Can I Have a Reduction on One Breast and a Lift on the Other?

My breasts have always been very uneven -- more than 1 cup size difference. I was wearing a 36DD bra (the size of the larger one), then lost about 60 pounds and am now in a 34C. They are still uneven, but now they are also extremely droopy and just plain ugly. I don't mind having small breasts, but I really want them to look young. I am only 25 years old. Can I have breast reduction on one breast and lift on the other? What course of action would you suggest? Also, what can I expect regarding scar placement and total cost? Thank you so very much.

Doctor Answers 22

Breast asymmetry

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All breasts are asymmetrical, it's just a matter of how much difference there is and if it is enough to do a different technique on. Doing the same technique on each side doesn't give you the same result. Each breast must be addressed individually in order to attain the most symmetrical and aesthetic result. Your limitation is your smallest breast, once that one is lifted there is a goal size to achieve.

It's similar to implant cases where breasts are different in size. A different volume is used to compensate for the differing breast sizes. Your surgeon will be able to detail this according to your anatomy.

In regards to cost, it is quite variable so this should simply be discussed by surgeons in your area. My recommendation is that you seek out a board certified plastic surgeon and start from there.

Best Wishes,


Reduction and Lift to achieve breast asymmetry

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It is quite uncommon for a woman to have perfectly symmetrical breasts. For this reason when performing Breast Reductions, we commonly take more from one side than the other trying to get closer symmetry. In some cases, we are forced to only lift the smaller breast but reduce/lift the much bigger breast.

Unfortunately, such cases are frequently NOT approved by insurance companies and you would have to pay for the procedure.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Treatment for uneven breasts

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All women have some degree of asymmetry of the breasts. It is not that important to put a name on the procedure to correct your problems.

It sounds like to me, with the weight loss and history of asymmetry, coupled with your description that you will need a procedure to even the breasts, shape the breasts, and raise the nipples.

My guess is that you will require some degree of reduction on both sides, if not for shaping, than for improvement of symmetry. Call it a lift or reduction, it is really just a matter of degree of how much breast tissue is removed.

You will likely require the "anchor" incision.

With you weight loss, you may ultimately desire a breast augmentation to give you uplift, firmness, shape, and upper pole fullness.

You are on the right track with your though process.

Now is the time to see a plastic surgeon for planning.

Asymmetric Breasts

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Thanks for the question. While its difficult to give you an accurate assessment without having the luxury of seeing you in person or looking at pictures, from your description, you have considerable breast asymmetry, both in volume and skin/soft tissue. It is possible that you may indeed require a breast reduction on one side and a mastopexy on the other side. It is not uncommon to perform these procedures for asymmetry cases.

Regarding the scars, in general, with a breast reduction, an anchor scar is commonplace, extending around the circumference of the neo-areola, carrying down the breast in a vertical fashion and extending left/right lateral along the line of the inframammary fold. The mastopexy scar will vary from a purely circum-areolar scar, to a "lolly-pop" scar, and possible extended lolly-pop in cases of significant skin excess.

I would recommend getting a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who is well versed in aesthetic breast surgery. Best of luck.

Lift one breast while reducing the other for symmetry

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Most women will have a certain degree of asymmetry of the breast which most often is very subtle, though can be quite dramatic. It is not uncommon in breast reduction to find that one breast is fuller and in need of a greater reduction on one side, so if you are happy with the natural cup size of one breast, a lift of the breast will work out well with a reduction of the opposite breast to match the one you like.

Breast reduction today is most often done with a short scar vertical pattern sometimes called a 'lollipop' incision. The cost will depend on where you live as costs vary be region, and where your surgery is performed. Office based surgery may control cost better than a hospital or general surgical facility.

Best of luck!

Breast surgery for asymmetry

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You certainly can have surgery performed on yoru breasts for asymmetry. Certainly a lift can be perfromed on one and a reduction can be performed on the other. As to cost, this will vary from region to region.

Breast lifts and reductions have similar scars

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Your problem with one breast being bigger than the other is not that unusual, some women have it more noticeable than others. The surgery to do a reduction is very similar as the surgery to do a lift. Both breasts can have a similar scar appearance and the surgery will help equalize the size.

The cost will be about $6,000 and this can vary depending on where you live. Review the surgery on the web and you will see the typical scar patterns.

Best Wishes

Dr. Peterson

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon

Asymmetric breast surgery

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Certainly an asymmetric breast situation might demand an asymmetric surgery so a reduction on one side and a lift on the other is absolutely possible. Sometimes it requires different combinations of reduction, lift, and augmentation to get the results you want. Your surgeon should give you options that are customized to your anatomy and goals.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Breast reduction and lift

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There are very few women with perfectly equally sized breasts. In my practice, 30% of my procedures are on the breast and there is almost always an asymmetry of the size, position of the nipple, the manner in which one "hangs" down, etc. It is not unusual to modify the procedure on one breast to give the illusion of symmetry.

The incisions required will depend on your particular problem and how best to address it. It is always preferable to minimize any incisions, but you should never compromise a better result because of scars. Most scars fade nicely with time, or can be revised in the future. Do the right procedure and you'll be happier than if you focus on scars versus the final result. Cost will depend on the time in the OR needed as well as the type of procedure done.

Ricardo Izquierdo, MD
Oak Brook Plastic Surgeon

Breast lifts and reductions

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Certainly, if one side is bigger and needs reduction that can be done with a lift on that side and just lift the smaller side without reducing it.  An excellent plastic surgeon with an eye for symmetry should have no problem with this.

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.