In this section
It is quite common for a girl to have one
breast bigger than the other when she is going through
puberty. Usually they become the same size over time and do
not need any treatment. However, if the breasts have not become
more or less an equal size by the time a girl is about 16 years old
or near the end of puberty, they will probably remain unequal.
In some young women the problem is that one
breast is overdeveloped, whereas in others the smaller breast is
There is no medical need for treatment for
uneven breast size.
The difference in breast size is usually due
to the fat layers, not the milk producing ducts. Therefore
women with unequal breast size should be able to breast feed as
usual from both breasts. The amounts of milk produced should
be the same.
Because the difference in breast size is
usually due to the fat layers, women with uneven breast size should
have no bigger risk of breast cancer. If you have any concerns you
should discuss this with your doctor.
These are three treatment and plastic surgery
options for uneven breast sizes for women who wish to improve the
cosmetic appearance of their breasts:
These are worn inside a special bra next to
the skin. They have a hollow on the inside where the smaller
breast fits inside very comfortably. They are filled with a
skin colored gel and feel just like a breast. They can be
easily matched to the size and shape of the other breast. The
nipple can also be matched to the other breast. The quality is
so good that it will look completely normal even under a tight
t-shirt. It can be held in place with tape that can be left on the
skin for several days at a time. More simple padding can be also
worn with swimsuits.
There is no risk to health from the implants
as they are worn outside the body. You need to buy the
prosthesis but can claim a lot of the cost back from some health
funds. Check with your insurance company.
You may also be able to claim a tax deduction
as a legitimate health expense.
Surgery to reduce breast size is done as an
operation under general anaesthetic by a plastic surgeon.
Breast reduction can affect lactation
(milk production) if breast tissue is removed. But it may just mean
the baby needs to have more frequent feeds for a longer
time. Nipple placement is important to ensure future
feeding. Discuss all risks and benefits carefully with a
Breast implants are done as an operation under
general anaesthetic by a plastic surgeon. Implants being used
now are filled with saline (salt water) which is considered
harmless to the body. Silicone implants are no longer
used because of fears that small amounts of silicone
could leak and damage the immune system. Breast enhancement
should not cause any problems with breast feeding. Discuss all
risks and benefits carefully with a plastic surgeon.
Produced by the RCH Dept of
Endocrinology in consultation with the Dept of Plastic
Surgery. First published Sept 2006. Updated