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Tuberous Breasts

While no one knows exactly what causes tuberous breasts, it is a congenital breast abnormality that affects breast development in both men and women. Tubular breasts are underdeveloped small breasts (hypoplasia) with a narrow base, large areolas, appear cylindrical rather than round, and have an unusual inframammary fold. The aesthetic issues associated with tuberous breasts can be corrected with a custom surgical procedure.

The board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons at Associates in Plastic Surgery are highly experienced in tuberous breast correction surgery, and have the necessary skills and training to perform the procedure safely and effectively for patients Edison, Marlboro, Warren, and West Orange, New Jersey.

What is Tuberous Breast Correction?

Breast shape and size can play a critical role in a woman's self-confidence. Tuberous breasts typically become visible in the early stages of puberty and can be the source of great stress and embarrassment.2 Tuberous breasts are not just smaller but have several hallmark characteristics, including lack of, or malposition of the inframammary fold, breast constriction, breast skin deficiency, areolar herniation (puffiness), and asymmetry. Tuberous breast deformities vary, and treatment must be customized to restore a natural, even size and shape to the breasts.

Cases of tubular breasts can range from mild to severe. In milder cases, a woman may be unaware that she has the condition and will not seek surgery to resolve uneven breast size. In more severe cases, one or both breasts may have an odd, cylindrical shape, rather than round and surgical intervention may be needed to resolve it.

Woman wearing a green dress and leaning on a wall

Types of Tuberous Breasts

Tubular breasts come with a set of specific symptoms, including:

  • The breast tissue appears cylindrical, not round, from the base up.
  • The tissue at the breast base is constricted.
  • The breast fold is unnaturally high on the chest, creating an odd, saggy appearance to the breast or breasts.
  • The areolas are larger than normal, puffy in appearance.

Sometimes only one breast is affected; a tubular breast can appear undeveloped when compared to the other breast. In other cases, both breasts are irregular in shape.

There are three types of tuberous breast deformity3:

  1. Type I: In type I, the breast tissue fails to develop fully, resulting in a narrow and elongated breast shape. The nipple-areolar complex may also be enlarged and puffy, and the breast tissue may be asymmetrical. The breasts may also be widely spaced and appear far apart on the chest wall.
  2. Type II: In type II, all the hallmarks of type I are present along with a herniation of the breast tissue through the nipple-areolar complex, creating a protruding nipple. The breast may also appear elongated or conical in shape, and the skin may be tight or constricted. The severity of the condition can vary, and some women may also experience breast asymmetry or uneven nipple placement.
  3. Type III: In type III, all the hallmarks of type I and II are present. In addition to the physical appearance of the breasts, type III tuberous breast deformity can also cause functional issues, such as difficulty breastfeeding.

Options For Treatment Of Tuberous Breasts

Tuberous breast correction surgery is a cosmetic procedure that aims to address tubular breast deformity. The treatment options for tuberous breast correction surgery depend on the severity of the condition and the goals of the patient. The most common surgical techniques used for tuberous breast correction include:

  1. Breast augmentation: This involves the insertion of breast implants to increase the volume and improve the shape of the breasts.
  2. Breast lift (mastopexy): This procedure is used to reshape and lift sagging or drooping breasts. It can be performed alone or in combination with breast augmentation.
  3. Areola reduction: In some cases, the areolas may be large and disproportionate to the breast size. Areola reduction surgery can help to reduce the size of the areolas and improve the overall appearance of the breasts.
  4. Breast tissue reshaping: This technique involves releasing constricted tissue at the base of the breasts and reshaping the breast tissue to create a more rounded and natural breast shape. This can be done with or without breast implants.
  5. Nipple repositioning: In some cases, the nipples may be located too low on the breasts. Nipple repositioning surgery can help to lift and reposition the nipples to a more aesthetically pleasing position.

It's important to note that each patient's situation is unique, and the best course of treatment will depend on several factors, including the severity of the condition and the patient's goals. A consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons can help to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your tuberous breast correction surgery.

Understanding Tuberous Breast Correction Surgery

Tuberous breast correction surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. Light general anesthesia is administered before the procedure or intravenous sedation with local anesthesia. The details of the surgery will depend on your unique condition, and the surgery will be tailored to bring about an optimal outcome.

Breast tissue may need to be removed and the inframammary fold may need to be lowered to a normal position in order to give the breasts a rounder, more natural shape. Breast Implants may be added to resolve asymmetry. In some cases, fat grafting or a breast lift will be required to improve the overall shape of the breast and reposition or reshape the nipple. These procedures are usually performed in a single surgery.

How Long Is The Recovery From Tuberous Breast Correction?

Recovery times vary, based upon what was necessary to correct your individual condition. Full aftercare instructions will be provided to you prior to your procedure and we will be monitoring your recovery closely during follow-up appointments in the weeks following your surgery. Most of our patients return to their normal activities in a week to ten days. If you have a physically demanding job, you will need to arrange for more time off before returning to your work duties.

Our tuberous breast correction surgeons can help you to achieve attractively shaped breasts, even in size, in the correct proportion for your body. Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our acclaimed board-certified plastic surgeons. We are proud to have helped many women who were unhappy with the shape and size of their breasts to regain self-esteem and a positive body image and live healthier, more confident lives.

Why Choose Us?

Tuberous breast correction may be a complex breast surgery. It requires a surgeon that has a significant level of training and experience.

  • Our board-certified plastic surgeons specialize in body and breast surgery and have cumulatively performed thousands of surgeries.
  • With a combined experience of over 50 years, you can feel safe knowing that your surgeon is skilled and experienced in tuberous breast corrections.
  • Our practice is up to date on the latest advancements in tuberous breast correction surgical techniques.

FAQs About Tuberous Breast Correction Surgery

What is involved in tuberous breast correction surgery?

The specific techniques used during the surgery will depend on the individual patient and the severity of the deformity. However, the procedure typically involves releasing the tight breast tissue in the lower pole and creating a new breast mound using a combination of breast tissue, implants, or tissue expanders. In some cases, the areolas may also be resized or repositioned.

How long does the surgery take, and what is the recovery time?

The length of the surgery and the recovery time can vary depending on the extent of the procedure. In general, the surgery can take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours, and recovery time can range from several days to several weeks. Patients should expect some swelling, bruising, and discomfort, and will need to avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting for several weeks following the surgery.

Are there any risks or complications associated with tuberous breast correction surgery?

As with any surgery, there are risks and potential complications associated with tuberous breast correction surgery. These can include but are not limited to bleeding, infection, scarring, asymmetry, and changes in nipple sensation.

How long does tuberous breast correction surgery take?

The length of the surgery can vary depending on the extent of the correction needed. It can take anywhere from 1-4 hours.

Will there be scarring after tuberous breast correction surgery?

Yes, there will be scarring, but your surgeon will make incisions in areas that are least visible. Scarring will fade over time.

Will I need to wear a special bra after tuberous breast correction surgery?

Yes, your surgeon will likely recommend wearing a compression or surgical bra for several weeks after surgery to help with healing and minimize swelling.

How long will it take to see the final results?

It can take several months for the breasts to fully settle and for the final results to be visible. However, some improvement may be noticeable immediately after surgery.

Will I be able to breastfeed after tuberous breast correction surgery?

It's possible that the surgery may affect your ability to breastfeed. It's important to discuss this with your surgeon before undergoing the procedure if breastfeeding is a concern for you.

Is tuberous breast correction considered cosmetic surgery or reconstructive surgery?

Tuberous breast correction surgery can be considered a both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, as it involves improving the appearance of the breasts while also addressing a congenital deformity.

Is tuberous breast correction surgery covered by insurance?

This type of breast reconstruction is not typically covered by insurance unless there is a significant functional impairment, such as difficulty breastfeeding, associated with the tuberous breast deformity. Ultimately, whether the surgery is considered cosmetic or reconstructive may depend on the individual patient's circumstances and goals for the procedure.

1 Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery. Tuberous breast deformity: A modified technique for single-stage correction. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5052987/. Accessed March 22, 2023.
2 PRS Global Open. Review of Tuberous Breast Deformity: Developments over the Last 20 Years. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9187173/. Accessed March 22, 2023.
3 Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Tuberous Breast Deformity Classification and Treatment Strategy for Improving Consistency in Aesthetic Correction. Available: https://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Abstract/2015/01000/Tuberous_Breast_Deformity__Classification_and.15.aspx. Accessed March 22, 2023.


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