Uneven Breasts - What Causes It and How Can It Be Fixed?

Uneven Breasts - What Causes It and How Can It Be Fixed? image

Breasts look uneven? We've got your solution.

Dr. Megan Jack - Board-certified Female Plastic Surgeon in Knoxville, TN

Have you looked in the mirror and noticed your breasts are uneven? Well, you’re not alone. Most women have uneven breasts—many of us plastic surgeons like to say, “they’re sisters, not twins.” However, in some women the difference is more pronounced. Severely uneven breasts can affect a woman’s confidence, bra/clothing fit, and certainly may make them self-conscious. Uneven breasts, also known as breast asymmetry, affect more than half of all women; and some studies have even shown that up to 90% of women may have a visible difference between their two breasts. In other words, it is more common for women to have uneven breasts than perfectly symmetric ones.

                                        "Most Women Have Uneven Breasts"

The goal of surgery for uneven breasts is to improve their symmetry and improve the aesthetic appearance. How? Well, it depends on what is asymmetric and how significant it is. Let’s learn first a little more about the causes of uneven breasts then move on to possible ways to address it.


What are the causes of uneven breasts?

There can be one cause or a combination of issues that impact breast asymmetry including:

  • A significant difference in the volume (size) of the breasts
  • A difference in size or location between the nipples and areolas
  • A difference in the degree of drooping of the breasts
  • A difference in the location of the fold beneath the breasts
  • A difference in the bones or muscles of the chest behind the breasts

Some of the reasons why a woman's breasts may change in size or volume, causing breast asymmetry, include:

  • Puberty
  • Hormonal changes
  • Breast changes due to aging
  • Uneven development during pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • Weight fluctuation
  • Degenerative breast asymmetry from a breast infection
  • Surgery for lumpectomy, mastectomy, or other surgery for breast cancer or breast infection
  • Congenital or developmental conditions

Often breast conditions change and developmental asymmetry is often temporary because one breast grows first, then the other. Therefore, it’s important to determine that your condition is relatively permanent, and the breasts are fully developed (approximately aged 16-18 years old) before considering treatment.

Although most women will experience some degree of normal unevenness breasts, if you notice a sudden change in the shape, density, or size of one breast, then you should contact your doctor immediately to investigate the cause.


Surgery to fix uneven breasts

Uneven breast surgery is performed by board-certified plastic surgeons, such as Dr. Tim Wilson and Dr. Megan Jack, to improve the symmetry and balance of the breasts. Perfect symmetry is never possible, but we always take time to ensure we are as close as we can get. For many women, the results are life changing—improved confidence, clothing fit, and more.

The specific surgical procedure needed to improve uneven breasts varies depending on the cause, breast measurements, degree of asymmetry, etc. This type of surgery is VERY personalized to the individual woman’s anatomic differences and goals. The surgery may require one or a combination of techniques to achieve the desired goal. Each breast may even require different procedures and/or breast implant sizes depending on the severity of the patient’s breast asymmetry. The highly skilled surgeons at East Tennessee Plastic Surgery will be able to recommend the best surgical plan for each individual patient’s situation.

To create more even symmetric breasts our plastic surgeons may:

  • Reduce the size of one or both breasts
  • Increase the size of one or both breasts with breast implants and/or fat grafting
  • Use two different sized breast implants to augment (increase volume) and improve symmetry
  • Alter the shape, size, and position to improve symmetry
  • Lift (mastopexy) one or both breasts to correct low nipple position and drooping
  • Reposition the nipple-areolar complex to achieve more even breasts or reduce the size of the areolas
  • A combination of the above

It’s important to note that surgery to improve uneven breasts can be more complicated and take longer than breast surgery with minimal or no asymmetry. Using different techniques between the two breasts may require different types and lengths of incisions, different sized breast implants, and/or different amounts of breast tissue removal (lift or reduction).

Breast Augmentation (Implants)

In some women, the main cause of uneven breasts is volume and a standard breast augmentation may be a good option. Our plastic surgeon may need to use different sized implants in each breast to improve the volume asymmetry and obtain a natural look. Our practice offers both silicone breast implants and saline breast implants.

Breast Augmentation (Fat Grafting)

Occasionally, women want to avoid implants and opt for fat grafting to the breasts. This alternative to breast implants is possible for some women depending on their goals and degree of asymmetry. For women with a mild degree of unevenness and who desire a modest increase in volume, this may be an option. You can check out our Fat Grafting blog for more information on this topic!

Breast Reduction

Some women with uneven breasts will prefer the size and shape of their smaller breast—so breast reduction is a possible solution. In this procedure, your ETPS plastic surgeon removes breast glandular tissue in the larger of your two breasts by excision or liposuction to create a contour closer in size and shape to the other breast. This is most often combined with skin removal to provide lifting of the breast at the same time. Occasionally, women overall feel the breasts are too large and uneven, so both are reduced and lifted but one side more than the other to improve symmetry.

Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

A breast lift may be the best option for excess sagging in one or both breasts. Removing sagging and excess skin from one breast can sometimes be enough to give a more symmetric shape, matching the other breast. Occasionally, both breasts need lifting but more on one side than the other.

For more information about the above breast surgeries, please visit here


When is the right time for surgery for uneven breasts?

Surgery is a very personal decision which only you can make, however, East Tennessee Plastic Surgery is here to provide you with the information you need, provide you a personalized recommendation, walk you through the process, and discuss what’s possible so you can have realistic expectations about results.  If you look through our extensive Breast Gallery of before and after photos you can see some examples of our work.

In general, once a significant difference has been established between the two breasts by the early or mid-teens it is rare the other side will catch up. To be able to have breast asymmetry surgery, you’ll generally need to be over 18 or with fully developed breasts. If you are pregnant, nursing, or planning to do either in the near future, it would be best to wait until 4-6 months after completion of pregnancy/nursing to consider surgery for uneven breasts. If you are in the process of losing a significant degree of weight (good for you!), it would be best to wait until you are closer to your goal weight before having breast surgery. Waiting for the right time to have surgery (can be determined by discussing with our plastic surgeons) is generally best to have the best chance of a beautiful result and a happy you.

The best way to find out the answer for you is to get set up with a consultation.


What happens during surgery for uneven breasts?

Breast asymmetry correction procedures usually take between 1-4 hours depending on the complexity of the surgery. Our board-certified plastic surgeons operate at accredited facilities and most surgeries are performed under general anesthesia. In general, these procedures are outpatient meaning you do not need to stay overnight in the hospital. 


What are my next steps for surgery to get even breasts in Knoxville, TN?

Schedule a consultation to meet us and discuss your concerns. At your initial visit, you will be welcomed into our friendly office, meet our team, have privacy to discuss what bothers you about your uneven breasts, and have an examination by Dr. Tim Wilson or Dr. Megan Jack. Your surgeon will then counsel you about the breast asymmetry options available to address your individual issues.

During your consultation we’ll have time to advise you of the risks of the recommended procedures and provide you with the cost of any recommended surgery to correct uneven breasts. There will also be opportunity for you to ask questions so that you can make an informed decision about whether surgery is the right choice for you.

If you have more questions about asymmetry breast surgery or would like to schedule your consultation today with one of our plastic surgeons, call or complete our contact form. Please also feel free to learn more about Our Practice or Dr. Tim Wilson and Dr. Megan Jack. #staybeautiful

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Your ONLY male and female board-certified plastic surgeon team in Knoxville, TN.

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If this has raised questions about surgery for uneven breasts that you’d like us to comment on or answer send us an email or comment on this blog post on Instagram or Facebook. If you’d like to schedule a consultation for breast surgery at ETPS or have other questions, please visit our website or give us a call!

#staybeautiful #boardcertified

Dr. Tim Wilson and Dr. Megan Jack are board-certified Plastic Surgeons in East Tennessee. They offer the only male and female plastic surgeon team in private practice in Knoxville to give you the option for both perspectives and for your comfort. They offer East Tennessee over 35 years of combined experience in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Both doctors are passionate about delivering top-notch care and the best results possible.

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