Asymmetry: Is One Side Different Than the Other?
Posted October 25, 2022
Studies have shown that an object is considered more beautiful when more symmetrical. You may have noticed social media posts that compare both sides of the face and point out that those with more symmetry are considered more desirable. Plastic surgery considers symmetry as the ultimate quest, it is what the surgeon typically strives for.
Although symmetry is always the goal with each surgery, it is not always attainable. All of us are born with some degree of asymmetry on one side vs. the other, and the degree of the difference can range from subtle to marked. Although the surgeon will attempt to find balance, the result may not always be in his control. Asymmetry can be due to differences in the underlying bony skeleton, muscle anatomy, or in the density of the tissue itself.
The goal of the surgical provider is to achieve symmetry, but this may not be completely possible, depending upon the nature of the cause. What is possible, and very often achieved, is a vast improvement for the patient with better balance to the area where a correction was made. Many times, a surgeon will have the patient review photos taken before the procedure was done to discuss their post-operative results. If a patient feels there is still some asymmetry after their surgery, a conversation with their surgeon can ease those concerns. Often, during the consultation examination, the surgeon will review what is achievable with the patient as they discuss their surgical goals. Expectations are an important piece of the surgical consultation for both the surgeon and the patient and allow for a positive outcome postoperatively.