Although much is written concerning breast augmentation, few authors have addressed preoperative chest wall analysis as it pertains to postoperative outcome. In the present study, 100 patients were randomly selected, underwent bilateral augmentation, and were examined retrospectively by four independent physicians using standardized preoperative photographs. Each patient was examined for ptosis and asymmetry of the nipples, breast mound, and chest wall. Results revealed significant asymmetries in all parameters. Nipple-areola complex asymmetry was present in 24 percent (nipple/areola size) and 53 percent (nipple position) of the women. Mound asymmetry was noted in 44 percent (volume), 29 percent (base constriction), and 30 percent (inframammary fold position) of the women, and finally, 29 percent of the women had grade I to III ptosis. Chest wall asymmetry was observed in 9 percent of the women. Overall, 88 percent of the women had some degree of asymmetry, and 65 percent of the women had more than one parameter of asymmetry. These findings underscore the importance of developing a systematic preoperative breast and chest wall analysis that can be individualized for each patient. The resulting asymmetries should then be discussed with the patient, along with the potential for continued or even more pronounced asymmetry postoperatively.
From the Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Received for publication December 17, 2001; revised April 4, 2002.
Rod J. Rohrich, M.D.; Department of Plastic Surgery; University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, E7.212; Dallas, Texas 75390-9132; firstname.lastname@example.org