Breast Asymmetry: existing treatments

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Breast asymmetry is characterized by a difference in the size, shape, or position of the breasts.

The asymmetry can range from mild to pronounced and can be present since breast development during adolescence or arise after pregnancy and/or breastfeeding, due to natural aging, or may have other causes, which we will explore further.

Breast asymmetry can occur in various forms. It can involve a size difference between the breasts, where one breast is larger than the other. It can also involve an asymmetry in the shape of the breasts, with one being more rounded or sagging more than the other. Additionally, nipple position asymmetry is also common, with one nipple being higher or laterally displaced compared to the other.

In this article, Dr. Francisco Martins de Carvalho will explain the main causes of breast asymmetry, as well as the existing solutions for its correction.


What are the main causes of breast asymmetry?

Breast asymmetry can have various causes that contribute to its development. Some of the main factors include:

  • Unequal hormonal development: During adolescence, hormonal changes can affect breast development unequally, leading to asymmetry.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Hormonal changes and breast size increase during pregnancy and breastfeeding can cause changes in breast shape and size, resulting in asymmetry.
  • Aging: With aging, the skin loses elasticity and breast tissues may undergo changes, contributing to breast asymmetry.
  • Trauma or injury: Trauma or injuries to the breasts can affect their shape and size, resulting in asymmetry.
  • Medical conditions: Some medical conditions, such as Poland syndrome or tuberous breasts, can contribute to breast asymmetry.


It should be noted that breast asymmetry is quite common and can occur naturally. In most cases, there is no medical concern unless it causes significant physical or emotional discomfort.


Breast surgeries for asymmetry correction


Breast Augmentation for correcting asymmetry in small breasts

In this case, breast augmentation is recommended for individuals with small breasts who wish to increase their volume while correcting the asymmetry through silicone implants.


Breast Reduction for correcting asymmetry in large breasts

Breast reduction surgery is performed to decrease breast size and, in some cases, also to correct asymmetry. During this procedure, the surgeon removes excess breast tissue and reshapes the breast to achieve a more balanced size and shape relative to the opposite breast. Besides improving symmetry, breast reduction can also alleviate physical discomfort associated with excessive breast weight.


Mastopexy (Breast Lift) for correcting asymmetry in sagging breasts

Mastopexy, also known as a breast lift, is a surgery that corrects breast ptosis (sagging breasts) by removing excess skin. This technique can be combined with the placement of an implant (augmentation mastopexy). When used to correct asymmetry in sagging breasts, mastopexy allows the repositioning of breast tissue, removal of excess skin, and adjustment of the areola to create a more symmetrical appearance. This procedure is particularly beneficial for women whose breasts have lost firmness due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight loss, or aging.


Fat Grafting

Through this technique, which involves liposuction of areas with excess fat and placing it in the breast, it is possible to correct mild to moderate breast asymmetries.


Frequently Asked Questions about the surgeries


At what age can breast asymmetry correction surgery be performed?

In most cases, these surgeries can be done once breast growth has completed, which is around 18 years of age.

What is the average duration of the surgeries?

Most breast surgeries last, at most, 2 hours, depending on the case.

What type of anesthesia is used?

All breast surgeries are performed under general anesthesia.

What is the hospitalization time?

Breast augmentation and fat grafting may be outpatient or with 1-day hospitalization (depending on the cases). Breast reduction and mastopexy always require a 1-day hospitalization.

What is the postoperative and recovery like?

The postoperative period and recovery vary according to the specific type of breast surgery performed, but there are some general similarities among the procedures:

  • After any type of breast surgery, it is common to feel some swelling, discomfort, and sensitivity in the breasts.
  • A compression bra should be worn for approximately 8 weeks.
  • Some lymphatic drainage sessions may also be recommended, depending on the doctor’s advice.
  • The patient usually receives prescriptions for painkillers and is advised to rest and avoid strenuous activities in the first weeks after surgery.
  • The inactivity period varies depending on the type of surgery performed and the patient’s activity level.
  • Over time, the swelling decreases, and the scars begin to mature and become less visible.

Learn more about the postoperative period on the specific page for each surgery.

Living Clinic Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Francisco Martins de Carvalho
Dr. Francisco Martins de Carvalho

Dr. Francisco Martins de Carvalho is a specialist in Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery. He completed his degree in Medicine at the School of Medicine of the University of Oporto and the Internship in Specific Training in Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery took place at Hospital de São José (Lisbon) and Hospital de São João (Oporto). Currently, he is also a plastic surgeon at the Hospital de São João – Oporto, and a Invited Lecturer at the School of Medicine of the University of Oporto.

In the field of cosmetic surgery, he has a special interest in facial cosmetic surgery, breast cosmetic surgery, body contouring surgery and vaginal cosmetic surgery.

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