Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Why Is My Right Side Larger Than My Left Side?

Wednesday, 09 June 2010 05:06 PM

Question: The entire right side of my body seems to be larger than the left half! Four years ago I had blood clots in my right leg and lung, and at that time I noticed the right leg was larger than the left. It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I could see a difference in the entire right side. Could you give me an explanation?
Dr. Hibberd's Answer:
There is a common misconception that our bodies are symmetrical. The most common question I encounter about the subject is from women concerned that one breast is smaller than the other. Actually, it is highly unusual to find someone with breasts the same size. In the same fashion, it is unusual to find anyone with symmetrical upper extremities. We usually find the dominant side to be somewhat larger than the other.
That is, right handed individuals will usually have more muscular (translate as larger) arms and forearms on the right when compared to the left side. Problems with blood draining are usually on both sides of the body unless a local obstruction such as a clot, tumor, infection, local swelling or injury is present. Rarely, lymphatic drainage problems may be present with asymmetric swelling. This will require a professional to recognize, so seek the examination from your medical doctor who will arrange for proper evaluation if it is indicated.

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