Objective: Breast asymmetries have a high prevalence among women requesting breast augmentation. However, the prevalence of breast asymmetries in women undergoing other types of breast surgeries is not known.
Methods: The breast measurements of consecutively women evaluated for plastic surgery of the breast, but without prior breast surgery, were prospectively recorded in a plastic surgery database. They were classified into three groups according to the presenting breast problem: hypoplastic breasts, macromastia, and ptotic breasts. Comparisons were made between the right and left side of each patient regarding the symmetry of the nipple-areola complex (size and position), breast mound, and chest wall.
Results: The breast measurements of 304 women were analyzed. The mean age was 35 ± 12 years. The study population was distributed in the following manner: 126 hypoplastic breast cases, 100 macromastia cases, and 78 ptotic breast cases. Asymmetry of the position of the nipple-areola complex was found in 54%, 59%, and 56% of the groups, respectively. Asymmetry of the breast mound volume was found in 41%, 47%, and 44% of the groups. Asymmetry of the chest wall was present in 12%, 11%, and 10% of the groups, respectively. Overall, we found that 91% of the cases had at least one type of breast asymmetry. Prevalence of asymmetry was not different (p>0.05) among the groups, but the magnitude was larger in macromastia.
Conclusion: Breast asymmetries were detected in the majority of women and the prevalence was similar across the different groups, however the magnitude was greater in hypertrophic breasts.
Keywords: Asymmetry; Breast; Breast surgery.