Breast Asymmetry and Developmental Problems
Abnormal breast development is relatively common in teenage girls, ranging from minor differences between the breasts, to major shape abnormalities. The commonest of these is known as “constricted” or “tuberous” breast disorder. Correcting breast asymmetry not only improves the appearance of your breasts, but it can also provide a boost to self-esteem and confidence.
Developmental breast disorders are relatively common, but often not recognised, and may be very embarrassing for young women going through breast development as teenagers. Differences in breast size are common and acceptable if only minor, but major size or shape differences between the two breasts is more problematic. Apart from practical issues, these conditions may be embarrassing and socially difficult for young women, and reconstructive surgery may be justified early, if severe. These conditions are not usually inherited.
Apart from simple size differences between the two breasts, the next commonest developmental breast deformity is “constricted breast” deformity, also known as “tuberous” or “tubular” breast deformity. In this condition the breasts are often very different to each other, and develop in an abnormal shape; it is often narrow on the chest with a long, thin, tube-like shape. In addition, the areolar (the pigmented circle around the nipple) may be enlarged in diameter, and the breast may be droopy. Often the two breasts are affected differently, with one commonly much larger and droopier than the other. The range of deformity can vary from very mild to severe. In fact, one breast may be normal while the other is affected.
Women with this condition are often self-conscious and embarrassed for anyone to see their breasts. Please contact our practice for more information or to schedule your appointment.
How is tuberous breast and breast asymmetry corrected?
Dramatic improvements in the shape, size and symmetry of the breasts are usually possible. Dr. Merten will carefully analyse the deformity, and with detailed discussions devise a surgical plan to give the best possible and desired outcome. This will depend on the desired final breast size, and the pre-existing breast size, shape and asymmetry.
For the affected breast, the treatment typically involves enlarging and widening the base of the breast, with a breast implant, lowering the inframammary crease, and reducing the bulging of the nipple and areola and doing a breast lift (“Mastopexy”) if required.
With constricted/tuberous breast, there are often significant differences between the two breasts, and a major aim of surgery is to achieve better symmetry. This usually requires different surgery on each breast, and may involve combinations of various procedures, including:
- Asymmetrical breast enlargement – breast augmentation on one side only, or both sides using different sized breast implants
- Breast reduction to make the bigger breast smaller to match the smaller breast
- Breast lift (“mastopexy”) to correct droopy breasts and place the nipples at the correct position
- Areolar size reduction
Dr. Merten will discuss your options and recommend the best procedure for you to correct your breast asymmetry during your preoperative consultations. Careful planning is always necessary and usually requires at least two preoperative consultations.
Breast asymmetry correction fees may be partially rebateable from Medicare and your health insurance, depending on the particular circumstances.