Breast asymmetry after breast augmentation

Breast asymmetry after breast augmentation

02nd Dec 2018

Breast augmentation surgery, especially when performed using implants, has always been considered a hot topic. Many people still find it difficult to understand why and how the procedure can provide unsatisfactory results, even after so many years of being performed. The reality is that breast augmentation surgery is among two of the most performed plastic surgery procedures in the world. This means that hundreds of thousands of women undergo the procedure each year globally. The request for the procedure has skyrocketed over the last decade, and it continues to be on the rise with each passing year. This wouldn’t happen if the procedure didn’t boost impressive aesthetic results and improve the patient’s life significantly. But at the same time, there are risks that patients are subjected to when going under the knife for aesthetic purposes, risks that increase exponentially when the procedure is performed by an inexperienced plastic surgeon.

Complications after breast augmentation surgery

Breast augmentation surgery aims to provide the patient with breasts that are larger in size, but also have an aesthetic shape and are in harmony with the rest of the body. But complications can occur after any type of plastic surgery, especially ones that uses prostheses such as breast augmentation. Among the complications that can potentially affect the patient after the procedure are capsular contracture, wound dehiscence, infection, seroma, hematoma and breast asymmetry.

The purpose of breast surgery is to achieve symmetry. But each patient should understand that a minor asymmetry is normal. Women do not naturally have perfectly symmetrical breasts. Breast asymmetry also applies to women who have undergone breast surgery, and in fact, the asymmetry between the breasts may be more marked after breast surgery. Thus, disparities in the shape, volume, position or axis of the breasts can be found. A patient with a certain pre-operative asymmetry will regain this same asymmetry after a breast augmentation, but more or less visible. Patients with a large volume difference between breasts before surgery can benefit from the placement of two implants of different sizes. However, this doesn’t mean that visible asymmetries are a satisfactory result after breast augmentation. Noticeable differences (a bra size cup or more) should be corrected during the procedure if the patient has had them before.

It is essential for the plastic surgeon to assess the condition of the breasts prior to surgery properly and to let the patient know if the asymmetry is present and also what to expect once the procedure is performed. A minor asymmetry barely visible prior to surgery can become even more accentuated after implants are inserted, or the contrary might happen and the asymmetry might be gone. It is the plastic surgeon’s responsibility to assess the condition and to find the most suitable treatment plan that will avoid getting asymmetry after a breast augmentation surgery.

If you have a look online at before and after pictures on forums and even on specialized sites, you will notice that breast asymmetries are more common after procedures performed by inexperienced surgeons. Achieving satisfactory results after a breast implant surgery requires more than a simple surgeon familiar with the scalpel; it needs a plastic surgeon with a keen eye for detail and who shows a considerable amount of aesthetic sense. While many believe that breast enhancement procedures are as simple as a walk in the park, this is only valid if the surgeon is board-certified and performs the procedures routinely. For all others, the results can vary by large margins.

Correcting breast asymmetry with revision surgery

If you notice that your breasts are visibly asymmetrical after plastic surgery and your surgeon says it’s nothing and a good bra can make this condition better, you need to see some other surgeon for a second opinion. There are cases in which the asymmetry is not noticeable and no operative plan is developed, but in most cases, surgical treatment is necessary. It can be very disappointing for a patient undergoing a breast enhancement procedure to be left with bigger but asymmetric breasts afterwards. This takes a lot of the fun out of having bigger breasts.

Breast asymmetries can only be corrected surgically, so you will need a revision surgery. Your plastic surgeon might choose to remove and replace one or both of the implants with implants of a different size or shape to create the symmetry. Again, it is mandatory to keep in mind that your breasts are sisters, not twins, so perfect symmetry is not the aim of plastic surgery in general.

In many cases, asymmetries after breast augmentation can be accentuated if there is also ptosis that was not corrected during the first procedure. Some patients prefer to undergo breast augmentation with a trans-axillary incision as they don’t want any incisions or scars on the breasts. However, this method is also called the “blind technique” as it offers the surgeon little to no visibility. Breast asymmetries are easy to occur this way. Moreover, when using the trans-axillary incision, it is impossible to perform a breast lift. If the patient has moderate or severe ptosis before the operation, it would be even more accentuated after the procedure. Once again, revision surgery will be required in this case to correct both the asymmetry and the breast sagginess that made it more visible.


Breast asymmetry is not an uncommon occurrence. Many women are confronted with slight asymmetry, and in many cases, they are not even aware of it. But undergoing a breast augmentation surgery using big breast implants can make your asymmetry even more noticeable. The only method to correct it is with the help of a revision surgery.

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