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Corrective Breast Surgery

It is not uncommon for women to experience breast asymmetry or an abnormal breast shape. These are congenital conditions that are pre-determined by our DNA. Women with breast asymmetry usually come in for treatment because they would like to improve the symmetry, have their bra fit better and would like to feel more confident in their clothes. Patients with significant asymmetry or an odd breast shape are often not sure what is going on. Often patients come in after many years of being very self-conscious, and many times believing that nothing can be done. Many of these women have a condition called tuberous breast, which can be corrected.

Breast Asymmetry Correction

Asymmetry in the breasts of women is much more common than people assume. While not any two breasts on any human are exactly the same, the difference in size and shape for some people can be exceptional. In some cases, the difference in sizes can be as much as one to two cup sizes. When people are dealing with this type of bodily issue, they are not able to find bras and supportive clothing for their body type. Conventional garments will always be too large or too small on one side, causing extreme discomfort.

For the vast majority of people suffering with breast asymmetry, embarrassment is their primary concern. Patients of all ages report similar difficulties with a number of common occurrences in life. Patients typically shy away from situations in which they may be required to wear a bathing suit. They often resort to wearing over-sized clothing in order to hide the asymmetry of their body. They also suffer from extreme and continuous problems related to being self-conscious in public and intimate social situations. 

Surgery aimed at correcting asymmetrical breasts is available to virtually anyone who is having difficulty with the differing sizes of their breasts. The surgery can involve reduction on side or perhaps an implant on the smaller side.

Women who have rib abnormalities can also find themselves dealing with breast asymmetry. The type of rib conditions that can cause problems include those in which the ribs are highly prominent or extremely deficient. The breast size tends to correlate with the patient's rib formation. It is not unusual for patients to want breast augmentation only to realize that their rib structure is affecting the size of their breasts on one side and not the other. Implants can be used to camaflouge these chest wall asymmetries. I find the shaped implants to be especially beneficial in these types of situations. Shaped implants can dramatically improve the result compared to what is possible with a round, non-tear drop shape, implant.

Tuberous Breast Syndrome

Tuberous Breast Syndrome is a type of breast deformity that is common among women. This congenital condition can range widely in severity, presenting many different symptoms for patients. 

People suffering from tuberous breast syndrome commonly have one breast that is under-developed or hypoplastic. The breasts can be very different is size. The skin of the lower pole of the breast can be deficient and the level of the inframammary fold can be high. Because the lower pole skin is tight, when the breast develops during puberty, it has no place to go and in some cases it will “herniate” into the areola. In these cases the areola is very puffy and enlarged. Any combination of these variables is possible.

Correcting tuberous breast deformity is a surgical procedure that is designed to restore a natural appearance to the breasts of the patient. The actual surgical procedure can vary according to the deformities that exist, but there are some general approaches that surgeons take that have been proven to provide results for patients. Mild cases present in patients with a hypoplastic or underdeveloped breast. In such situations, surgeons can correct the problem with a basic augmentation procedure. Often I will score the breast to allow it to ‘spread’ out over the implant. This is necessary because the breast tissue is often constricted. The skin itself may need to be scored to allow it to stretch out. Sometimes the level of the inframammary fold needs to be lowered. In cases where there is a severe shortage of skin in the lower pole, tissue expanders may need to be placed as a first step, followed by augmentation at a second operation. areolaThe skin around the lower portion of the breast is enlarged using a tissue expander. The second stage involves the execution of a mastopexy and an augmentation procedure that includes tissue scoring.

Some patients require a mastopexy, either peri-areolar or with a lollipop pattern scar. In cases where the areola is enlarged, a peri-areola mastopexy will suffice to reduce the diameter of the overly large areola. In other situations a mastopexy with a lollipop pattern scar is needed.

Despite the complex nature of these procedures, patients can expect to have a significant improvement in both symmetry and shape of their breasts. Patients should also be aware that implants are usually part of a comprehensive solution for tuberous breast deformity. These implant come with their own risks that patients should consider with a qualified physician. The details of the operation for each individual, the risk associated, and the results that can be expected can all be explored during a consultation.

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