The Surgeon Minute

Solving Breast Asymmetry with Shaped Implants

Solving Breast Asymmetry with Shaped Implants

Having perfectly symmetrical breasts is a rare thing. Dr. Caroline Glicksman, a board certified plastic surgeon in New Jersey, says, “for almost all women, their right breast and left breast aren’t exact.” For the majority of these cases, the difference between the breasts is slight and chalked up as beautiful imperfection.

For some women, however, the difference can be major, and be the root cause of self-esteem issues and problems with interpersonal relationships. After 10 years of using shaped highly cohesive breast implants in her breast augmentation practice, Dr. Glicksman routinely uses shaped implants, with their varying dimensions, as a solution for such asymmetries.

By Caroline Glicksman, MD
and Adam McMillon

wp2Dealing with breast abnormalities

Growing into adulthood with two different shaped or sized breasts is one disappointment; growing up with a chest wall deformity that further highlights the difference between your breasts is even worse. “This group of young women often has both complicated breast asymmetries, as well as chest wall deformities.  We can now treat both simultaneously with shaped highly cohesive gel breast implants, something we could rarely do in a single operation with round gel implants,” says Glicksman.

This is a very sensitive group of women who are extremely self-conscious of their chest. Some of them actually have genetic syndromes and have had multiple operations in their life for other problems. It’s something that they’ve lived with and hidden since adolescence. “A lot of these young women have an associated scoliosis and one side of their chest may be more projecting than the other side. They can also have associated volume differences between the breasts, often more than one cup size apart.”  You add all of these deformities together and you have young women with very poor self-esteem. “Often it takes great courage for these girls to bring up their concerns with their parents and family doctors,” says Glicksman.

Shaped implants provide new tools for the correction of asymmetrical breasts

Where before there were only a few implant options for the widely varied physical make-up of women, modern breast augmentation provides many tools for surgeons to more precisely achieve patient goals. “For over a decade, my patients had to enroll in clinical trials to get these shaped implants. With a few styles still remaining in clinical trial, there are implants available where we can vary the width of the implant, and the projection, and the height, all independently,” says Glicksman. “What you put in on the right side doesn’t have to match what you put in on the left side. For years we had only round implants; you could create two different cup sizes, but you couldn’t fine-tune where you needed to add the gel. With the new implants, you can have a little more height on one side, more projection on the other side, and we’re finally able to really fine tune and get better symmetry.” 

Finding an Experienced Plastic Surgeon

While the options in available breast implants for surgeons has increased, so has the availability of information for patients. Armed with the Internet, curious women can research the devices and techniques available to them to fix their issues. Taking that information and seeking out a consultation with an experienced surgeon goes a long way in having a breast augmentation done correctly in an individualized way.


Getting it right the first time is an important goal for the patient to have, and one a board certified plastic surgeon has in mind. “Women seeking correction of significant breast and chest wall asymmetries are becoming more Internet savvy and searching for an answer in the form of a single-stage solution,” says Glicksman. “With these shaped implants, that’s what we’re able to give them.”


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