No woman’s breasts are completely identical in size or shape, even if the differences can’t be seen with the naked eye. However, following breast augmentation, existing asymmetry may become more pronounced, or the augmentation itself may lead to unanticipated unevenness between sides. If you notice a significant difference between one breast and the other in terms of breast implant size, shape or placement, breast implant revision can return a shapelier, more balanced look to your body.
Recognized as a breast implant revision specialist and one of the top cosmetic surgeons in the Mobile-Pensacola metro area, Dr. James Koehler is a board certified cosmetic surgeon serving patients from Gulfport to Gulf Shores and beyond. Dr. Koehler offers a wide range of plastic surgery procedures for both men and women, and is known for his caring commitment to a patient-first approach.
Are You a Candidate?
If the difference between the size, position or shape of your breasts is noticeable or excessive, you may be a candidate for breast implant revision surgery. You should also be in good overall physical and mental health, and have realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure. During your consultation, Dr. Koehler will go over all your options to help ensure that you’re a good candidate for asymmetry correction before proceeding with surgery.
About Asymmetry in Breast Implants
Perfectly symmetric breasts are the exception. Most women have some asymmetry to their breasts such as one nipple sitting slightly higher than the other differences in breast shape or volume. Naturally asymmetrical breasts can develop due to a number of reasons, including genetic tendencies or a chest wall deformation, or even following weight gain or after pregnancy. The differences between breasts can include issues like more upper pole fullness in one breast compared to the other, a slight variance in nipple orientation or inconsistency in size or shape.
Most cosmetic surgeons will make adjustments during your breast augmentation to ensure that your final results are even. For minor differences, using a bit larger implant in the smaller breast is common, while a more significant asymmetry could require performing a breast reduction and/or breast lift on one side. The key here is to compensate during surgery in a way that helps create a beautiful, symmetrical final outcome.
Asymmetry after breast augmentation is not uncommon, and can be caused by a variety of factors:
- Existing asymmetry was not accounted for during surgery, so natural differences between breasts end up amplified.
- Breasts heal at different rates or don’t respond to the presence of implants in the same way, causing one implant to settle more slowly or in a different way.
- The surgical pockets themselves are asymmetrical either in size or position. This can cause a shift in placement that leads to asymmetry.
- One implant has changed in position, or has leaked or deflated, causing a visible contrast with the unaffected breast.
If aesthetic concerns related to asymmetry are pronounced enough to cause self-consciousness, embarrassment or problems finding bras and swimwear that fit both breasts properly, breast implant revision may be required. It’s important to remember that minor variations between sides is perfectly normal, and revision surgery is intended to improve your breast augmentation rather than create identical perfection on each side.
What to Expect
The first step in correcting breast asymmetry is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Koehler, during which he can conduct a physical evaluation to help determine the reason your implants have become uneven. From there, he can recommend the best option to minimize differences between breasts, and will also talk with you about your hopes for surgery and the results you’re likely to achieve.
The technical approach Dr. Koehler uses during your revision surgery will depend on the reason for the symmetry in the first place. For example, if implant malposition has occurred due to a surgical pocket that’s too large or too small, Dr. Koehler may need to correct the pocket size. In other cases, a simple change in implant size may be sufficient to deliver a more balanced look. Dr. Koehler will go over the specifics of your surgery in detail before he begins so you understand the precise cause for your asymmetry as well as the steps that he can take to address those concerns.
Risks and Complications
The risks associated with surgery to correct asymmetry are similar to those related to breast augmentation, including infection, bleeding or the development of capsular contracture (excessive scar growth) around the breast implant. The possibility that your asymmetry may remain unresolved or worsen is also a risk, although this possibility is largely mitigated simply by choosing an experienced revision surgery specialist like Dr. Koehler to perform your procedure. Dr. Koehler will go over all the risks and benefits with you before your surgery so you’re fully informed about what to expect.
Your New Look
The surgical steps that are necessary to repair asymmetry between breasts may be relatively minor, or could require a more complex technique, so recovery after your procedure will vary accordingly. Most women describe the initial healing process as more comfortable and of a shorter duration compared to their original breast augmentation.
You should see an improvement in unevenness between your breasts after revision surgery, whether this means they’re closer in size, share a more similar position on the chest or the nipples are oriented in the same direction. Most importantly, women notice that they finally feel confident about their breast augmentation results.