The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) advises teens that asymmetrical or unevenly shaped breasts can be corrected by using common surgical procedures. A review of some of the key considerations for successfully treating unevenly shaped breasts has been published in the September/October 2006 issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

“What we are talking about are very obvious problems with breast growth or development, not the normal asymmetry that everyone has,” says Ann F. Reilley, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Baton Rouge, LA, who wrote the article. “This condition is not uncommon, but it can feel very devastating. A teen or young woman with severely asymmetric breasts is likely to be profoundly self-conscious. For such a young woman, surgical intervention can be life-changing.”

Breast asymmetry may occur because of problems with breast growth and development or through acquired conditions, such as trauma from tumors, infection, or burns. Asymmetry can take several forms, including the absence of breast structures, excess structures (such as supernumary nipples), variations in size, and variations in shape. The disturbances may involve the nipple—areolar complex, the breast mound, or both. In most patients, the exact cause is unknown.

Plastic surgeons report that with standard procedures they can successfully treat breasts that have developed abnormally, as well as those that have changed following breastfeeding or trauma. For women who wish to have children, there are procedures that preserve their ability to breastfeed. Surgery may have to be performed on both breasts to increase the likelihood of symmetry.

Although many physicians advise waiting until breast growth is complete, earlier intervention may be appropriate in some cases, particularly in teens who have very noticeable asymmetry, or in those who become depressed or socially withdrawn because of their condition. As with any other surgery, physicians should make sure that their patients have realistic expectations.

[healthnewsdigest.com, September 18, 2006]