Controlling Cup-Size Chaos - ASAPS Annual Meeting Explores Breast Asymmetry Issues
Breast asymmetry is extremely common, and it is often more noticeable after breast augmentation surgery. Thus, it is crucial for surgeons to evaluate the components that contribute to breast asymmetry - such as volume, nipple position, chest wall deformity, inframammary fold and base diameter - when developing a breast augmentation plan to increase patient satisfaction, improve aesthetic outcome and decrease the rate of reoperation.
"It is important for surgeons to assess the patient's breast symmetry before operating to determine whether the surgery is necessary and if it will make the asymmetry more obvious," said Dr. Fisher. "Our panelists will discuss various new approaches to analyze breast asymmetry and plan surgery for patients with this common condition."
Prior to operating on a patient with breast asymmetry, surgeons should clearly articulate the challenges of breast augmentation, including the problems posed by breast asymmetry, to help manage patient expectations. Inviting patients with challenging breast asymmetries to participate in preoperative decisions, such as implant selection and postoperative shaping, can also be helpful.
"The key to a high patient satisfaction rate is to fully inform the patient that this kind of augmentation is extremely challenging, but that using a detailed analytic approach, we can achieve a very aesthetically pleasing outcome within the limits set by their preoperative anatomic characteristics," said Dr. Casas.
New technology, such as 4-dimensional (4D) imaging, can be used as a tool to engage patients with asymmetrical breasts in the consultation process, allowing both patient and surgeon to better understand existing asymmetries. Such technology also enhances operative planning by performing instant image capture, documenting breast dimension and volume and simulating outcomes.
"4D imaging and simulation technology applies scientific precision to breast analysis, operative planning and outcome delivery," said Dr. Maxwell. "This type of technology is clearly the future of our specialty."
Regardless of the technology used, the experience and eye of the plastic surgeon remains the most important component of achieving the best long-term results for patients with breast asymmetry.
"Correction of significantly asymmetric breasts is among the most challenging of aesthetic surgical procedures for breast correction," said Dr. Grotting. "It is more art than science at the present time."
In 2010, breast augmentation was the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure, with 318,123 procedures performed, according to ASAPS.
Analyzing & Precision Planning of the Asymmetric Breast
Sunday, May 8th, 11:30am
Moderator: Jack Fisher, MD
Presenters: Laurie A. Casas, MD
James C. Grotting, MD
Dennis C. Hammond, MD
G. Patrick Maxwell, MD
American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
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