BREAST ANOMALIES AND ASYMMETRY

Perfect symmetry does not exist in nature nor in our bodies. When asymmetry of the breasts occurs it is a deformity of the most significant aspect of femininity.

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Perfect symmetry does not exist in nature nor does it occur in our bodies. Most women can observe some variation between their own breasts. This may be manifested by some difference of shape, volume or position. As long as the degree of asymmetry is within five percent it will not be observed as an abnormality and is usually accepted as normal. Variations beyond this degree occur as an infrequent but definite developmental error in a number of young women. It may then become a deformity of the most significant aspect of femininity and may undermine their female self-image.

Surgical correction of breast anomalies may entail any or all combinations of the classic procedures done for cosmetic breast improvement. When performed for correction of anomalies they are considered reconstructive surgeries which are usually covered by health insurance.

The combinations of surgery which may be performed on each breast will depend on the specific deformity or difference which exists in individual patients. An aesthetically balanced result cannot be achieved by surgery on one side alone. Hence if the much larger breast requires reduction, the smaller breast may need a mastopexy to result in a matching shape. If mastopexy is done for a tubular hanging breast, an augmentation may be needed for an opposite smaller side.

The same requirement for bilateral surgery usually occurs when reconstructing a breast following mastectomy. A pleasing symmetrical outcome will often require some surgical modification to the opposite non-cancerous breast.

An even rarer anomaly is amastia or complete failure of breast development. This requires skillful implant placement using the pectoral muscles as cover. It is really a bilateral breast reconstruction. A beautiful aesthetic result is much more difficult to effect than when performing a cosmetic breast enlargement.

The outcome of surgery for breast anomalies depends on both the technique and 'artistry' of the plastic surgeon. An experienced eye is needed to make the best judgment as to which operative combination will produce the most natural paired breasts.


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