Breast Asymmetry

What is Breast Asymmetry Correction Sydney 

Breast asymmetry is a common occurrence among women, as breasts are naturally unique and may exhibit variations in volume and shape. While certain asymmetries can be concealed with padded bras or loose-fitting clothing, there are instances where these methods may not suffice, leaving individuals to seek help.

It is also common for women to experience asymmetry concerns when they have a condition called Tuberous Breast Deformity or Tubular Breasts. This condition often affects young women going through puberty and breast development and is characterised by small, conical-shaped breasts which in some cases are paired with puffy or pointy nipples which may be wider-set than typical. 

While tubular breasts do not pose any medical risks, they can cause significant emotional distress and social anxiety 1. Dr Turner recognises the impact this can have on individuals, and, as always, addresses this condition with sensitivity and understanding.

Breast Asymmetry Correction, or Tuberous Breast Correction requires the skills of a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, like Dr Scott J Turner, as it is not always a straightforward procedure, and can entail a two-step approach in some cases. Dr Turner has extensive expertise in this area and can provide the guidance and support needed for a tailored approach to address your specific concerns.

Breast Asymmetry Development

During the formative years of adolescence, young girls may find themselves particularly affected by breast asymmetry. This condition becomes more apparent as the breasts undergo development during puberty. This phase of life holds great significance as it shapes relationships with peers, influences perceptions of sexuality, and contributes to the formation of personal identity. While optimal results are typically attained after full breast development, selected cases may benefit from early intervention to enhance breast symmetry, offering support during this transformative period.

Tuberous or tubular breasts are a condition characterised by noticeable differences in breast appearance. This syndrome encompasses various issues, such as droopy breasts, enlarged areolas, breast tissue herniation, and base malformation. Most women become aware of tuberous breasts during puberty when the asymmetry becomes more prominent. While breast shapes and sizes naturally vary, tuberous breasts exhibit distinct features like small, narrow, cone-shaped breasts with wide spacing and asymmetry. Additionally, large areolas and downward-pointing or drooping nipples are common in this condition. Tuberous breasts are more prevalent than commonly realised, with studies indicating their association with about 90% of reported breast asymmetry cases

Do You Have Tuberous Breasts?

During your consultation with Dr Turner, he will assess your areas of concern to determine if you are a suitable candidate for Breast Asymmetry Correction Surgery, or if there is another Breast Surgery that would be of better suitability for your individual case. 

To be classified as having Tubular Breasts patients will often pertain the following:

  • If your breasts are remarkably smaller than average
  • If your breasts look narrow and/or conical when viewed from the side
  • If there is a constriction around your nipple
  • If there is a gap of 1.5 inches or more between your breasts
  • If you have noticeably asymmetric breasts (one is quite obviously larger than the other)
  • If your breasts appear droopy, oval, pointy, conical, or square-shaped.
  • If your areolas are larger than normal

It is also important to note that, although Tuberous Breast Deformity is very common among women with asymmetrical breasts, it is not present in 100% of cases, which is why it is important to have your breasts assessed by a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with expertise in the area, like Dr Scott J Turner.

Types of Tuberous Breasts

Dr Turner begins by evaluating the type or grade of tuberous breasts you may have before presenting treatment options tailored to your specific condition. Tuberous breasts are categorized into three grades, reflecting the severity of the condition: 

  • Grade I: This is the mildest form, characterised by insufficient tissue in the lower and middle areas of the breasts. Grade I tuberous breasts commonly result in a smaller-than-average breast appearance. 
  • Grade II: This grade exhibits more pronounced tissue deficiency, particularly affecting the entire lower half of the breasts. In Grade II tuberous breasts, the areolas often appear enlarged, stretched, and downward-pointing. 
  • Grade III: This represents the most severe form, where breast growth is constrained across all four quadrants, severely impacting the entire breast. In Grade III tuberous breasts, the areolar tissue becomes thin and weakened. It’s worth noting that women with Grade III tuberous breasts may face challenges with breastfeeding, unlike those with naturally small breasts 3.

To accurately determine your specific grade, it is essential to consult with a professional. During your visit to our clinics in Sydney or Newcastle, Dr Turner will conduct a thorough examination of your breasts and provide a precise assessment of your grade level.

What is Involved in Corrective Breast Surgery? 

Oftentimes, Dr Turner may combine up to three different adaptations of breast surgeries to achieve the desired outcome, these usually include Breast Lift, Breast Augmentation, Hybrid Breast Augmentation and Breast Reduction surgery. This unique combination of procedures will determine how long your time in theatre with Dr Turner is, and subsequently, how much the procedure will cost. 

In the majority of cases, Dr Turner will perform a Breast Augmentation procedure for women undergoing Breast Asymmetry Correction, or Tuberous Breast Correction surgery. Not only does the breast implant increase the overall breast volume, but it widens a constricted breast and adds volume to the lower pole of the breast which is invariably deficient. This surgery can also correct breast ptosis (drooping).

For asymmetry-corrective surgeries, the overall objective in most cases is to balance the shape and size of both breasts, however, it is important to remember breasts are ‘sisters, not twins’ and patients should have realistic expectations for their surgery.

Surgical Solutions for Breast Asymmetry or Tuberous Breast Deformity 

With the latest advances in cosmetic breast surgery, it is possible to have natural-looking, symmetrical breasts. However, it must be highlighted that breast asymmetry correction is a challenging procedure that requires expertise from an experienced Specialist Plastic Surgeon who can offer the many techniques required to correct each individual case, such as:

1. Breast Augmentation

Breast Implants can be positioned within the smaller breast to improve breast volume and improve overall breast symmetry. If women would like the overall breast to be bigger on both sides, then there is the option of either using different-sized breast implants to create symmetry, or the preferred method is using the same sized breast implant on both sides and performing a breast lift or reduction on the larger side or both to give the best result in terms of volume and shape.

2. Breast reduction

A Breast Reduction may be performed only on the larger breast in order to match the smaller breast in shape and volume. However, if they desire both breasts to be small overall, we can perform a breast reduction on both sides, with customisation of the amount of breast tissue removal to achieve breast symmetry.

3. Breast lift

In women with one breast that is slightly larger, often with the nipple / areolar lower than the contralateral breast (frequently after breastfeeding), then a Breast Lift on one side only is frequently performed. However most commonly, especially in patients with tuberous breast anomaly Dr Turner will perform a breast lift combined with a breast implant, plus the addition of fat grafting to improve both breast volume and shape (Hybrid Breast Augmentation).

4. Breast Tissue Modification/Reconstruction

In women who have severe Breast Asymmetry or Tubular Breasts, Dr Turner often modifies the glandular tissue in the breast to allow the breast implant to expand in an often tight, or constricted breast. This has historically been done by cutting and reshaping the breast tissue, a technique called glandular scoring. However, by using the latest Fat Grafting techniques, Dr Turner can now expand the deficient aspects of the breast tissue by carefully using your body’s own fat tissue and re-injecting it into the breast at the same time as your Breast Augmentation procedure. If the breast asymmetry is extreme, to give a more reliable and safer outcome, Dr Turner may elect to stage the breast reconstruction by using a breast tissue expander prior to performing the final breast implant surgery. 

5. Fat Grafting

Fat grafting has become a very popular solution for women who want to fix their tuberous breasts without implants. It offers a more natural treatment for tuberous breasts, with no prosthesis involved.

Fat grafting can be a less invasive operation compared to traditional remodelling and implants. During this procedure, Dr Turner removes excess fat from one region of your body (e.g. hips, belly, thighs, etc.) by liposuction and injects it into your breasts. This allows him to strategically inflate your breasts and remodel them, fixing their tuberous appearance and pumping up their volume. Moreover, the injection of the fat beneath the skin loosens up the constricted tissue. This may further help to address the pointy appearance of the nipples.

Advantages of Fat Grafting 

For women with less severe types of tubular breasts, fat grafting can be a simple way to correct the deformity, and it has the following advantages:

  • Strategic targeting of specific areas of the breast
  • Enlargement and enhancement of any breast region as needed
  • Less recovery time
  • Natural breast mound appearance
  • No glandular scoring (less breast tissue damage)
  • Less surgical complications such as hematoma, seroma, and infection
  • No risk of double bubble deformity
  • Softening of the breast
  • No scarring
  • Simultaneous contouring of other body parts (donor sites)

Disadvantages of Fat Grafting 

  • You might not be able to significantly increase your breast size like an implant would do 
  • You may need several sessions to achieve long-lasting effects
  • Pre-expansion techniques might be needed to give you long-term outcomes
  • If too much fat is injected at once, fat necrosis (cell death) can occur resulting in hard lumps

Staged Procedures

Correction of Tuberous Breasts is most often carried out within just one procedure, however, it is not uncommon for patients who present with stage II or III Tuberous Breasts, to have a multi-stage procedure, carried out across 9-12 months.

An example of this staged procedure is outlined below, however, please note that Breast Expanders are only utilised where necessary for stage II and III Tuberous Breasts and in most cases, it is direct to implant.

  • During the first surgery, Dr Turner implants tissue expanders (temporary inflatable implants)
  • The expanders stretch out your chest muscles and skin making room for future implants.
  • They will be kept in place for several weeks or months and will be regularly inflated by Dr Turner.
  • Once your breasts are large enough, you will receive a final corrective surgery, and the expanders will be replaced by definite implants.

In most cases, breast implants alone are not enough, and surgical remodelling (lifting) is done to achieve satisfactory results. In such cases, the lift would take care of the sagging and give the breasts a perkier and younger look.

What Causes Tuberous Breasts?

Tuberous breast deformity is a condition that arises when the breasts do not fully develop during puberty, potentially affecting one or both breasts. The exact cause of tuberous breasts remains uncertain, with some medical professionals speculating that it may be congenital, resulting from an unidentified event during foetal development. The manifestation of this condition becomes apparent during puberty as breast development progresses. Irrespective of its origin, tuberous breasts lack sufficient tissue to achieve a round, voluminous, and uplifted appearance. Instead, individuals with tuberous breasts typically experience narrow, tube-like breasts. Furthermore, the development of the tissue surrounding the nipple may also be inadequate, resulting in puffy and droopy nipples.

Other Breast Asymmetry Causes

Poland’s Syndrome 

Poland’s Syndrome can affect women’s breasts in various ways. The condition often leads to underdevelopment or absence of breast tissue on the affected side of the chest, which results in noticeable asymmetry between the breasts, with the affected side appearing smaller or even completely absent compared to the unaffected breast. 

In some cases, the nipple and areola may also be underdeveloped or positioned differently on the affected breast. They may appear smaller, higher, or lower in relation to the unaffected side.

Rib Cage Abnormalities 

Often, women with significant rib cage abnormalities present with breast asymmetry. If the ribs are deficient or very prominent, this in turn can affect the size and projection of the breast, such that women with a prominent rib on one side can have a breast that appears much larger, and vice versa.

Breast Hypoplasia 

Breast hypoplasia, also known as underdeveloped breasts or hypoplastic breasts, is a condition characterized by insufficient breast tissue growth during puberty and adulthood. It refers to breasts that do not reach the expected size or volume for an individual’s age, body type, or genetic potential.

In cases of breast hypoplasia, the breasts may appear smaller, less rounded, or have a flattened shape compared to what is considered typical or proportional for the person’s body. The condition can affect one or both breasts and may result in noticeable asymmetry.

Breast hypoplasia can occur due to various factors, including hormonal imbalances, genetic predisposition, certain medical conditions, or prior breast surgeries. It can also be influenced by lifestyle factors such as extreme weight loss, malnutrition, or certain medications.