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Ivan Foo

Consultant Plastic Surgeon

MBBS (London), FRCS (Eng), FRCS (Ed), FRCS(Plast).

Information on Hospitals, Bookings and Private Consultations in a relaxing atmosphere with a highly reputable medical and surgical consultant.

This section contains details of procedures available within Mr Foo's practice.



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Breast Asymmetry

Breast hypoplasia,

tuberous breasts,

constricted breasts

Everybody has a degree of asymmetry or difference between their left and right breasts, although in certain patients this is more pronounced and noticeable than most.

Treatment of these conditions can be one of the most challenging but satisfying procedures for both patient and surgeon alike and Mr Foo has a special interest in performing this type of corrective surgery.

Development of the female breast

The first signs of breast development appear during adolescence. The ovaries produce oestrogen, which stimulate breast development. Fat accumulates in the breast and ducts begin to develop, causing the breast to enlarge. This is accompanied by other changes of secondary sexual development such as the growth of body hair and the alteration of body shape. When ovulation and menstruation occur, the breasts continue to grow and glandular tissue, lobules develop. The rate of breast development varies between individuals.

In some cases, there is lack of development (Breast Hypoplasia), constricted or Tuberous Breasts or Breast Asymmetry. Women hide or camouflage this by wearing padded bras, bra inserts and loose fitting clothes. Teenagers with significant asymmetry are usually very self-conscious and often do not seek help until much later in life.

Breast Hypoplasia

In Breast Hypoplasia, there is lack of breast development during puberty. The adolescent breast remains largely unchanged or enlarges only slightly. Women often complain of a "boyish" appearance.

What can be done to correct Breast Hypoplasia?

There is little breast tissue and the skin envelope is too small to accept a breast implant (as in breast augmentation). In this situation, an expander-implant is used to enhance the volume and also to gradually stretch the breast tissue. The expander-implant is a permanent implant silicone implant. It has an inner chamber, which can be filled with saline, allowing the implant to be expanded or be gradually stretched up. The inner chamber is filled by a fine tube attached to a filling port, which is all buried in the tissues under the skin. The filling port is accessed by a fine needle, to allow the injection of saline (sterile salt solution). The filling tube and port is not easily felt except in very slim individuals. Expansion (inflation of the implant) takes place once a week for 4-6 weeks. This is a simple procedure carried out in the Out-Patient Department. Once the desired breast shape and volume is achieved, the port may be removed.

Tuberous breasts

As the name suggests, the breast is like a "tube", it is shaped like a narrow cone with a small, constricted base, a tubular skin envelope and a prominent and large nipple areolar. This condition may occur in both breasts to a different degree or just to one side. The other breast may be large, droopy and also slightly misshapened.

What can be done to correct Tuberous Breasts?

The most effective way of correcting Tuberous Breasts is by using the expansion technique using an expander-implant. The implant is usually placed behind the Pectoral muscles and then gradually inflated. As the skin and breast envelope is stretched, the narrow base widens and the breast becomes a better shape. Often no other procedure is required but in more severe cases the skin envelope and nipple may need to be reduced.

Breast Asymmetry

In Breast Asymmetry, there can be a difference in the size of the breast, the shape and also the position of the nipple to a varying degree. There may be under-development of one breast and over development of the other. There can be elements of a lack of development and tuberous deformity as well.

What can be done to correct Breast Asymmetry?

For small degrees of asymmetry, where the main difference is size (volume), different size breast implants could be used.
However, using an expander implant usually produces a better result, as finer volume adjustments can made after surgery. The expander-implant also allows the skin envelope to be stretched in cases where the breast base is constricted to achieve a more natural looking breast.
In some cases, adjustment of the skin of the breast may be required at a later date.
In others, a reduction of the larger breast may be considered alone.

How is the surgery performed?

All procedures will be performed under general anaesthetic, staying overnight in hospital.

Important advice to follow before surgery

What is the recovery like?

This will vary depending on the type of operation carried out. Most patients will need two week's off work. You should be able to carry out light chores at home but will need help with more strenuous work and child care. It is advised that you do not drive for two weeks.
If an expander implant is used you will need to attend the clinic once a week for about 4-6 weeks to progress the expansion process.

Are there any risks or complications associated with corrective breast surgery?

Although every care is taken to minimise complications, these can occur. This list is not exhaustive and will be discussed in more detail at your consultation. The risks will depend on the type of operation performed - please see sections on Breast Enlargement, Breast Reduction, Breast Uplift for further details.
Whilst every effort will be made to achieve the desired outcome for patients with Breast Hypoplasia, Tuberous Breasts and Breast Asymmetry, there will always be some degree of noticeable difference in the end result.

Guide to recovery after corrective breast surgery:

                             Activity                                Timescale

               Wearing a wired bra                           6 weeks  

                  Return to work                             2-3 weeks  

                        Driving                                   2 weeks  

                 Aerobics & sport                           6 - 8 weeks  

                      Swimming                               6-8 weeks  

                  Massage Scars                            2-3 weeks  

                        Flights                                   6 weeks  

Special note to all patients considering corrective breast surgery

This is a general description of the typical corrective breast surgery procedures that are available and its typical recovery.

However, recovery times and risks will vary between individuals and Mr Foo will discuss this in more detail with you at consultation