This is a condition caused by the breast tissue not proliferating properly during puberty. The only medical treatment for tubular breasts is cosmetic surgery.
What are Tuberous Breasts?
This is a relatively common, but often unrecognised, breast condition in young women a congenital/developmental condition in which the breast fails to develop fully during puberty, the breasts may develop unusual shapes as well as develop differently to each other.
It can present in many ways, most commonly, under development and over development. Another characteristic of tuberous breast deformity is puffy nipples. This is due the constricted bands in the fascial layers resulting in herniation of breast tissue through the disc of fascia.
Tubular breasts may also look puffy, 'square' or shelf-like, with nipples noticeably out of balance with the breast mound. This is due to having minimal or constricted glandular breast tissue.
Alternative Terms for Tubular breasts
- Breasts that appear cone-shaped or conical
- Constricted breast base
- Narrow breasts - they almost seem tapered vs rounded
- 'Snoopy look' deformity - sagging down and slightly under rather than forward-facing
If you have gone through puberty and your breasts still appear out of proportion or 'constricted' and puffy looking, then corrective surgery for tuberous breasts may be worth exploring.
One of the classic findings in tuberous breast deformity is the herniation of the areolar complex, a high inframammary crease, deficient breast tissue in the lower pole and asymmetry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a lift?
If there is any asymmetry or ptosis, then yes you will need a lift.
This is the only way to control the breast/nipple platform
Do I need fat grafting?
This is to help contour the cleavage but also help prevent double bubble deformity
How many operations will I need?
In most cases, the correction and augmentation can be performed in a single operation. However, where there are complex underlying issues with the skin or breast tissue, a secondary procedure is frequently required. Usually the second procedure is smaller to further improve symmetry, cleavage and contour.
Dr Moradi recommends patients be prepared for a staged operation. Commonly in tuberous breast deformity the patient has an underdeveloped lower pole of the breast which needs to be expanded to allow the appropriate implant to be used. This means 2 surgeries, the 1st is inserting a Becker expander with subsequent expansions in the clinic. Once we have our desired breast volume, we plan the second operation to insert the permanent implant. Commonly in severe cases this is needed due the need to stretch and recruit lower pole tissue or if there is severe asymmetry you need time to even up the size mismatch.
Tuberous Breast Correction Results
In Australia, yes you can. There is a Medicare item number that covers the surgery. This dramatically reduces the fees for surgery as the hospital, implant and theatre costs are covered. Your fee will only be for the surgeon, assistant and anaesthetist. Be wary of surgeons charging you for implants and hospital fees and then pocketing your savings, for example, your insurer pays for those costs but the surgeon still charges you for them essentially double dipping.
The medicare number for tuberous breast deformity is 45060. If it's confirmed as tuberous breast deformity, this number can be used.
Developmental breast abnormality, single stage correction of, if:
The correction involves either:
- Bilateral mastopexy for symmetrical tubular breasts; or
- Surgery on both breasts with a combination of insertion of one or more implants (which must have at least a 10% volume difference), mastopexy or reduction mammaplasty, if there is a difference in breast volume, as demonstrated by an appropriate volumetric measurement technique, of at least 20% in normally shaped breasts, or 10% in tubular breasts or in breasts with abnormally high inframammary folds.
And photographic and/or diagnostic imaging evidence demonstrating the clinical need for this service is documented in the patient notes.
Upload a photo for a free initial assessment
Dr Pouria Moradi - Your Sydney Specialist Plastic Surgeon
"I am a consultant plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon working as a visiting medical officer at Prince of Wales, Royal Women's and Sydney Children's Hospitals, and an associate lecturer at UNSW Medical School.
Having studied medicine at UNSW as a Sam Cracknell Sport and Academic Scholar, I was then awarded Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 2005 and Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic surgery."