What to Do If Your Breasts are Uneven

Some studies estimate that up to 88 percent of women have breast assymetry. While it's usually harmless and likely not noticeable, many women feel self-conscious nonetheless. So, what can you do about uneven breasts?

Desiree Bley, MD, OB-GYN in Portland, OR says, "I'd say almost every woman has some level of breast asymmetry and there's nothing wrong with that.  They still function normally, and our significant others still appreciate them.  The healthiest thing you can do is develop an accepting attitude about your breasts. If there's a huge difference between them, you can see a plastic surgeon for breast augmentation or reduction. If the asymmetry appears suddenly, see your doctor about it. But otherwise, don't worry about it."

But what if your uneven breasts make you uncomfortable?  First, decide if it's physical or emotional discomfort. 

  • Physical discomfort may be a good reason to a visit to the doctor. If one breast is dramatically bigger than the other, it can cause tension and pain in the neck or back.  Physical therapy, a better fitting bra, and even prosthetics may help. 
  • If your breast asymmetry is making you feel self-conscious, try wearing a prosthetic or padding one side of your bra. If it's causing you anxiety or stress, consider seeing a therapist.  You may be experiencing body dysmorphic disorder (a psychological condition in which you can't stop thinking about a flaw with your appearance). 

What would a plastic surgeon do?  At PlasticSurgery.com, surgery for breast asymmetry is described as: a breast augmentation procedure usually performed to correct a difference in size, shape, or nipple position [and] best performed on women who have completed puberty so no further breast development is expected. A surgeon can increase the smaller breast with an implant, reduce the larger breast, or use two different-sized implants. Breast asymmetry correction is an individualized procedure, with various possibilities of incision placement; around the areola, under the fold of the breast, in the armpit, or in the navel.

The procedure typically takes from one to three hours.  Patients can return to work within a week or two and expect full surgical recovery within four to six weeks. The benefits may last a lifetime.  A study released in the November/December, 2007 issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal suggests that surgical treatment for breast asymmetry provides an improvement in the quality of life and self-esteem for patients.

For most women, surgery is unnecessary.  Instead, take a peek and you'll see; no two breasts are exactly alike. 



Breast Asymmetry Surgery

The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

New Study Shows Surgical Treatment on Breast Asymmetry Improves Quality of Life