No woman has perfectly symmetrical breasts and, for many women, the difference in size and shape is significant and can cause a great deal of distress and embarrassment.

A study published in the September issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), has shown the profound and long-term benefits of breast asymmetry surgery in young women.

Dr Brian Labow and colleagues at the Boston Children’s Hospital studied 45 young women, aged approximately 18 years, with severe breast asymmetry compared to 101 women unaffected by the condition. Pre-surgery, the women experienced significant reduction in their self-esteem and ability to function socially and in relationships compared to their peers.

Surveyed a few years post-procedure, the women recorded significant improvements in self-esteem, ability to fulfil emotional roles and social functioning. Overall, there was a profound boost to mental health. “Post-operatively, patients returned to a level of functioning commensurate with their peers,” Dr Labow writes.

What is breast asymmetry?

Breast asymmetry means a woman’s breasts differ in size, shape or position. The appearance and position of the nipples can also differ. In terms of the study, 70% of the women suffered from ‘hypoplastic’ breast asymmetry, which means one or both of the breasts are underdeveloped. Others had macromastia; this is a condition where one of the breasts is excessively large compared to the other. Some also had tuberous breast deformity where the base of the breast is constricted affecting the shape of the breast.

What does breast asymmetry surgery involve?

In its most general terms, the aim of breast asymmetry correction is to make the breasts as even in appearance as possible. To achieve this, Mr Richard Karoo will combine a number of different breast surgery techniques, depending on the patient’s unique requirements.

In terms of the study, 28 patients underwent breast augmentation on one or both sides. Fourteen had a breast reduction on one side, often combined with other procedures on the opposite breast. The remaining patients underwent a combination of breast surgery procedures to achieve the optimal result.

It is essential that patients realise that it is not possible to achieve perfect symmetry, but for patients with realistic expectations, breast asymmetry correction can be a hugely positive procedure.

Non-surgical injectable treatments have exploded in popularity in recent years. More women and men are turning to dermal fillers to target lines and wrinkles that appear as a result of facial ageing.

A recent study has found that as well as filling wrinkles and replacing volume, there is another benefit. Dermal fillers also restore a more youthful patten of facial movement and expression.

The study was published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania used 3D digital stereophotogrammetry to assess facial changes post treatment.

The study involved taking precise measurements of facial stretch and compression in 30 women, aged between 41 and 65. This was prior to them undergoing dermal filler treatment for moderate to severe nasolabial folds and marionette lines. These are the often deep folds that can appear between the nose to the corners of the mouth and between the mouth and the chin. Scans were taken before treatment and then repeated six weeks later.

These scans were compared to a control group of 20 younger women, aged between 25 and 35, who had not undergone any treatment. The scans showed that prior to treatment, the older group had significantly higher ‘stretch and strain profiles’.

Post-treatment, the older women had significant reductions in stretch and strain across the full range of facial expressions. This was similar to the younger control group. Dr Ivona Percec, who led the study said: “The strain reduction following filler treatment objectively conveys a dermal tightening effect.” So, as well as filling these folds, the dermal fillers restored a more youthful facial movement.

What can dermal fillers treat?

Dermal fillers are now used for a number of different aesthetic concerns. They can be used to fill the hollows that appear at your temples, and treat deep tear troughs under the eyes. They restore a more youthful appearance to the mid-face, as well as treat nasolabial folds and marionette lines.

Lip augmentation, either to produce fuller lips or restore volume and definition lost as a result of ageing, is incredibly popular. Non-surgical nose reshaping involves using dermal fillers to straighten out lumps or bumps in the nose without the need for any downtime.

Although temporary dermal fillers are minimally invasive, it is essential that you are seen by a qualified medical professional. They can still entail risks or a less than optimal outcome. For more information on dermal fillers, call us on 02920 256498 to arrange a consultation.

There is a new plastic surgery series on Netflix, but unlike typical shock-value makeover shows such as Botched, it is challenging common misconceptions about cosmetic surgery, by focusing on the positive impact that a procedure can have on a patient’s wellbeing and self-esteem.

Skin Decision: Before and After follows a US plastic surgeon and an aesthetic nurse as they treat patients for a wide range of concerns. In each episode, the experts listen closely to their patient’s goals and determine whether a surgical or non-surgical procedure is the most appropriate option. The well-balanced series shows how these treatments can greatly improve a patient’s quality of life.

The importance of realistic goals when planning cosmetic surgery

Having realistic expectations about what cosmetic surgery can achieve is the most important factor when planning a procedure and your plastic surgeon will assess this during your consultation. Unrealistic expectations can include wanting to look like someone else, such as a celebrity, or believing it will change your life, particularly if you’ve gone through a recent major life event such as divorce. You should also never undergo surgery to please others.

Having realistic expectations means having perspective regarding any perceived imperfections. Also understanding that cosmetic surgery can produce a more aesthetically pleasing result but that producing perfection is not possible.

Post-procedure, it is also important to realise that your final result may take many months as there will be swelling and scarring that may take some time to fully heal. Maintaining your results will also require commitment; for example, liposuction can permanently remove fat, but unless you commit to a healthy lifestyle post-procedure, you will gain further weight

Good communication is also key to a good outcome; being able to clearly explain what is concerning you and what you’re hoping to achieve means your plastic surgeon can then advise you whether cosmetic surgery is the appropriate option for you and what your final result is likely to be.

Call us on 02920 256498 if you’re interested in arranging a consultation with Mr Richard Karoo to discuss any concerns.