Breasts play a huge role in a woman’s sense of femininity and self-confidence. Many women with tubular breasts find that they are self-conscious and have lower self-esteem as a result of this condition. Tubular breast appearance may have started during puberty and progressed over time. Thankfully, plastic surgeons can alleviate this condition using implants or other techniques to give each woman the breast shape and appearance that they desire. In this article, we explore tubular breast deformity, its causes, and the treatment options available.
What is tubular breast deformity?
Tubular or tuberous breasts refer to female breasts that appear conical in shape. This is a congenital deformity that typically manifests during puberty. The extent of deformity will vary from one woman to the other. However, common symptoms of this cosmetic condition include:
- Mild, moderate, or severe constriction at the breast base
- Elevation or malpositioning of the inframammary fold position
- Skin envelop that appears insufficient
- Deficient breast volume
- Mild, moderate, or severe breast drooping
- Herniation of the areola
During your consultation with a plastic surgeon, the doctor should be able to examine your breasts and let you know whether you have a tubular deformity. Keep in mind that for nearly all patients, tubular breasts are a purely cosmetic issue.
What causes tubular breasts?
Doctors are not sure what causes tubular breast deformity. Some specialists however theorize that this condition emanates from something that happens in the utero. Almost all women who are affected by this condition start noticing the tuberous appearance in puberty. This is due to the development of insufficient breast tissue, which can be caused by the underdevelopment of the tissue that connects the areola to the breast tissue.
Who is a candidate for tuberous breast surgery?
Tuberous breast surgery aims to improve the appearance of elongated, drooping breasts. You may be an ideal candidate for this procedure if:
- You are unhappy with the size, and shape of your tuberous breasts
- You are in good physical and emotional health
- You understand that correction may require more than one surgical procedures
- You have realistic expectations about the outcome of this treatment
Tuberous breasts correction without implants
Plastic surgeons have a number of treatment options that they can use to address excessively drooping breasts. The selected treatment method will vary from one patient to the other depending on the extent of drooping they experience, their anatomy, and unique personal goals.
a) Resizing the nipple-areola complex
Reducing the diameter of the nipple-areola complex can dramatically enhance breast appearance. Your doctor may choose to use this method depending on the appearance of your breasts. This is a very common option for treatment. In nearly all cases of tuberous breast deformity, incisions are restricted to the areola area.
b) Correcting the constricted tissue at the bottom of the breasts
Many women who have tubular breast deformity experience some form of constriction at the bottom of the breast. This concentrates breast growth at the superior pole and around the areola. If you have this symptom, your surgeon may choose to correct the tubular appearance by releasing the constricted tissue at the bottom.
Breast augmentation for tubular breast correction
Correction of tuberous breasts only needs one procedure in most cases. Some patients may however require an additional procedure in order to enhance the size and appearance of their breasts. Plastic surgeons typically use artificial implants to increase the size and volume of the patient’s breasts to their desired shape.
Tuberous breast surgery procedure
Tuberous breast correction is an outpatient procedure that is usually performed under local or general anesthesia. During the procedure, the surgeon will sedate the patient in order to ensure their safety and comfort. The next step is to perform the procedure based on the treatment options highlighted above. This phase may entail lowering the breast fold, releasing constricted tissue, reducing the diameter of the nipple-areola complex, or placing breast implants. In many cases, the surgeon will administer more than one of these surgical methods. It may also be necessary to integrate other surgical procedures such as liposuction or fat grafting. Once the procedure is completed in line with the goals of the surgery, your surgeon will close the incisions and cover up the treatment areas. The patient will be put in an observation room where their vitals will be monitored before they are allowed to go home for recovery.
Recovery after tuberous breasts correction
Following tuberous breast correction, there is a recovery downtime involved. You will be asked to take as much bed rest as possible. Most plastic surgeons encourage patients to take light walks as soon as they are able to in order to prevent the formation of blood clots. It is not uncommon to experience ‘puffiness’ and swelling over the first few weeks following the surgery. Your plastic surgeon should provide pain killers to alleviate the discomfort, as well as antibiotics to prevent an infection. Cardiovascular exercise should be avoided for a minimum of 3 months. Most tuberous breast surgery patients are however able to resume routine tasks within 2 weeks.
What is the cost of tuberous breast correction?
The cost of tuberous breast correction will vary from one patient to the other depending on the extent of the procedure, hospital fees, anesthesiologist fees, and other considerations. Most patients can however expect to pay an average of $4,000 for this treatment. Since this is considered to be an elective cosmetic procedure, insurance companies typically do not pay for it. Get in touch with your plastic surgeon’s office for an initial cost estimate for this treatment.
Tuberous breast surgery FAQs
Tuberous breast correction vs breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation and tuberous breast surgery are not the same things. Tuberous breast deformity correction is a highly specialized procedure that may incorporate breast augmentation (should that be necessary). It is not uncommon for minor cases of breast deformity to be misdiagnosed and thus treated with the more common breast augmentation. It is important that your diagnosis is done right so that the surgeon can use the right treatment method to correct the problem. Some severe forms of deformity need a delicate balance of areola balancing, breast reshaping, and breast augmentation to achieve the desired outcome. Keep in mind that while breast enlargement is a fairly uniform cosmetic treatment, no two tuberous breast surgeries are the same.
Can you breastfeed after tuberous breast surgery?
Many women who are preparing for this cosmetic procedure are concerned about their ability to breastfeed. Keep in mind that tuberous breast correction does not affect your mammary ducts and thus should not limit your ability to breastfeed. Every case is unique though. Some women with tubular breasts may already be unable to breastfeed as a result of hypoplasia (under development) of the mammary glands. Your doctor should be able to run tests and let you know whether your ability to breastfeed is in jeopardy.
Can a past tuberous breast procedure be revised?
Revision procedures tend to be very complex and challenging. The surgeon needs to clearly map out the patient’s needs and then create a precise treatment approach to achieve the desired outcome. Many surgeons offer revision procedures to help you attain the outcome you desired in the first place. The key for patients is to only work with a highly experienced plastic surgeon who has experience in this kind of work. Also, make sure to be very straightforward with the surgeon regarding what your expectations are from the revision surgery.
Why would I need a tuberous breast deformity correction?
Tubular breast deformity does not cause any physical or functional symptoms. However, many patients suffer mental anguish and anxiety as a result of this condition. Some women may feel inadequate in their friendships and unromantic relationships, while others may develop lower self-esteem as a result. These psychological consequences are the main reason why most women choose to have their tubular breast deformity corrected.
Will there be scarring?
Scarring is inevitable after any surgical procedure. Most plastic surgeons will create a minimal incision in a pattern that is hardly noticeable after full recovery. If you are concerned about scarring following this cosmetic procedure, make sure to discuss this with your surgeon. Your doctor may be able to utilize a surgical method that carries a lower risk of scarring and other complications.