Really worried about asymmetry? (Photos)

I am day 5 post op (early I know) and I'm Really worrying about asymmetry. Does this look like more than post op swelling asymmetry? My left breast feels odd if I lean over or brushes against my arm (maybe like a big air bubble is inside). It's the bigger implant by 50cc, it's riding higher and hurts more than the other side too.

Doctor Answers 5

Asymmetry or Swelling?

Great question! You still have a long road of healing ahead of you. From your pictures, this looks more like post op swelling than asymmetry. It is normal to have slightly more pain in one breast than the other if you have a larger implant in that side- you had to be stretched more on your smaller breast. Give your breasts a good three months before worrying about asymmetry, it can take up to a full three months before all swelling is gone and before your implant is in its pocket correctly. Good luck! You look great so far.

Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Really worried about asymmetry after breast augmentation?

Congratulations on having undergone the breast augmentation procedure.  Your plastic surgeon will always be your best resource when it comes to accurate assessment, advice and/or meaningful reassurance. I do not see anything concerning on your photographs.  Sensations of "air bubbles" and/or hearing unusual sounds is also quite common after breast augmentation,  during the initial healing process.

Generally speaking, breast implants will "drop" into the pocket that was created during surgery. The rate of breast implant "settling" may depend on factors such as size of breast implant pocket dissected, tightness of the overlying skin/muscle layers, and size of breast implant utilized. Normally, it takes about 3-6 months (for some patients longer) to see the final results. In my practice, patients hear me say "sisters not twins" several times before surgery;  in other words, achieving realistic expectations prior to proceeding with surgery is important,  in that perfect  symmetry is very rarely achieved.

Many of my patients report that as the swelling around the breast implants (for example, in the sternal area) decreases, they feel that their breasts appear more projecting (and that they have better "cleavage"). Also, in my opinion, the "drop and fluff” phenomenon does hold some validity; as breast implants “settle”, many patients feel that their breasts actually look larger. Similarly, it takes a few months for the breasts to "soften" in most cases.  Most of my patients tell me that their breast implants feel "part of them" somewhere between 3 to 6 months after surgery was performed. 

 There is definitely a physiologic and "psychological" (body image)  adaptation process that occurs, at differing rates for every patient, for patients who undergo any type of aesthetic surgery, including breast  augmentation surgery.  Understandably, patients often experience significant emotional "ups and downs" around the time of surgery.

In cases where significant breast asymmetry persists, the pros/cons associated with revisionary breast surgery should be carefully considered prior to making decisions whether or not to undergo further surgery.  Patients undergoing breast augmentation/lifting surgery, as you have, have a greater likelihood of requiring revisionary breast surgery compared to patients who undergo breast augmentation surgery alone. 
  Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with longer term.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Really worried about asymmetry?

Hello! Thank you for your question! You are still early post-procedure. Your appearance looks typical at this stage and will continue to improve as the swelling subsides and the implants continue to settle into their desired position. This usually proceeds over the next several weeks to months as the lower pole skin/breast stretches to accommodate the implants. Usually, final results will be seen 4-6 months postop.  Follow-up closely with your surgeon for additional restrictions/instructions and the potential use of bras/garments or massage that may encourage the implant to settle appropriately.  It is not uncommon for one breast to settle more quickly than the other due to swelling, dissection, or muscle tightness.  If still displaced after this time, a surgical procedure may be necessary to further open the pocket and bring the implant(s) down or implant exchange/revision. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Asymmetry is the norm

Thanks for your question and congrats on your surgery. There is always some asymmetry present so don't stress. Nothing appears out of the ordinary. If you had to have 50CC more on one side then you must have had a pronounced preop asymmetry. The implant increase can help to reduce the size difference but they will never be mirror images of one another. Furthermore, the larger the implant the more pronounced an asymmetry can become. It might be 6-8 weeks from the time of surgery before the swelling resolves and the implants drop enough to appreciate your new look. Best of Luck!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Breast Implants/Breast Augmentation/Anatomic Gummy Bear Implants/ Silicone Implants/Breast Implant Revision Surgery

I appreciate your question. Right now, you are very early on in the post op recovery period. It will take 3-6 months for you to feel comfortable having implants in your body and for them to settle. This time allows for you to physically and psychologically adapt to your new body image. There are many variables that contribute to a breast augmentation's final result. Preop size and shape, IMF location, location of the implants and type of implant. Patients heal at different rates and each breast will sometimes heal at a different rate. Rest, relax, recover and heal. Express your concerns to your surgeon so he/she can examine you. Then reassess final result at 6 months. The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam. Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative breast surgery. Best of luck! Dr. Schwartz Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute #RealSelf100Surgeon #RealSelfCORESurgeon

Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

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.