Dr. Mark E. Chariker, M.D., FACS

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Breast Asymmetry

Breast AsymmetryWhen breast asymmetry is pronounced, the embarrassment can affect womens' daily lives, sexuality, and confidence. Breast surgery can considerably elevate quality of life and self-esteem for significantly affected women.

With breast asymmetry, a woman’s breasts may differ in size or shape. The left breast may be a B-cup and the right a D-cup, for example, or a woman may have one breast that significantly droops while the other does not, making the woman’s breasts appear unbalanced. Sometimes asymmetry is from a congenital syndrome called Poland’s Syndrome, which may be accompanied by anomalies of the arm or hand on the involved side. In other cases, breast asymmetry may be the result of infection, trauma or surgery near the developing breast in a child. Still other times, paired organs simply develop differently.

Breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction, and breast reconstruction techniques are commonly used to correct breast asymmetry and create balance between the breasts. Depending upon the type and degree of asymmetry, Dr. Chariker may utilize one or all of these procedures.

Breast Asymmetry
Breast Asymmetry
Procedure Information

Treatment Options

How and when your breast asymmetry should be treated will be determined by your consultation visit and will depend on factors such as your body type, skin condition, size and shape of your breasts and your age. Even though this can be an emotionally painful condition for teenagers, we generally will not perform cosmetic breast surgery prior to age 18, which is a time when the breasts have had time to fully develop.

The choice of surgical procedures depends on the degree of difference between the size and shape of the breasts. We may select to perform a breast reduction on the larger breast, which involves removal of excess fat and skin, or a breast lift, which repositions and lifts the breast to match the other breast more closely. For the smaller breast, he may recommend a breast augmentation, which involves the use of an implant. In some patients, surgery for only one breast may correct the asymmetry, while for other patients, we will recommend a combination of procedures.

For congenital breast asymmetry caused by Poland's Syndrome, the corrective procedure is more involved. In Poland’s Syndrome, one breast and its underlying musculature are underdeveloped and the hand on the same side of the body is also sometimes affected. For patients with this asymmetry, We will do breast reconstruction by expanding the underlying tissues and inserting a breast implant, augmenting the undeveloped breast with tissue from the opposite breast, or creating a musculocutaneous flap to fill the hollow space in the chest wall. Reconstruction may also require the surgical repair of the chest wall.

Duration of Results

Women who undergo surgery to correct breast asymmetry not only look better, but feel better and more self-confident. These procedures are permanent, although breasts will change with weight gain or loss and from the natural effects of aging. Occasionally, a breast implant may leak, necessitating a second surgery to replace the implant.