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Q: I have one breast that looks like an adult breast and the other is much smaller and still looks like a child's budding breast. I had a doctor say it might have to
do with my hormones. I would like any information you can give me about
these issues. Thank you for your help.

A: Most women's breasts are not absolutely symmetrical, but the size discrepancy is barely noticeable. For some women however, there is a noticeable difference.

Strictly speaking, the cause is not hormonal but in the breasts themselves. For reasons we do not understand, one side can respond more to estrogen than the other. At puberty when estrogen levels go up, the breast more responsive to estrogen grows more than the other.

Hormonal treatment will not help and may even increase the asymmetry. The only effective treatment is surgery to augment the smaller breast or, less often, to reduce the larger one.

While insurance does not usually pay for cosmetic surgery, it might in the case of an abnormality -- it is certainly worth checking.

I hope this helps.


Geoffrey Redmond, MD

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