I have always had slightly asymmetrical breasts but as I approached adolescence my breasts have become more different in size and shape. Though asymmetry is common, it looks like one breast simply stopped developing, because the nipple is smaller and the portion of breast tissue under the nipple is significantly not as large/developed as the other. Is this something natural or does it look like a health concern is the cause? Are There Non-invasive Treatments Available?
Can One Breast Stop Developing While the Other Continues to Grow?
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Doctor Answers 17
Options for correcting asymmetrical breast development
There are a number of options for creating a breast shape in a situation where one doesn't develop, but the key is to use some of the same techniques as with breast reconstruction. One option that I have found very useful is an expander-implant called Spectrum, made by Mentor. It is a saline implant that can be expanded slowly over a period of months to stretch out the skin enveope and fine-tune the volume. These procedures may not be covered by insurance but there is a grant program through the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (surgery.org) that can help in situations like yours if finances are an obstacle.
Breasts Growing Differently
What you are describing sounds like Poland Syndrome, a developmental condition in which one breast doesn't develop properly, This must be accompanied by some growth alteration in the pectoralis muscle, and may also affect arm growth. There are different degrees in presentation. Your case sounds fairly straightforward. Often, placement of a breast implant will rectify the situation. On occasion, breast reduction must be done on the other side. if your other breast is not significantly larger, fat injection may be an option for you.
The vast majority of women have some degree of breast asymmetry. This asymmetry occurs for a variety of reasons. It can be related to the volume of the breasts, or in some cases, to the shape of the breasts. In some cases, asymmetry may be related to the position of the nipple areola complexes, while in other cases, it may be related to deformities of the underlying chest-wall.
Regardless of the cause, a cup size difference isn't an unusual finding. When this problem is encountered, a variety of surgical options are available to treat this problem. If you're concerned about breast asymmetry, it's important to consult a board certified plastic surgeon. This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your concerns.
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Breast asymmetry options
1) You can reduce the larger breast with liposuction
2) You can enlarge the smaller one with fat grafting or an implant
3) You can enlarge both but use different size implants
I would visit with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options in more detail. Non-surgical options are not effective in addressing developmental asymmetry.
Asymmetry corrected with cosmetic breast surgery
Asymmetry is normal
Please note that nobody's breasts are symmetrical. Every woman has one breast that may be different in shape and/or size, and this asymmetry varies. It can be mild to severe, but note that this is totally normal.
The only treatment that is safe and effective is cosmetic breast surgery.
Having some difference between you two breast is normal
It is normal to have some breast asymmetry. Some women will have more than others and it can become more noticeable with time.
Asymmetrical breasts can be normal
Most women have asymmetry when it come to their breast. Some have a greater difference between them than others. Even extremely uneven breasts can be in the realm on normal. If the difference in size in significant enough for you to consider have it corrected, there are several possible approaches. Reduction of the larger side, implant placement of the smaller side, or fat grafting to the smaller side to enlarge it. The last option tends to have the least scarring and the most natural look. What ever you decide, make sure your breasts have stopped developing before you have surgery, or you may have to do it twice.
Most breasts are in fact asymmetric. It is unusual to find a woman that has perfectly symmetric breasts. However, when the discrepancy is quite significant it can be an issue of self esteem, self confidence, ability to fit in clothes properly, etc.
Usually breasts asymmetry does not represent health risk in terms of breast cancer, or anything life threatening. However, you should be examined by your primary care doctor to rule out any abnormal growth on the fast growing side. Another diagnosis that can cause this sort of breast appearance is called Poland Syndrome. Poland Syndrome is when there is an underdevelopment of the breast on one side, underdevelopment of the nipple, and a missing pectoralis major muscle on that side. You might in fact have Poland Syndrome. Poland Syndrome might sound like a "disease" but it is not a health risk except for appearance. Sometimes asymmetry can be “idiopathic” -which means for an unknown cause. Whether this is Poland Syndrome or idiopathic, you should have a consultation with a plastic surgeon to see if a cosmetic correction can be done.
Again, there is no health risk, but you may want to have it corrected for your self confidence, better symmetry, and ability to fit into clothes proportionately. Options may include an implant on the smaller side, or even on both sides, and a breast lift or reduction on the larger side.
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.