Why are my breasts uneven?

Written by: Mr Nilesh Sojitra
Published:
Edited by: Emma McLeod

Uneven breasts can be a source of insecurity for many women. Breast asymmetry, however, is actually quite common. In this article, not only does Mr Sojitra explain the most common causes of breast asymmetry, but he also addresses the potential link with breast cancer and describes treatment for asymmetrical breasts.

A woman's breasts in a black and red sports bra

What is breast asymmetry?

Breast asymmetry is very common amongst women. This asymmetry could be in terms of:

  • breast volume
  • nipple height
  • where the lower breasts meet the chest (clinically called inframammary fold positioning)
  • the breastplates (these are on the chest wall)

 

It can occur in varying degrees of severity. The asymmetry may be subtle or very noticeable.

 

What can cause it?

The asymmetry is likely due to

  • different hormonal influences.
  • the development of the skeletal framework underneath the breasts. The breasts could be of equal size and volume but if the breasts sit on an underdeveloped or overdeveloped underlying framework, it can cause noticeable asymmetries.
  • tuberous breasts are a major cause of asymmetries which young women find disfiguring. This condition only becomes apparent after puberty due to hormonal influences. Key features of tubular breasts include narrow underdeveloped breast base, large nipple-areolar complex, herniation of nipple-areolar complex, oval elongated breast shape and a wide gap between breasts.
  • there could be a possible link between women who have breast asymmetries and the development of breast cancer although further studies need to be done.

 

What does a mammogram determine?

Mammograms are one way of detecting early cancers and these are often used in breast screening programmes. In the UK, regular screening starts at around 50 years old and women are offered mammograms every three years. This x-ray scan of the breast looks for suspicious build-ups of calcium in the tissue. They are difficult to interpret in women under the age of 40 as the breast tissue is dense and it’s harder to see any possible calcification.

 

How can surgery help breast asymmetry?

There are many ways to correct breast symmetry. This depends on what the patient wants and what is possible.

  • Simple breast augmentation can help. When the breasts are uneven, different implant sizes can be used used in both breasts to correct asymmetries.
  • Mastopexy and breast reduction procedures are also useful additions to correction.

 

Patients must always have a realistic approach to any type of cosmetic surgery and there is no such thing as a 'perfect' result.

 

Treatment methods for tuberous breasts may include a combination of tissue expansion, implants, mastopexy, hernia correction and fat grafting.

 

Are you unhappy with your breasts or looking to enhance them? Get in touch with Mr Sojitra via his profile.

By Mr Nilesh Sojitra
Plastic surgery

Mr Nilesh Sojitra is a leading consultant plastic surgeon in London who holds a particular interest in reconstructive surgery of the breast after cancer, correction of breast defects and breast asymmetry. Mr Sojitra undertakes all aspects of cosmetic surgery of the breast, face, nose, abdomen and body contouring following massive weight loss.

Mr Sojitra graduated from Edinburgh University in 1994 with a Bachelors degree in anatomy and completed his degree in medicine and surgery in 1997. As a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, he has obtained rigorous training in plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery in the UK and internationally.

Following his general surgical training, Mr Sojitra obtained his MRCS qualification and in 2003 was awarded a Masters degree in surgical science by the University College London. He has undertaken a specialist fellowship in breast reconstruction and microsurgery in world-renowned units in Belgium.

Mr Sojitra’s plastic surgical experience began at Charing Cross hospital, Chelsea and Westminster, the prestigious Mount Vernon plastic surgery unit and finally ended at the Royal Free London Foundation Trust in Hampstead.

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