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Uneven Breasts: Understanding Why One Breast Implant May Be Higher Than the Other

Breast augmentation is a popular cosmetic procedure that aims to enhance the size and shape of a person’s breasts. However, many people experience uneven breasts following the surgery, with one breast implant appearing higher than the other. Our expert guide sheds light on the potential reasons behind this phenomenon and provides guidance on how to address it.

Surgical technique and implant placement

The surgical technique used during breast augmentation can significantly impact the outcome. Surgeons may adopt different approaches to implant placement, which include submuscular (under the chest muscle), subglandular (above the chest muscle), and dual-plane (a combination of both). Each method carries its own set of pros and cons and may affect the overall symmetry of the breasts.

For instance, subglandular placement is known to create a more natural look, but can lead to a higher likelihood of visible implant edges, particularly in women with thinner breast tissue. This can result in uneven breasts, with one implant appearing higher than the other. 

Postoperative swelling

It is normal to experience some degree of swelling after breast augmentation surgery. However, the degree of swelling can vary between the two breasts, leading to unevenness in their appearance. In some cases, one breast may appear higher due to increased inflammation, which could cause the implant to sit higher on the chest wall. This is usually a temporary issue and resolves as the swelling subsides over time.

Capsular contracture

Capsular contracture is a common complication that arises when the scar tissue that forms around the breast implant hardens and contracts. This condition can cause the implant to shift out of its original position, leading to one breast appearing higher than the other. Capsular contracture can also result in breast pain, tightness, and a distorted appearance.

Treatment for capsular contracture often involves a combination of medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics, to manage the symptoms. In severe cases, additional surgery may be required to remove the hardened capsule and reposition the implant.

Implant malposition

Implant malposition occurs when the breast implant is not placed correctly during surgery, leading to an uneven appearance. This can happen if the surgeon creates an implant pocket that is too large, too small, or not symmetrical, causing the implant to sit too high or too low in relation to the other breast. Implant malposition can also occur if the implant shifts out of its original position after surgery, due to factors like muscle activity, gravity, and the natural aging process.

Natural breast asymmetry

It is important to remember that natural breast asymmetry is common, and no two breasts are exactly alike. In some cases, the pre-existing asymmetry may become more noticeable after breast augmentation. It is crucial to discuss any concerns about breast asymmetry with your surgeon prior to the procedure, so they can make the necessary adjustments to achieve your desired result.

Implant size and shape

Breast implants come in various sizes, shapes, and profiles, which can all influence the final appearance of the breasts. If the implants are not matched correctly, it may result in uneven breasts, with one appearing higher than the other. A skilled surgeon will take into account a patient's unique anatomy and aesthetic goals to select the most appropriate implant size and shape for a balanced and symmetrical outcome.

What can you do about uneven breasts after implant surgery?

If you notice that your breast implants are uneven after surgery, consider taking the following steps:

Remain patient: in the initial weeks following breast augmentation, your breasts will undergo changes as they heal. It is normal for the implants to settle into their final position over time. Swelling and inflammation may cause temporary asymmetry, so it is important to give your body time to recover before making any judgments about the final result.

Consult your surgeon: if you are concerned about the appearance of your breasts, do not hesitate to discuss your concerns with your surgeon. They will be able to assess your recovery progress and provide guidance on what to expect. In some cases, your surgeon may recommend a revision surgery to correct any issues related to uneven breasts.

Follow postoperative care instructions: adhering to your surgeon's postoperative care instructions is crucial to ensure a smooth recovery and the best possible outcome. This may include wearing a surgical bra or compression garment, avoiding certain activities, and attending follow-up appointments as scheduled.

Seek a second opinion: if you are not satisfied with your surgeon's assessment or recommendations, it may be helpful to seek a second opinion from another experienced plastic surgeon. They can provide an unbiased evaluation of your situation and discuss potential treatment options.

Consider revision surgery: if your uneven breasts are the result of a surgical issue, such as implant malposition or capsular contracture, revision surgery may be necessary to correct the problem. If you would prefer to not go back to your original surgeon, be sure to select a surgeon who is experienced in breast revision procedures to ensure the best possible outcome.

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Find out how we can help you if your cosmetic breast surgery has gone wrong. Get in touch by calling 0808 273 6662, or arrange for us to call you back by using our online contact form.

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Mike Saul


Michael Saul is a partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, where he brings his extensive specialist legal expertise and passion for helping people to the forefront of his work. With a proven track record of success in cosmetic surgery negligence cases, Michael has dedicated his career to providing clients with the highest level of representation and achieving favourable outcomes.

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