FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA OFFICE

313 Park Avenue, Suite 100A
Falls Church, VA 22046

703-516-7600

WOODBRIDGE, VIRGINIA OFFICE

14908 Jefferson Davis Highway
Woodbridge, VA 22191

703-560-9583

SAEED MAREFAT, MD, FACS

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Breast Asymmetry

Breast Surgery Virginia

When a woman has noticeable differences in the shape or size of her breasts, she may seek surgical options for correction of this problem. Almost every woman has minor asymmetries between the two sides of her body. These minor problems are acceptable to most people. However, in certain individuals, the difference in size or shape may be so great that it may even be seen in clothes. The uneven size of the breasts can cause significant problems for the individual. By a combination of procedures, plastic surgeons have been able to minimize the size and shape differences between the breasts of these women. Such operations not only enhance the aesthetic proportion of the patient's body but also improve her self-esteem and psychological wellbeing.

Tuberous Breast Deformity

Breast surgery in Virginia is usually performed using general anesthesia. The incision can be placed in several areas, including the mammary fold (under the breast), the periareolar skin (around the dark skin surrounding the nipple), or the armpit area, depending on the procedure that is being performed. If an implant is being used to correct a size discrepancy, a pocket is developed for the implant under the breast tissue or the muscles of the chest wall. Occasionally, it may be necessary to perform a breast lift at the same time as the breast augmentation in order to correct shape differences.

The implants available for augmentation of the breast today are saline-filled implants or silicone-filled implants. For those who are having this operation done for the first time, the only available implant is the saline-filled implant. The reason for this is controversies surrounding the safety of silicone for use in elective surgery. To date, there is no scientific data that implicates silicone as being a dangerous substance. However, until there is more proof, it is best to avoid its use in cases where we have a good alternative implant. This alternative is the saline implant, which contains nothing but salt water and cannot harm you in any way. Ask your plastic surgeon to completely explain the health risks related to implants. If a breast lift is being done, you will have permanent scars. However, these scars do fade with time and become much less visible. Remember that there is no way to change the position of a nipple without some skin being removed. This will always entail some scarring. You can view the scar as a tradeoff for achieving symmetry.

Once the breast surgery is performed in Virginia, you will wear a form-fitting surgical bra for several days. Minimal swelling and discoloration may occur after Virginia breast surgery, but they disappear after a few days. You can expect to largely recover from Virginia breast surgery within a week and to return to strenuous exercises in a few weeks. Various degrees of breast firmness may develop after Virginia breast surgery. Speak with Dr. Marefat to find out how you can minimize this possibility.

What is breast asymmetry surgery?

Breast asymmetry surgery is a procedure for correcting size and shape differences between the two breasts. The usual indication for this Virginia breast surgery procedure is a woman who has significant differences between her breasts. Such discrepancies of size and shape can sometimes be quite dramatic and may even be noticeable in clothes. Minor differences of the breasts are normal and do not need correction.

What alternatives are there for breast asymmetry surgery?

There are no good alternatives to surgery for matching the two breasts. Breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction, or a combination of these procedures may be necessary to achieve the desired result. Autologous tissues (your own body’s fat and skin) used for breast asymmetry surgery would leave an unsightly scar, and, therefore, these tissues are not used for this operation.

What does breast asymmetry surgery accomplish?

The purpose of Virginia breast surgery is to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the chest and to improve the symmetry and proportions of the chest as compared to the opposite breast. Often, this also improves the patient's self-esteem and psychological wellbeing.

What happens during the first consultation for breast asymmetry surgery in Virginia?

In the first consultation, you will have a chance to discuss your concerns with our patient care coordinators and Dr. Marefat. We will explain what you need to know about your Virginia breast surgery procedure and help to determine what is best for you. You will receive information booklets and pricing on the procedure.

How is breast asymmetry surgery done?

Breast asymmetry surgery is usually done with the patient under general anesthesia. This method of anesthesia is in the best interest of the patient in terms of the comfort and the ease with which the procedure is performed. There may be scars around the nipple, under the nipple, or under the breast fold, depending on what is being done. The size and shape difference will determine the need for a lifting procedure. These lifting procedures always entail longer incisions. If an implant is to be placed, Dr. Marefat prefers placing the implant under the muscle because he believes that it not only provides a greater amount of camouflage for the breast implants, but it also reduces the risk of capsular contracture (hardening of the breast). Sometimes, it is necessary to put the implant partially under the muscle and partially under the breast tissue in order to adequately fill the lower part of the breast. If a breast lift is performed at the same time as the breast asymmetry surgery in breasts that require repositioning of the nipple areola complex, Dr. Marefat tries to minimize the length of the scar by using short-scar techniques. These will reduce the length of the scar but will not eliminate the scar. You have to be able to accept the idea of scars on your breasts if you want to achieve symmetry.

What can I expect after breast asymmetry surgery?

You should expect a moderate degree of swelling and discoloration for 1-2 weeks after Virginia breast surgery. The expected postoperative recovery would be approximately 1 week, during which time you should limit your activities and rest as much as possible. The first 2-3 days are likely to be the most uncomfortable for you with a moderate degree of pain, which is easily relieved with oral pain medications. After 3-4 days, you should be able to attend to minor activities around the house and go on short walks. By the 5th or 6th day, you should be able to return to work. The majority of patients return to work within a week. Although some patients feel good enough to exercise in the 2nd week, most do not resume their normal exercise routine until the 3rd or 4th week. Undoubtedly, if there is placement of a breast implant, there will be some changes in your lifestyle. These would include the protection of the implant from being injured during strenuous activities and the protection of the breast from injuries sustained during mammography.

What size implants should I choose for my breast asymmetry surgery?

You should choose a size that is becoming to your body that you think is right for you. This will also depend on the size of the opposite breast. Sometimes, we may choose to enlarge the breasts, or we may want to reduce the size of the breasts. It depends on what the shape and size of the breasts are prior to Virginia breast surgery. If one of the breasts is completely normal and has an acceptable size, we try to match the opposite breast to it. If, on the other hand, both breasts can be improved, we may want to augment both of them if they are small or reduce both if they are large. Each Virginia breast surgery case is individualized and treated for the specific problems that need to be corrected. These details are best explained to you by Dr. Marefat.

What risks are involved with breast asymmetry surgery?

This operation is among the safest operations we perform. However, like any surgery, there are risk factors associated with Virginia breast surgery. The doctor typically discusses the following list of complications with his patients in their second consultation prior to surgery. You should understand that all these complications are extremely rare and are not a deterrent to Virginia breast surgery for most people.

A complete list of possible side effects and complications will be provided to you when you schedule your surgery. You should talk to Dr. Marefat for more information on each of these possible risks.

Virginia breast surgery, like breast augmentation, may involve the use of an implant. With implant breast surgery, the most common complication is the capsular contracture. This term refers to firmness of the breast caused by the shrinking of the scar tissue surrounding the implant. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict in whom this problem will occur. It may occur in one breast but not the other.

If this problem occurs, we may have to perform a corrective procedure. Closed capsulectomy (release of the contracture by external pressure) is no longer done. Open capsulectomy would entail returning to the operating room for releasing the capsule either by making incisions in the scar tissues or by removing the scar tissue completely. This allows the breast implant to sit comfortably in its pocket and stay soft. The risk of developing capsular contracture is approximately 10%, although higher numbers have been reported in some studies.

Other complications include the following:

Am I at risk for breast cancer with breast asymmetry surgery?

If you do not have an implant, there is no increased risk of breast cancer.  In women who have implants placed for asymmetry correction, there may be a slightly increased risk of compromised detection of early breast cancer in mammograms. However, with improved, state-of-the-art radiological techniques for detection of breast cancer, this is unlikely. Furthermore, the saline implant is completely clear in the x-ray, making it easier for the radiologist to see all the breast tissue. Patients who have breast implants are more likely to examine themselves and to be examined by a health professional. For this reason, the likelihood of having an undiagnosed tumor is less.

What about risk of connective tissue disease and arthritis with breasts implants?

The rare and unsubstantiated risk of connective tissue disorders, such as arthritis, relates to silicone implants; you should not worry about this with saline implants. All studies that have been done on silicone implants to date have not revealed any significant risk factors related to these implants. A few patients may have a reaction to the silicone resulting in non-specific arthritic complaints, but the possibility of these symptoms is very small. If you are interested in having your breast asymmetry corrected with silicone implants, you should ask Dr. Marefat, your Virginia plastic surgeon, to discuss these risk factors with you.

Will breasts implants affect future pregnancies or breast-feeding?

You should not have any problems with nursing; however, there have been a few cases in which the patient has not been able to nurse. Certainly, this is not a common complication of this operation.

When are the breast asymmetry surgery sutures removed?

Sutures are generally removed 2-3 weeks after surgery.

How many visits do I have after breast asymmetry surgery in Virginia?

We like to see our patients frequently after Virginia breast surgery. You are seen by the doctor or nurse within 2-3 days of Virginia breast surgery. Then the normal postoperative routine is 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. Of course, if there is a need, you may be seen more often. After the first year, we encourage our patients to come in for routine follow-up visits every 3-5 years.

When can I cover my bruises with makeup?

You should be able to put makeup on the bruises after the first week. However, we do not recommend putting makeup on your incisions until they have completely healed. This may result in tattooing of the skin by the pigments of the makeup.

Will insurances cover the costs of future problems with my breast implants?

Most insurance carriers may not cover you for problems related to the breast implant since it was placed for aesthetic reasons. You should have no problems, however, in obtaining coverage for breast diseases unrelated to the implant surgery. The breast implant manufacturers give a lifetime warranty for their products. Some manufacturers will also cover for costs of surgery if the product was found to be defective. You should ask your plastic surgeon for details about coverage.

Should I get a baseline mammogram?

It is a good idea to obtain a baseline mammogram prior to placement of the implant. The doctor recommends this in all patients over 35 years of age.

Am I a good candidate for breast asymmetry surgery?

The best candidate for Virginia breast surgery is a woman who has very asymmetrical breasts. Generally, the younger you are, the better a candidate you are for cosmetic surgery. A person’s physiological age is more important than his or her chronological age. That is to say, you may be 60 years old, but your skin and general health may be better than that of most 50 year olds.

How do I pay for breast asymmetry surgery?

You can pay for Virginia breast surgery by certified check, credit card, or cash. Payment for cosmetic surgery is expected prior to any procedure. If you are scheduled for Virginia breast surgery several weeks in advance, you may pay by personal check.

Are there breast asymmetry surgery scars?

Yes. These scars may be around the nipple, under the nipple, or under the breast fold, depending on what is being done. The size and shape difference will determine the extent and position of the scars. Lifting procedures and reduction procedures will produce longer scars. But these scars usually heal very well and become almost imperceptible after several months. The benefit of having the short-scar breast lift is that the incision made in the fold of the breast is avoided or made smaller.

Does breast asymmetry surgery hurt?

Yes. However, the pain involved in Virginia breast surgery is very tolerable. We have heard our patients describe it as muscle aches and pains or just soreness. Dr. Marefat likes to inject the treated area with a long-lasting anesthetic solution that significantly reduces the pain in the first few days after Virginia breast surgery. Many patients do not finish the pain medications prescribed to them for pain relief. Having said that, remember that pain is very subjective, and it is not easy to predict what degree of pain you will have.

Will I be awake during breast asymmetry surgery?

No. Dr. Marefat likes to have the patient under general anesthesia for Virginia breast surgery. If you have health-related risk factors for having general anesthesia, we can sometimes do Virginia breast surgery under heavy sedation. If you are just having a small touch-up procedure that can be done in the office, then you will be awake. However, if you are having a large revisional procedure or having multiple changes made to your breast, you will most likely be having your Virginia breast surgery done in an outpatient facility under general anesthesia.

Where will the breast asymmetry surgery be performed in Virginia?

The Virginia breast surgery is done in an ambulatory surgery center. Dr. Marefat does not do Virginia breast surgery in the office. The surgery center provides a safe environment without the inconveniences of a busy hospital operating room.

BEFORE

Before Breast Asymmetry

AFTER

After Breast Asymmetry

BEFORE

Breast Asymmetry Before

AFTER

Breast Asymmetry After

See More Before Afters

Are medical photographs taken of the breast asymmetry surgery?

Yes. In all cosmetic and reconstructive cases, medical photos are taken. Photographs are mandatory. This is the only way for us to compare your status before the Virginia breast surgery to your results. Photographs in plastic surgery serve much the same role that x-rays serve for orthopedic surgery.

How do I get started with breast asymmetry surgery in Virginia?

Dr. Marefat and the staff at Metropolitan Plastic Surgery would be happy to help you set up a private consultation to discuss breast asymmetry surgery in Virginia.  Schedule an appointment online or call one of our locations at 703-516-7600 (Arlington area) or at 703-560-9583 (Woodbridge).

Are there financing options for breast asymmetry surgery in Virginia?

Dr. Marefat offers a number of financial assistance programs and payment programs to cover the cost of breast asymmetry surgery in Virginia. Please visit the  patient financing section of our website for more details or ask the staff at Metropolitan Plastic Surgery about these options so that you can get started with breast asymmetry surgery in Virginia today.