Breast asymmetry, put simply, occurs when both breasts are not identical in size, placement, or appearance. Most women have asymmetrical breasts, and it is predominantly an aesthetic concern (i.e. breast asymmetry is generally not cause for medical concern). There are three different types of breast asymmetry:
Anisothelia: This type of breast asymmetry focuses on an asymmetry of the nipples and/or areolas. With anisothelia, the nipples or areolas may be different in size, placement, or colour.
Anisomastia: This type of breast asymmetry is focused on a significant difference in the volume or size of the breasts. In this case, one breast will be noticeably larger than the other, or may appear more full.
Combined asymmetry: With combined asymmetry, both anisothelia and anisomastia are present.
While breast asymmetry is usually just a cosmetic concern, there are a number of reasons it may occur.
In some cases, breast asymmetry may be temporary. For instance, breast asymmetry may occur during ovulation, when the body’s hormonal fluctuations cause changes to water retention and blood flow to breast tissue. However, these fluctuations in size generally disappear once ovulation has finished.
Hormonal changes, such as puberty, can also result in changes to breast volume, as can physical trauma. These changes may be permanent. Pregnancy, and the changes in breast size and shape that occur during pregnancy and breastfeeding, can also result in asymmetrical breasts.
Asymmetrical breasts can also be caused by juvenile hypertrophy of the breast, which is a medical condition that causes one breast to grow noticeably larger than the other. Another condition, called Poland Syndrome, which results in the improper development of the chest muscles, can affect breast symmetry.
Yes, asymmetrical breasts are normal. In fact, more than half of all women report having asymmetrical breasts. However, despite the fact that asymmetrical breasts are normal — and are generally not the sign of an underlying medical condition — they can contribute to self-consciousness and insecurity, resulting in an uneven and disproportionate silhouette.
A medical condition called atypical ductal hyperplasia, which occurs when the milk ducts in your breasts grow excessively, can cause asymmetrical breasts. With atypical ductal hyperplasia, more cells — some of which may be irregular in shape or size — line the milk ducts than are normal. The condition can lead to benign lumps in the breast and increase your chances of developing breast cancer in the future.
A condition called breast hypoplasia, where the breasts are thin, small, or placed very far apart, can also result in asymmetrical breasts. Hypoplasia may occur as a result of an illness or infection.
While breast asymmetry is generally normal and of no medical concern, there are some instances in which significant or sudden asymmetry or irregularly shaped breasts may signify a serious medical condition, such as cancer. According to a 2015 study, women whose breasts vary in size by more than 20% may be at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
Outside of normal, cosmetic asymmetry, sudden or unusual changes to the breast may require medical attention. These changes include a lump in or around the breast or under the arm, sudden change in size or shape of a breast, changes to the nipple, dimpled, puckered, scaly or itchy skin, or tissue that feels firm or thick near the breast or under the arm.
Yes, breast asymmetry can be corrected. Depending on the type of symmetry being corrected — and your desired outcome —uneven breasts can be corrected via breast augmentation, a breast lift, or breast reduction (mammoplasty) surgery (or a combination of more than one procedure)
In most cases, individuals who have reached adulthood and who are in good health are good candidates for breast asymmetry correction surgery. Women who are under the age of 18, or whose bodies have not yet finished maturing, are not good candidates for this type of surgery.
Patients wishing to undergo breast asymmetry correction surgery will need to select which breast they want to match. If the larger of the two breasts is selected, a breast augmentation will need to be performed, requiring the use of a breast implant to increase the size of the smaller breast.
Check out our before and after section here!
The cost of a procedure to fix asymmetrical breasts will vary, depending on the type of procedure chosen. At SpaMedica, a breast augmentation, breast reduction, or breast lift procedure begins at $9,999. Combining any of these procedures will result in a higher cost.
At SpaMedica, Dr. Bell has performed thousands of breast surgeries to correct a number of cosmetic issues, including asymmetry. From consultation to post-surgery care, both surgeons will work closely with you to determine your desired outcome, and will take care to deliver personalized, professional results. Contact the clinic to book your consultation today.
Procedure to lift breasts up for a more feminine and youthful appearance.
A procedure that uses high tech, man-made, Health Canada approved prosthetic devices, called a breast implant to augment the volume, proportion, and shape of the breasts.
Reduction surgery decreases the size and weight of the breast and reshapes it to be aesthetically pleasing.