Tuberous breast, also known as Tubular breast,is a constricted tube-shaped breast that is caused by tight bands beneath the skin that prevent the breast glands from growing to a normal breast shape. This condition is the most common congenital breast shape deformity among women and can range widely in severity, presenting many different symptoms for patients.
Various surgical techniques can be applied depending on the extent of the severity. Many women, who might have gone through life suffering the psychological traumas of inadequacy and lack of confidence due to this condition, are able to receive treatment, and go about their daily routines in a new happier way and live life to the full, thanks to the increasing awareness about this condition, especially amongst General Practitioners and family doctors who typically are the first point of contact for patients suffering from tuberous breast deformity.
Tuberous Breast deformity causes abnormalities of breast volume, volume distribution, breast shape and the size and shape of the nipple-areola complex. Tuberous breasts become noticeable at the time of puberty and breast development. The result is a tight, constricted breast, shaped somewhat like a tube. Often the breasts will have a pointy shape, rather than a nice round base. The level of the inframammary fold is high, and the nipple areola is usually herniated and quite bulgy and large. The breasts can be very different in size and shape.
Many women with mild tuberous breast may not be aware of having this condition whereas moderate to severe types can put enormous psychological strain on the sufferer from an early age. The exact cause of tuberous breast deformity is unknown but thought to affect up to 5% of patients seeking breast augmentation.
Before & After Photos
To see a larger number of before and after photos of some of Mr Rezai’s work, please refer to the gallery page: Tuberous Breast Correction Before and After.
Tuberous breasts can manifest quite differently on different individuals, but the most common characteristics associated with this condition are:
- Narrow and elongated cylindrical shaped breast
- Breast with abnormally constricted base with little or no breast tissue
- Enlarged protruding and puffy nipple areola complex (pigmented area around the nipple)
- Breasts being far apart resulting in unnaturally wide cleavage
- Abnormally high inframammary fold (the crease where the breast joins the chest wall) resulting in droopy breast that looks long and constricted
Tuberous breasts vary in severity. In the milder forms it might just be characterised by a high infra mammary fold (short distance between the nipple and the breast fold), or slightly puffy nipples, whereas in more severe cases the shape of the breast is elongated with constriction in the bottom of the breast as well as herniation of the nipple areolas.
To correct tuberous breasts, the degree of severity of the condition influences the type of treatment technique employed, but in general the treatment will:
- widen the constricted base of the breast to a normal size
- lower the infra-mammary fold
- increase the skin envelope
- increase the size of the breast
- reduce the size of the nipple-areola complex
- restore breast symmetry
Mr Rezai formulates a bespoke treatment plan for each patient, taking into consideration, the location and type of incision (for correction of deformity, areola herniation, breast droop and asymmetry), the type, size, projection and placement of the implant (if additional volume is required) and the number of stages required to achieve the best results. Mr Rezai uses, patients own breast tissue (Flap) alone or in combination with breast implants to model and reshape the tuberous breasts. Depending on the severity of the condition, incision is placed around the areola and sometimes also vertically down from the areola to the breast fold or in the inframammary fold.
In very mild to mild cases were the patient, for one reason or another, is not yet ready for FULL tuberous correction surgery and her main concern is the short distance between the nipple areola and the inframammary fold, she may choose to undergo a breast augmentation alone and accept the possibility of not achieving optimum results. Nevertheless, in these instances, internal scoring of skin and tissue may still be necessary, but the type of incision will be similar to a breast augmentation and manipulation of breast tissue will be kept to a minimum.
- The operation is performed under general anaesthetic
- Depending on the severity of the condition and technique used, surgery can take anywhere from 1 – 3 hours.
- Patients stay in hospital for one night
- If your occupation is not physical, you can expect to return to work after 1-2 weeks
- The expected recovery is 10-14 days. However, strenuous activity, sports and exercise should not be resumed until 4-6 weeks post-op.
Following surgery some bruising and soreness is expected. The breasts will be firm and swollen at first, and will take several weeks to months, depending on the individual patient’s healing process, to settle and adopt a more natural position. It should be noted that with tuberous breast correction surgery, the results improve year after year as the skin and breast tissue relax and settles.
You may be asked to sleep on your back, and to avoid straining or bending for a few weeks. You are also required to wear a surgical support bra continuously for six weeks, with exception of one hour per day. During the first week after surgery, activities should be restricted as otherwise it will result in unnecessary complications. Most patients resume normal activity after one week. Exercise and strenuous activity should be resumed no sooner than 4-6 weeks after your operation.
There will also be scarring and the extent, will depend on the type of technique used. As with all scars, they will fade over time – in many women, they heal to form very faint white lines. However, it is important to remember that no surgical scar ever totally disappears.
Mr Rezai and his team will provide you with detailed Pre- and post-surgery instructions to expedite your recovery. Should you develop any doubts or concerns following your treatment, however, they would encourage you to contact them straight away.
Mr Rezai will see his patients for regular post-op follow ups and will guide and advise them on what to do at each stage to improve and maintain their results and how to identify possible complications if they were to develop.
For detailed information regarding the risks and complications associated with Tuberous / Tubular Breasts, please refer to Risks and Complications of Tuberous / Tubular Breasts.
The results may last for many years to come, but unfortunately as with all breast surgery, natural ageing, significant weight fluctuations and pregnancy will alter the outcome of surgery. Furthermore, breast implants are not considered lifetime devices, and if these have been used for adding volume, further surgery sometime in the future is inevitable.