Risk of and Corrections for Breast Asymmetry
Asymmetry is a common risk for anyone undergoing breast augmentation. The first thing you should do is consult with your surgeon to figure out what’s causing the asymmetry. In most cases, asymmetry is only temporary, but in rare instances it may be the result of a post-surgical complication.
Temporary Causes of Breast Implant Asymmetry
Residual swelling can last for a month or longer following breast augmentation. Once swelling has subsided, your breast implants will begin to settle into a more natural position. They may, however, settle at different rates, resulting in a difference in appearance. Your breasts will gradually settle over the course of 3-4 months, but it may take up to 8 months before your final results are realized. Usually a surgeon will wait 6 months to a year to determine if a revision is necessary.
Revision Surgery to Correct Breast Asymmetry
In some cases, breast asymmetry may be the result of a doctor or patient error. An unskilled or under-qualified surgeon could use improper techniques or even insert a poor choice of size for implants for your body.
In cases where asymmetry persists, revision surgery may be necessary to correct asymmetry or improve implant placement. Breast revision surgery should always be performed by a highly specialized surgeon. Revision surgery requires a lot of experience and skill to maximize predictability.
If you feel asymmetry is the result of doctor error, you may want to seek out the advice of a different plastic surgeon. Please check the GMC Specialist register to ensure your surgeon appears there as a Plastic & Reconstructive Specialist for cosmetic or reconstructive surgery.
Post-Surgical Complications that May Result in Breast Asymmetry
While minor asymmetries are common, anything significant may signify a post-surgical complication and should be reported to your surgeon. Some of these causes of asymmetry include:
Seroma – A seroma is a pocket of watery, yellow-colored fluid collection that may appear after breast augmentation. Seromas are usually a minor complication – more of an annoyance than anything else. Small seromas will often resolve without intervention. Larger ones will need to be drained using a needle and syringe, under local anesthesia. The best way to reduce your risk of developing seromas is to carefully follow your surgeon’s post-surgical care instructions.
Hematoma – A hematoma is a pooling of blood that can accumulate around the breast implant after surgery. In some cases, hematomas resolve without any surgical intervention. Other times, they may require surgical drainage. The overall risk of developing a hematoma is lower than 2 %. To minimise your risk, avoid taking blooding thinning medications such as aspirin at least 2 weeks prior to breast augmentation. You should also avoid doing too much physical activity.