Women’s breast development can be variable resulting in breasts of different size and shape. This is known as breast asymmetry. A slight difference in breast size is common among most women, but breast size discrepancy in some women can be marked. The position of the nipple can also be different in each breast.
The purpose of surgery for breast asymmetry is usually to correct the difference in size, shape, and nipple position. If both breast sizes and shape are different, different procedures are used to achieve a good surgical result. If one breast is a cup size or more different than the other, surgery is recommended. If the difference in breast size is less than a bra cup size, then surgery is not usually advised.
Surgery for breast asymmetry may include a number of procedures.
Surgery may involve the augmentation of one or both breasts, the reduction of one or both breasts, or augmentation of one breast and reduction in size of the other. If there is sagging in one of the asymmetrical breasts, this is corrected by performing a breast lift to raise the sagging breast.
Tubular Breast Deformity (tuberous breasts)
Another form of breast asymmetry is a condition known as tuberous breasts or tubular breast deformity. This is where the breasts are shaped like tubes. The breasts have a very narrow base and usually a long skin envelope or the base of the breast appears more like a tube rather than a cone. Tuberous breasts can be corrected with cosmetic surgery, making the breast into a more rounded and pleasing shape. The surgery is usually done under general anaesthestic and the procedure takes about two to three hours. The incision is usually confined to around the nipple entirely or beneath the crease, and can be very inconspicuous. The procedure involves making internal incisions to release the tight breast tissues, making a larger space for an implant, rounding out the lower breast crease, and correcting enlarged and protruding areola.
Preparing for surgery
Smoking can increase the likelihood of wound problems in this type of surgery and abstaining from smoking for at least two weeks preoperatively and postoperatively is a sensible precaution.
On the day of the surgery the patient is admitted to hospital. Miss Patel will visit the patient to go over the procedure again and plan and mark the exact extent of the surgery. The patient is also seen by a consultant anaesthetist who will discuss the anaesthetic and answer any questions the patient may have.
How long does the procedure take?
The length of the procedure depends on the extent of correction required but typically, the surgery takes in the region of two to two and half hours.
Recovery after breast asymmetry surgery/tubular breast reconstructive surgery
The patient normally stays in hospital overnight and is discharged the following day. If drains are used, they are removed the morning after surgery. It is recommended that the patient use a sports bra after surgery to give extra support and comfort. Sports bras are usually used for four to six weeks.
Safety and Potential Risks of breast asymetry surgery or reconstruction for tubular breast deformity
The majority of patients undergoing breast asymmetry surgery and reconstruction for tubular breast deformity performed by an experienced surgeon achieve good results with a rapid recovery. In a small proportion of patients complications can occur as listed below:
- Scars – Scars usually heal nicely in a thin white line; however, in some patients, they can be thicker than expected and may require scar management therapy.
- Infection – Infection is rare in this type of surgery and the risk is minimised by careful surgical technique and the use of a dose of antibiotics during surgery.
- Nipple sensation – There can be some reduction in nipple sensation after breast reduction, though this tends to improve with time. In some cases there is a permanent loss of sensation particularly where there is a very large reduction is performed.
- Haematoma – In a limited number of cases small blood vessels in the wound may bleed after the surgery which leads to blood collecting under the wound. This is known as a haematoma which needs to be released and washed out before re-suturing the wound. Should this problem arise, it is typically on the day of surgery and does not affect the final result.
This is not a definitive list and symptoms will vary with each patient.
Please ask Miss Patel for more information.
For further information please contact Miss Patel to arrange a consultation.
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