Breast shape, size, and symmetry can play a significant role in a woman’s femininity and confidence. Appearing during puberty, tuberous breasts can profoundly influence self-esteem and wellbeing.
Many women may be unaware they have the condition. However, if they feel uncomfortable with their breast shape, an experienced surgeon may help them achieve a good aesthetic outcome and a more harmonious breast shape.
What are tubular / tuberous breasts?
Women’s breasts usually differ slightly in size and shape, this is entirely normal. However, for some women the developed breasts are more prominently different.
One possible cause for misshapen or elongated breasts is a condition called Tuberous Breast Deformity (TBD). This condition can affect one or both breasts, and it can cause a woman to feel uncomfortable or self-conscious.
Additional names for TBD include:
- Conical breasts
- Tubular breasts
- Constricted breasts
Some characteristics of tuberous breasts are:
- Breast tissue that is cylindrical instead of rounded
- Tissue constricted at the base of the breast
- Breasts that look saggy due to an abnormally elevated lower breast fold
- Areolas that seem excessively large, a condition called areola hypertrophy
Tuberous breasts can also present problems for women who wish to breastfeed; because they are underdeveloped breasts, they may lack glandular tissue to produce milk.
How are tuberous breasts diagnosed?
Tuberous breasts are diagnosed by a physician according to their unique physical attributes. Since there can be different reasons for an irregular look of the breast, it is essential to consult with a medical professional, who is specialized or experienced in diagnosing this condition.
The surgeon or medical professional can then recommend a surgical solution in order to achieve a more natural looking breast.
How is the corrective surgical procedure performed?
Currently, the only medical treatment for tubular breasts is cosmetic surgery with an augmentation and/or a mastopexy. Corrective surgical procedure of TBD is complex and requires a specialized surgical plan to guarantee the best possible outcome.
The procedure can take place in one, two or three steps, depending on the patient’s needs, and most likely it will involve the insertion of a breast implant (with or without fat grafting).
Although it may vary from patient to patient, the following is the most common surgical approach:
- As a first step, the surgeon will release the constricted breast tissue. For that, the surgeon will make a small incision in the breasts to insert either a tissue expander or a breast implant.
- As a second step, the tissue expander, if used, will be removed and a breast implant will be inserted in its place.
- As a third step, some patients also choose to correct areola hypertrophy with a procedure called mastopexy.
Although breast aesthetic surgery can cosmetically improve the appearance of the breasts, it cannot improve lactation.
After surgery, patients can expect a more harmonious, natural shape of the breasts.
Patients that lived with this condition, report an increase in self-esteem and confidence, as clothes and bikinis fit perfectly in their new breast shape.
As with any breast surgery involving breast implants, patients will need to follow-up with their surgeon at least once a year, and a breast implant replacement may be necessary at some point during their lifetime.