Tuberous Breasts – From time to time, we see patients who have a condition known as “tuberous breasts” also called the “tubular breast deformity.” This is a congenital anomaly; the patient is born with this condition, although it often does not become manifest until adolescence is reached. The tuberous breast deformity can occur on one side (unilateral) or more commonly on both sides (bilateral). The tuberous breast has a very unique appearance. In most patients, the nipple areolar complex is extremely large in diameter, resulting in a very “spread out” appearance. The nipple and areola often appear “too large” for the breast mound.
The breast itself usually has an unusual configuration consisting of a “constricted base.” Instead of the breast having an aesthetically pleasing conical shape, there is tightness of the inframammary fold (sometimes a short distance from the nipple to the fold) and the breast tissue itself appears to be protruding out of the breast, through the dilated nipple areolar complex. Tuberous breast can manifest in a very mild form, or can be extreme, depending on each individual patient’s circumstances. Therefore, the treatment for tuberous breast deformity is customized to meet the specific anatomical needs of the particular patient.
Usually, tuberous breast is corrected by a combination of procedures: insertion of a breast implant and some type of circumareolar mastopexy (breast and nipple uplift to reshape and reconfigure the nipple and reduce the diameter of the areola). In certain patients, modifications of the soft tissue skin envelope are also performed to give the breast a more pleasing aesthetic appearance.
Over the past 35 years, Dr. Handel has treated dozens of patients with tuberous breast deformity in Santa Barbara & Los Angeles, CA; the overwhelming majority of patients has achieved significant improvement and is happy with the results of the surgery. Again, it is necessary to place scars on the breast to correct tuberous breast deformity but patients typically find this to be a “worthwhile tradeoff”. The presence of the scars does not bother them because the breasts have a much more pleasant aesthetic appearance, both in and out of clothing.