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Breast asymmetry (uneven breasts)

Breast asymmetry occurs due to underdevelopment on one side. Correction will provide added volume and shape to the breast

Fat transfer procedure to correct uneven breasts and breast asymmetry
Breast asymmetry, or uneven breasts, is when one breast is a different size, shape, or in a different position than the other.

Some degree of breast asymmetry is normal, and most women’s breasts vary slightly. However, if there are significant differences between your breasts, it may make you feel self-conscious and could be a sign of an underlying health condition.

There are three main types of breast asymmetry:

  • Anisomastia — a difference in the size and volume of your breasts
  • Anisothelia — a difference in your nipples and areola (the area around your nipple)
  • Combined asymmetry — a combination of anisomastia and anisothelia

Call or book online today to arrange a consultation to discuss private breast asymmetry treatment with a consultant of your choice at Circle Health Group.

This page explains what breast asymmetry is, what can cause breast asymmetry, and what treatments are available.

Breast asymmetry has a number of possible causes. It can start as early as puberty, when your breasts first start to develop, or changes may occur later in life.

Some causes of breast asymmetry include:


You may develop asymmetrical breasts in puberty because of your genes. This is normally nothing to worry about and does not require treatment, but if the asymmetry is significant, it may make you feel self-conscious about your breast’s appearance.

Hormonal changes

Changes and fluctuations in your hormone levels, such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause or hormonal contraceptives like the pill, can cause changes in your breasts.

Hypoplastic breasts

Hypoplastic breasts do not develop properly and may be uneven, small, thin, or spaced far apart. In some cases, the areola may appear larger than average. Hypoplastic breasts can be congenital (present at birth) or occur later in life due to injury, surgery, or radiation treatment.

Tubular breasts

Tubular breasts is a harmless condition that occurs when your breast tissue doesn’t develop as expected during puberty, making your breasts appear tube-shaped. They are often spaced far apart with the nipple pointing downwards. The condition can affect one or both breasts.

Juvenile hypertrophy

Juvenile hypertrophy is a rare congenital condition where one breast grows much larger than the other. The cause is unknown.

Atypical ductal hyperplasia

Atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH) occurs when the milk ducts in your breasts grow excessively. It can lead to benign (non-cancerous) lumps that can change your breast’s shape and appearance. ADH may increase your risk of breast cancer.

Poland syndrome

Poland syndrome is a rare congenital disorder where the muscles on one side of the body are missing or underdeveloped, resulting in abnormalities of the chest, shoulder, arm, or hand. Most people with Poland syndrome are missing part of one of the major chest muscles (the pectoralis major) causing the chest to appear concave.


Injury or surgery, such as breast cancer surgery, may result in your breasts appearing asymmetrical.

Breast cancer

While breast asymmetry itself isn’t usually a sign of breast cancer, a 2015 study found that women with significant breast asymmetry had an increased risk of developing the disease. Check your breasts regularly, and see a doctor straight away if you notice any changes in your breasts.

Changes may include:

  • A lump in or around your breast, or armpit
  • Changes in the size or shape of your breast
  • Changes to your nipple
  • Fluid or discharge from your nipple
  • Changes to the tissue around your breast or armpit. This may include thickening of your skin, increased skin firmness, dimpled or puckered skin
  • Discoloured, itchy, or scaly skin around your breast

The only treatment for breast asymmetry is surgery to alter the size, shape, or position of your breasts and create a more symmetrical appearance. This is known as breast asymmetry correction surgery.

At your first consultation, you will be seen by a consultant plastic, reconstructive, or breast surgeon.

Your consultant will ask you about your symptoms and your reasons for considering breast asymmetry correction surgery. They will perform a physical examination of your breasts, and may order tests or scans such as a blood test, ultrasound, or mammogram. These tests are done to rule out any underlying conditions that could be causing your breast asymmetry.

How is a diagnosis made?

Your consultant will make a diagnosis based on your symptoms, physical examination and the results of any tests or scans.

Why is this first consultation so important?

At Circle Health Group, your first appointment is very important as it’s where your consultant will ask you about your symptoms, perform a physical examination, order any necessary tests, provide a diagnosis, and discuss possible treatments.

Your first consultation is also where we get to know you, discuss your expectations for treatment and encourage you to ask any questions you may have. It is important to us that you are as well-informed and comfortable as possible before, during, and after your treatment, so please discuss any questions or concerns with your consultant during your appointment.

At the end of your appointment, your consultant will decide if breast asymmetry correction surgery is a suitable option for you based on your symptoms and diagnosis. They will discuss the different types of surgery, which one may be best for you, and what you can expect from the procedure.

Your consultant will tell you everything you need to do to prepare for your surgery. If there’s anything you’re not sure about, or if you have any questions about how to prepare for your surgery, speak to your consultant or call the hospital for advice. Being well-prepared for your surgery will help to ease any anxiety you may have as well as allow your surgery and recovery to go more smoothly.

Before your surgery, tell your consultant about any medical conditions or allergies you have and any medication, including over-the-counter medicines you are taking.

Your consultant may tell you to stop taking some medications like blood thinners before your operation. This is to reduce the risk of bleeding during and after your surgery.

You will not be able to eat or drink anything from midnight on the day of your operation.

What lifestyle changes can I make before my surgery?

Being in optimal health before your surgery can reduce the risk of complications and speed up your recovery.

To make sure you are as healthy as possible before your surgery:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains
  • If you smoke, try to stop at least eight weeks before your surgery
  • Avoid alcohol for a few days before and after your surgery. Alcohol thins the blood and can increase the risk of bleeding
  • Take regular exercise

What happens during your breast asymmetry correction surgery depends on your individual case and what needs to be done during your surgery. You may be given a general anaesthetic, which means you’ll be asleep for the procedure, or local anaesthetic, meaning you’ll be awake, but won’t feel any pain.

Types of breast asymmetry correction surgery include:

  • Breast reduction — surgery to make your larger breast smaller
  • Breast enlargement (breast augmentation) — surgery to make your smaller breast larger using either implants, or tissue from elsewhere on your body
  • Liposuction — may be performed to make one of your breasts smaller if not much tissue needs to be removed and your nipple is in a good position
  • Breast lift (mastopexy) — removes sagging and excess skin and tightens breast tissue to lift your breast and create a more symmetrical shape. A breast lift can be performed at the same time as a breast reduction
  • Fat transfer surgery — Fat is transferred from another part of your body and injected into your breast to give a more symmetrical shape. This option is best for patients who have only a slight difference in the size, shape, or proportion of their breasts
  • Nipple/areola reshaping surgery — to correct differences in the nipple or areola

Recovery from any type of surgery is different for everyone and depends on factors such as your age, general health, and the type of surgery you have had.

Your consultant will be able to give you an estimated recovery timeline based on your individual circumstances.

How many nights will I need to stay in hospital?

You may be able to go home the same day as your breast asymmetry correction surgery, or you may be need to spend a night or two in hospital. Talk to your consultant about when you can go home after your surgery.

Will I be able to drive home?

You will not be able to drive home from the hospital after your breast asymmetry correction surgery. Please make arrangements for someone to collect you, or we can organise a taxi if you prefer.

How soon can I go back to work?

How soon you can go back to work after your surgery depends on which procedure you had and the type of job you do. You should avoid strenuous or vigorous activity and heavy lifting for at least the first two weeks after your procedure.

You can expect to take around two weeks off work after breast reduction or breast enlargement surgery, longer if your job is very strenuous.

After fat transfer and nipple/areola shaping, you will normally be able to return to work and perform light activities after a few days, and following a breast lift or liposuction, within a couple of weeks.

Talk to your consultant about when you can expect to return to work after your breast asymmetry correction surgery.

How soon can I drive?

You can drive when you can safely control your vehicle and perform an emergency stop. Do not drive if you are taking strong painkillers or any other medication that might make you drowsy, or impair your reaction times. Most people are able to drive around a week after surgery. Check with your consultant about when you will be able to drive after your breast asymmetry correction surgery.

When will I be back to normal?

Recovery from any type of surgery is different for everyone and depends on the type of surgery you had, your age, general health and whether there are any complications during your surgery or recovery.

It typically takes around six weeks to fully recover from breast asymmetry correction surgery.

As with all types of surgery, breast asymmetry correction surgery carries a small risk of complications. Your consultant will explain all the possible risks and complications before your surgery and answer any questions you may have about your procedure. Being as well-informed as possible about what to expect from your surgery will help put your mind at rest and allow you to make an informed decision, so please ask any questions you may have.

Possible complications of any surgery include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Adverse reactions to the anaesthetic

Possible complications specific to breast asymmetry correction surgery include:

  • Haematoma (a collection of blood under the skin)
  • Visible scarring
  • Changes in nipple or breast sensation
  • Nerve damage
  • Implant complications such as implant rupture, rippling or shifting

At Circle Health Group, we have the experience and expertise to ensure the best possible care and outcome for our patients. As a patient with Circle Health Group, you can expect the highest standards of care, including:

  • Flexible appointment times and locations that are convenient for you
  • The freedom to choose which hospital and consultant suit your needs
  • Personalised, consultant-led treatment plans tailored to your individual needs
  • Comfortable and safe private facilities maintained by expert multidisciplinary teams
  • Private ensuite rooms, as standard
  • A range of delicious, healthy meals
  • Affordable, fixed-price packages with aftercare included
  • Flexible payment options to help you spread the cost of your care

If you would like to see a consultant or learn more about breast asymmetry correction surgery, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly.

Content reviewed by Circle in-house team in February 2024. Next review due February 2024.

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