The difference between symmastia and breast asymmetry

The difference between symmastia and breast asymmetry

06th Oct 2017

Breast augmentation with implants can effectively enhance your breast size and shape. However, there are a number of complications associated with the surgery, with breast asymmetry and symmastia being the two most common.

Symmastia is a condition marked by a convergence of the breast tissue of both breasts past the central fore to the sternum. This condition can be fixed by undergoing a symmastia revision surgery.

On the other hand, breast asymmetry is a condition whereby the two breasts are differently sized, shaped, or positioned and the distinction is prominent. While breast asymmetry can happen in different patients to varying degrees, patients who have substantial and noticeable breast asymmetry mostly seek treatment for the condition.

Symmastia occurs when the muscles and skin seem to budge away from the sternum. This can be triggered by an over separation of the muscles or excessively large breast implants. Meanwhile, breast asymmetry happens due to poor rotation of the implants or an unsettled implant.

Both of these conditions can be treated via revision surgeries. The procedure to fix symmastia involves suturing of the muscle to the sternum. During the surgery, the implant pocket will also be repaired, and there is also a possibility that if you have large implants, they will be removed and replaced with smaller ones. Using round implants or changing the implant pockets and the nipple-areola complex can correct breast asymmetry.

Breast Augmentation with Breast Implants

Many women use breast implant surgery to increase the size of their breasts and make them appear shapely. The procedure can effectively add projection to the breasts and consequently boost the self-confidence of the patients.

While breast implants have a good history of delivering impressive results, there are certain potential complications that can occur. Two of the most common conditions that may occur after the surgery are symmastia and breast asymmetry.

Symmastia & Breast Asymmetry

Symmastia is a complication that involves the convergence of the implants at the center of the breasts. In severe cases, the implants may touch each other. When symmastia occurs, your cleavage will look like it has been raised off the sternum.

This complication is also sometimes called “uni-boob,” as the two breasts appear as one. Even the skin and muscles can be raised from the sternum, creating discomfort and necessitating treatment intervention.

Breast asymmetry can occur whether you have breast implants or not. Most women tend to have minor breast asymmetry naturally; however, the condition can be severe in others. Your plastic surgeon may recommend you to get breast implants to treat excessively irregular breasts. The condition is marked by differently sized, shaped, or positioned breasts.


If you develop symmastia after getting breast implants, it may be due to several factors. The condition may be triggered by the over separation of the breast muscle during the implant surgery. In other cases, the surgeon may have created the symmastia while trying to make your cleavage appear deep. Even though you may get a profound cleavage, symmastia will soon follow suit. This complication can also occur when very large implants are used or when the implants have been placed subglandularly.

Breast asymmetry can also occur after a breast implant procedure. This condition is temporary in most cases and occurs particularly when the breasts have not properly healed. Your breast implants need time to heal and settle, taking about 3-6 months for the implants to show the final results. However, breast asymmetry may be permanent. Mal-rotation of the breast implant and badly positioned implants can cause the breasts to become asymmetrical.

Treatment Options

Breast revision surgery can be used to treat symmastia and breast asymmetry. Depending on your condition, your plastic surgeon will use different techniques to execute the procedure. The surgical intervention can be custom-tailored to your needs.

If you are suffering from symmastia, there is a possibility that the breast implant placed underneath the muscles can be moved or shifted if you have subglandular implant placement. However, if the implants were not placed beneath the muscle, your plastic surgeon will repair the implant pocket instead. Also, the doctor may even use a portion of your breast implant scar tissue to provide support while the muscle and tissue are sealed to the sternum. Doing so will fetch the skin near the sternum to form a division between your breasts. In rare cases, removing and replacing the implants can help stop recurring symmastia.


Patients who undergo breast augmentation with implants expect to get aesthetically enhanced breasts with better size, shape, and position. While the surgery can deliver effective results in most cases, there is never a guarantee that the outcomes will be 100 percent according to your expectations. You may get problems like symmastia and breast asymmetry after the surgery.

Symmastia occurs when the breast implants converge and meet in the center of the chest, giving the appearance of a single breast. The muscle or skin rises from the sternum as a result of the pressure of large implants or due to over separation of the breast muscles.

Breast asymmetry is a condition where the two breasts appear differently sized, shaped, or positioned. This occurs mostly in cases where there is a mal-rotation of the implant or when one or both of the implants fail to settle. These conditions can be treated via revision surgery.

Treating symmastia involves sewing of the tissue and muscles to the sternum and repair of the implant pockets. Exchanging bigger implants with smaller ones can also help treat symmastia and breast asymmetry. Breast asymmetry can also be corrected by changing the implant pockets or by altering the direction or position of the nipples and/or areola.

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