Tuberous breasts are a malformation of the breasts that can occur in both men and women. The condition appears as a constricted or narrowed base of the breast. As well as enlarged areolas and breast tissue that is generally smaller than average. For women, this condition is best treated by breast augmentation surgery. Breast implants can create an even, rounded appearance of the breast.
Specialist Plastic Surgeon, Dr Doyle corrects this condition at his busy plastic surgery clinic on the Gold Coast.
What Are Tubular Breasts?
Tubular breasts are a result of excess thick and robust connective tissue in the chest. This connective tissue pulls the breast down and causes it to take on a tubular or cylindrical shape. The condition can range from mild to severe, and it affects both men and women. In severe cases, the breasts can be so constricted that they fail to develop completely.
The condition is often noticed during puberty when the breasts begin to develop. Many young girls with tuberous breasts feel self-conscious about their appearance. As a result, they may avoid wearing tight or form-fitting clothing.
Tuberous breasts can cause both physical and emotional distress. The condition can make it difficult to find clothing that fits, and can also lead to low self-esteem and body image issues.
Tuberous Breast Symptoms
Breasts occur in a variety of forms and sizes, which become clear during puberty. Yet, tubular breasts have certain traits that are helpful to identify the condition. These are some of them:
The most common symptoms of tuberous breasts are:
- Instead of being spherical, breast tissue is cylindrical. From the base of the breast to the nipple, the tissue generally takes the shape of a tube.
- The breast tissue constricts or narrows at the base of the breast.
- The areola (the dark area around the nipple) is likely large and misshapen (hypertrophy).
- The breast tissue itself is usually smaller than average.
- The distance between tubular breasts is more than 3-4cm wide.
In some cases, one breast may be more severe than the other. In this case, a tubular breast may look underdeveloped in comparison to the other breast. It’s possible to correct this with surgery on one breast (unilateral breast procedure).
Other, milder symptoms of tuberous breasts include:
- Asymmetry of the breasts
- Ptosis (drooping) of the breasts
- Nipple inversion (when the nipple pulls inward)
Causes of Tubular Breasts
Tuberous breasts are a result of connective tissue malformation. The underlying cause of this is unknown, yet it is thought to be the result of an underlying genetic condition. This congenital abnormality is often diagnosed during puberty when the breasts begin to develop.
They can be classified by the following:
How to Treat Tuberous Breasts?
The best way to treat tuberous breasts is with surgery. But, there is no single best treatment for tuberous breasts. The best course of action will depend on the severity of the condition and the individual’s goals. In milder cases, a simple breast augmentation procedure may achieve the desired result. In other cases, a more complex surgery may be required. Surgical options include:
- Breast Augmentation
- Breast Lift
- Breast Tissue Expansion
Learn more about these procedures for tubular breast correction below.
The most common surgery for tuberous breasts is breast augmentation. This procedure uses a silicone gel implant to help improve the size and shape of the breasts.
A breast implant is a good option for tuberous breasts as it provides a reliable improvement in breast shape. If you choose breast implants, you will need to decide on a variety of factors, such as:
- the size of the breast implant
- the placement of the breast implant (over or under the muscle). (For tuberous breasts, under the muscle placement is a good option as it covers the edges of the implant)
- the shape of the implant (round or teardrop)
- other procedures for asymmetry, inverted nipple or to correct drooping breasts, and
- whether you will combine these procedures into one surgery, or have it done in stages.
A breast lift (mastopexy) may also be a good option in some cases. This procedure can improve the position of tuberous breasts and create a more pleasing shape. In some cases, a breast lift and implants may combine to achieve the best result.
A breast lift is a good solution for women with tuberous breasts that are droopy (ptotic). The surgery can help to improve both the position and shape of the breasts.
Breast Tissue Expansion
Breast tissue expansion is another surgical option for treating tuberous breasts. This procedure uses a tissue expander to relax the constriction of the lower breast pole. A tissue expander is a temporary breast implant that helps to round the breasts from the inside out.
Once the expanders are in place, they act as a temporary breast implant. The expanders will eventually be replaced with permanent breast implants. If the patient prefers not to use a breast implant, fat transfer to the breast may be a good option.
Fat Transfer to the Breast
If a patient prefers not to have an implant, fat grafting to the breast is another alternative. While this is an option, it requires that the patient has enough body fat to support the grafting surgery.
Also, most patients require at least two fat grafting surgeries. This is because the body absorbs about 30% of the transplanted fat.
The best procedure for you will be determined by your goals and current condition.
Tuberous Breast Correction Surgery
As you can see, there are many options to correct tuberous breasts. There is not a one size fits all approach and it is always customised to treat you.
Dr Doyle often performs breast lift with implants surgery to correct this condition. This procedure involves placing the implant and lifting the breast tissue. The advantage of this approach is that it can improve both the shape and size of the breasts in one surgery.
If you would like to learn more about your options or book a consultation with Dr Doyle, please contact our office today. During your consultation, Dr Doyle will be able to provide medical advice about your options for cosmetic surgery.
Tuberous Breast Augmentation Recovery
For healing time after tuberous breast implant surgery, it takes roughly two months. This, however, varies from patient to patient. It may be simpler to recover if you have family and friends nearby who can assist you.
The first two weeks are critical after your procedure. It’s important when recovering to take it easy and follow your instructions. Rest, even if you feel good.
After two weeks, most patients are able to return to work and continue their daily activities.
Always make sure you watch for any discomfort and let Dr Doyle know of any concerns, no matter how small. Attend all your appointments and ensure you get plenty of rest.
Tuberous Breasts and Medicare
Correction of tuberous breast deformity is a medical treatment. This means that Medicare and private health insurance rebates are available.
Because it is a reconstructive procedure, there are Medicare item numbers that apply. To qualify for these rebates, you must meet the strict criteria outlined by Medicare.
Please note that there will still be out of pocket costs.
If you have private health insurance and qualify for a Medicare item number, your hospital costs may also be covered.
If you wish to use the Medicare benefits schedule item number for tuberous breasts, please get a referral for your initial consult. He will then determine your candidacy and assist you with your application to Medicare.
You can learn how to get a medical referral here.
How to get started with tuberous breast correction surgery?
Dr Doyle is a specialist plastic surgeon with over 30 years of experience. He is an expert in breast lift with implant procedures and would love to discuss your needs further. To book a consultation for the correction of tubular breasts, please give us a call. Or, please submit an enquiry form on our website and one of our team will be in touch with you shortly.
Tubular Breasts FAQs
Are Tuberous Breasts a Deformity?
While not considered a deformity, tuberous breasts are a condition where the breast tissue doesn’t develop properly. This causes the breasts to be small, constricted and have puffy areolas.
How Do I Know if I Have Breast Hypoplasia?
If you have small, underdeveloped breasts, you may have breast hypoplasia. This is the most common symptom of tuberous breasts.
Other symptoms can include:
- Puffy areolas
- A constricted lower pole of the breast (the part below the nipple)
- Narrow, widely spaced breasts
- Breast asymmetry
- Areola that is larger than the surrounding breast tissue
If you’re concerned that you may have tuberous breasts, we recommend booking a consultation with Dr Doyle. He will be able to assess your breasts and confirm whether you have the condition.
Can Tubular Breasts Be Corrected Without Implants?
Yes, it is possible to correct tuberous breasts without implants. This can be done through a breast lift or fat transfer procedure. However, if you desire larger breasts, you will likely need implants to achieve your desired results.
Can I Breastfeed With Tubular Breasts?
For most women with tuberous breasts, breastfeeding is an option. But, it may be more difficult due to the constricted breast tissue.
What Is the Best Way to Fix a Tubular Breast?
Plastic surgery, specifically breast lift and breast augmentation surgery, are the best options for correcting tuberous breasts. If you would like to learn more, please book a consultation with Dr Doyle on the Gold Coast.
About Dr Mark Doyle FRACS (Plast) – Queensland Plastic Surgeon
Servicing patients in Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and New South Wales NSW – Northern Rivers, Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore and more.
Dr Mark Doyle is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over thirty years of experience performing Breast, Body, Face and Nose surgery. As a highly esteemed plastic surgeon, Dr Mark is driven by an intense passion for helping patients achieve a happier, more beautiful self through advanced cosmetic surgery procedures.
He maintains a strong commitment to achieving the best possible results for all his breast, body, face and nose patients, both men and women.
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- Get a Referral from your GP or specialist – this is advised but not required to book a consultation with Dr Doyle.
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*DISCLAIMER: All information on Gold Coast Plastic Surgery website is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Results can vary significantly and depend on individual patient circumstances. All images on this website, unless specified as real patient images, are stock images used for illustrative purposes only. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your surgeon. Book a consult for details regarding your cosmetic surgery procedure.