel too conscious while donning your favorite swimwear, or you might start lacking the confidence to pull off your chosen evening dress. A breast asymmetry correctional surgery is the right option for you in such a situation.
And, if you have been considering breast asymmetry correction for quite a while now, there must be so many questions about the procedure clouding your mind. So, let’s give you the answers today to the most pertinent questions regarding the surgery.
What exactly is breast asymmetry correction?
Breast asymmetry correction refers to the procedure of improving the noticeable differences between breasts. It is okay to have minor differences in the appearance of the breasts, but in case of major differences, the shape, position, or size of your breasts can be altered for bringing a more symmetrical look.
Based on the extent of the difference between the breasts and the specific characteristics of the same, a couple of options are available to you:
- Breast augmentation (increasing the size of the smaller breast)
- Breast reduction (reducing the size of the bigger breast)
- Breast life (lifting one or both the breast(s) to a normal position)
- Making both the breasts smaller or bigger
What will breast asymmetry correction surgery do?
This surgical procedure will help in changing the shape, position, or size of the breasts to bring symmetry to their appearance. It might need correctional surgery for making the breasts smaller, bigger, or less drooping. Your breasts will change further with time, and you will possibly need progressive surgeries to maintain the equal appearance of your breasts.
Are you the right candidate for the surgery?
Breast asymmetry correction refers to a highly individualized process that might not suit everyone. You need to talk to an experienced doctor before deciding to go ahead with your decision. Your general health conditions would be assessed by your plastic surgeon to inform you whether the procedure is suitable for you, and thereafter, plan the right course of treatment.
Here are the important things to keep in mind before you think about going for breast asymmetry correction:
- Breast asymmetry correction improves the difference between the breasts during the procedure. But, changes usually occur in the breasts with time, especially when the asymmetry is too pronounced. So, you need to be prepared that further surgeries will be needed to maintain the symmetry.
- Breast implants usually do not last for life. You will require surgery in the future for replacing the implants.
- The results of breast lifting are also not too long-lasting for women who have heavier breasts.
- It is suggested that you wait until breastfeeding, childbirth, and breast development have been completed before going for the asymmetry correction procedure. However, when the asymmetry is too prominent, then one might get the surgery even when young.
- You should try to quit the habit of smoking if you want to get any kind of cosmetic surgery, including breast asymmetry correction. The risk of complications from such surgical procedures is greater for smokers. Besides, smoking is a bad habit that should be left behind anyway!
- If cosmetic surgery is the option you are considering to increase your confidence or change how you feel about your looks, you can consider other options. You can try padded bras and register for the help of a life coach to help yourself.
The surgery might be great option for you when:
- You have set attainable expectations.
- You have no serious health problems.
- Your breasts have completely developed.
- The breasts have a considerable size difference (say, a difference of more than a single cup size).
- Your breasts have a considerable shape difference (one is drooping and has no firmness and shape in comparison with the other)
- One breast appears lower compared to the other.
Keep in mind that the size and shape of the breasts before the surgery will impact the surgery and its outcome.
Does breast asymmetry correction involve anesthesia?
Breast asymmetry correctional surgery might need either local or general anesthesia. The advancements in medical science have made anesthesia effective and safe, but it still carries some risks. So, talk to your anesthetist and plastic surgeon to get more information about this matter.
You will have to inform your anesthetist and surgeon about the regular medications that take or have started taking or any allergies that you might have. You should keep an updated list of the medications you take to show it to the specialists.
Does breast asymmetry correction impact the detection of breast cancer?
Breast implants might affect the detection of cancer through mammography, which is a kind of X-ray. You need to inform the plastic surgeon if you have a family history of breast cancer, have had breast cancer earlier, or are at high risk for breast cancer for some reason or the other.
Even though no strong evidence exists to suggest that implants can increase breast cancer risks, the possibility of such an impact has come up time and again. Thus, it is crucial to get any doctor-recommended tests for breast lumps. Make sure not to miss the follow-up checkups for the same. You should also know how to self-examine the breasts for any signs of lumps.
Will the breast asymmetry correction surgery affect your breastfeeding abilities?
Even though individual cases vary greatly, in general, mothers are allowed to breastfeed after getting breast asymmetry correction. But, in some cases, women might feel a reduction in nipple sensation after the surgery, which makes it hard to get the reflex to let the milk out. Some women might experience a reduced supply of milk. Talk to your plastic surgeon about the matter if you want to breastfeed after the surgery.
Where will the breast asymmetry correction surgery be performed?
Breast asymmetry correction surgery might involve a short stay at the hospital or you might be allowed to go home on the same day. Your surgeon will decide on the right option for your situation based on your health and the extent of the breast surgery.
What should you do before the breast asymmetry correction procedure?
It is crucial that before the surgery, you:
- Are as healthy as you can speed up the recovery process
- Have reached the optimal weight
- Have stopped smoking
- Have checked with the surgeon regarding the medications that might need to be discontinued
You will need to provide your medical history to the plastic surgeon, which would include the details of:
- Any health issues you had/have
- The medications you have taken or are taking
- Any allergies that you might have
You might be asked to stop certain medications, such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and aspirin. Even certain naturopathic substances like ginkgo, garlic, and ginseng are to be stopped because these interfere with anesthesia and clotting. Inform your surgeon if you are taking any of these substances.
You might be given antibiotics before your surgery. The plastic surgeon might also give you certain tests to be done before the surgery, such as X-rays, ECG (Electrocardiograph), or blood tests.
Create a recovery zone in your room. Keep ice packs, pillows, a telephone, and a thermometer within your reach. Arrange a friend or relative to take you from the clinic. Ideally, someone should stay with the patient for twenty-four hours after she comes back home.
The plastic surgeon will give you other preoperative instructions, which you will have to follow closely.
What should you do after your surgery?
There will be bandages on your incision after the surgery. You might be covered in a supportive garment or elastic bandages for minimizing the inflammation and supporting the operation site while healing continues. A thin, small tube might be temporarily put under your skin for draining any excess fluid or blood that might collect.
Take a work leave of a couple of days to rest. Do not go swimming, exercising, or heavy lifting until your surgeon says it’s okay to do so.
Get in touch with your plastic surgeon immediately, if you have:
- Constant bleeding from your incisions
- Increasing redness over the sites of the incision
- A temperature of over 38°C
- Increasing tenderness or pain
- Any other issues that seem to be getting worse
You will get specific instructions from your surgeon about post-surgical care. The instructions will include:
- The ways to take care of the surgical site after the procedure
- Medications to take for faster healing and reducing the risks of complications
- Particular concerns to watch out for in the incision site or the general health of the patient
- Follow-up appointments with the surgeon
You should also keep in mind to ask a few important questions to the surgeon about your recovery period.
- What prescription medication will you need to take after the procedure?
- When will the bandages or dressing be taken off after the surgery?
- When will your stitches get removed?
- When will you be able to get back to your normal exercise and life routine?
- When to come back for the follow-up appointments?
Will there be scars after the surgery?
Any kind of invasive surgery leaves some degree of scars. Your surgeon will try to minimize scars and keep them as undetectable as possible. These scars are mostly hidden right below the crease under your breast, but some scarring might be visible around your areola after the breast lift. These scars will fade gradually as time passes and become less noticeable.
Would there be a need for revisional surgery?
Revisional surgeries are usually not needed. However, in some cases, there might be a need for revisional surgeries. If you are getting an implant after the correctional surgery, keep in mind that the implants don’t last for a lifetime. If the initial asymmetry is major, there is an even greater chance of further changes occurring in the breasts. You will need further surgeries to keep future breast changes in check.
How much will breast asymmetry surgery cost?
Cost is a major factor to consider in elective surgeries. The prices charged by the clinics vary widely, and thus, it’s difficult to point out the exact cost of the surgery. The factors like the experience of the surgeon and the geographical position of the clinic also play important roles.
The costs related to the breast surgery include:
- Anesthesia charges
- The fees of the surgeon
- Costs of the surgical facility
- Medical tests
- Post-operative garments
What are the possible risks associated with the surgery?
Though modern surgery is safe, potential complications and risks might occur in some cases. Given below are the possible risks associated with breast asymmetry surgery.
- Surgical risks like infection or bleeding
- Accumulation of fluids around the surgery site
- Allergic reactions to medical lotions or materials
- Bruising and swelling, pigmentation changes, skin discoloration
- Red and thick scars formed over healed incisions, which are not life-threatening but unsightly
- Changes in nipple and breast sensation
- Fat necrosis (death of the fatty tissues in the skin, leaving lumps)
- Permanently or temporarily numb areas
- Wrinkles formed over the surgical area
- Lumpy scar tissues called keloids might form over the incisions. These are itchy and inflamed.
The bottom line
Breast asymmetry correction is not needed if the difference is not noticeably large. As mentioned earlier, it’s elective surgery. So, if you decide to get the procedure done, arm yourself with as much information as possible. Discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon, and set the right expectations from the surgery before going ahead with it.