Question of the Month

Q:  My 15 1/2 year old daughter's right breast is considerable smaller than her left breast which is almost not even developed. She is very self conscious of this . What can I do and what can she do to " hide" this. She has worn padded bra's and that has seemed to help her. I will accept any suggestions you might have.

A: Women's breasts are almost never absolutely symmetrical but for a few, the difference is quite noticeable. This can cause considerable anxiety for the affected girl. In general, the smaller breast never catches up to the larger one. If anything, the asymmetry tends to increase.

Hormones do not help and may make the situation worse. The only practical treatment is having an implant on the smaller side. I don't usually encourage breast implants for a variety of reasons but in this situation I do. However if possible it should be deferred until breast growth is complete, in case the other breast continues to grow. Usually breast growth is complete by about 4 years after menstruation starts.

I do not recommend waiting too long however since it is important for teens to feel that their bodies are normal.

Hope this is helpful.

Geoffrey Redmond, MD

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