Assymetric Breasts Following Reduction on One Breast Can It Be Fixed?

Two years ago I had a left breast reduction on the NHS The reason being; left breast almost two ups bigger (lots of lumpy fatty tissue) Now my breasts are completely uneven. The left one is still bigger and obviously has an anchor scar. The right is a totally different shape and the nipple is way out What can be done? I know they will never be perfect but right now it totally knocks my confidence, especially only bein 20 years old! Is it possible to have implants in both & right nipple matched?

Doctor Answers 3

Additional surgery can improve asymmetry after previous breast reduction!

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Clearly, you had asymmetry before your unilateral breast reduction 2 years ago; since some tissue was removed from the larger side, your symmetry is improved. Unfortunately, since that breast is still too large, as well as scarred, you STILL suffer from asymmetry. This is not a satisfactory outcome, even if the surgery was a "covered" expense.

I hate to get political in this answer, but perhaps you got what you paid for. Your surgery wasn't really "free;" your surgeon didn't really have (much) incentive to do a superb job; and your suboptimal result really didn't achieve much at all except utilize resources, waste time and (slight) risk, and give you a bad opinion of "plastic surgery" when it should have given you a bad taste for "socialized medicine." 

Now, you need more surgery to correct what should have been done "properly" at the first operation. That means thinking about both breasts, and designing an operation with or without implants as well as skillful and artistic skin tailoring to yield the most aesthetic symmetrical result possible. Not "perfect" symmetry, but obviously much better than what you received! I'm sorry; this was NOT proper plastic surgery.

Although hard to tell without photos, it sounds as if your right (unoperated) breast may be somewhat small and perhaps ptotic ("nipple is way out"); this is further supported by your asking about implants. Of course, implants may indeed be appropriate for one or both sides; only physical examination (or photos) will allow that determination. But implants would be considered "cosmetic" by most insurance companies and the NHS, even for severe asymmetry. So your surgeon tried unilateral reduction, but didn't want to reduce that breast (too much) to match what he perhaps felt to be a breast that was disproportionately too small and ptotic. Perhaps he is quite proud of the left breast that is proportionate in size to the rest of your body and nicely shaped (but with scars that are part of the deal). That's fine if you're just thinking about the single breast you're operating on, but not so good if you are trying to give your patient a matched pair!

More surgery with the idea of making both breasts as symmetrical as possible is indeed appropriate. The "catch" is that this may be considered cosmetic and elective (meaning you have to pay). Check with several board-certified plastic surgeons with extensive experience in breast surgery, and ask for photographic examples of their work.

Trust me, this scenario happens in the USA as well, even when patients self-pay for elective surgery. For an example of one of my patients who underwent 3 different operations by 2 different surgeons BEFORE she came to me for her 4th operation, click on the web reference link below.

I do believe there is a bit of artistry in doing breast reductions and breast lifts, not to mention the added complexity of putting implants into the surgical mix! See several surgeons and choose carefully--you want this next operation to be the last operation, not another one on the road to the "right" one! Best wishes ! Dr. Tholen

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Breast Reduction Revision Surgery

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The good news is that in most cases you will have significant improvement with further surgery based on your description.

Revision for unsatisfactory results following Breast Reduction is individualized to each patients needs and wishes. To determine what techniques and procedures are appropriate for you would require a complete exam and cosultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  At the time of your consult, the plastic surgeon will measure a number of features of both breasts and formulate an individual surgical approach to meet your goals. 


Revisionary Breast Surgery after Breast Reduction?

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Without direct examination or viewing pictures it is not possible to give you precise advice. However, generally speaking, it is usually possible to achieve improved symmetry depending on exactly what the situation is and what the patient's goals are. I would suggest that you meet with well experienced plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience helping patients like yourself. The more information you have (for example previous operative report)  for your plastic surgeon, the better.

Best wishes.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.