Tuberous breasts (or tubular breasts) are a result of a congenital abnormality of the breasts which can occur in both men and women, in one breast or both. It is caused by breast tissue not growing properly during puberty. Tuberous breasts are diagnosed based on the way that the breasts look. They lack breast tissue in both the vertical and horizontal directions. The narrow base can cause the breast to look elongated. They tend to have a gap of more than 1.5 inches between them. The area that surrounds the nipple (areola) may appear to be constricted or collapsed and they may appear enlarged. A pair of tubular breasts often lack symmetry, and one will appear noticeably larger than the other. Instead of a round appearance, tubular breasts may appear to be oval, pointed, or square shaped.
The effects of the condition are varied and can range from mild to severe, below are some of the common characteristics of tubular breasts. Fortunately, these can be resolved with corrective surgery.
- Enlarged or puffy areolas (area surrounding the nipple)
- Unusually wide spacing between the breasts
- Minimal breast tissue
- Higher than normal breast fold
- Narrow base at the chest wall
What do tubular breasts look like?
There are different severities of tubular breasts and you may be unsure as to whether your breast are just asymmetrical or are tuberous. Mr Sherif Wilson MB, ChB, MS, FRCS (Plastic Surgery) will be able to advise following a consultation and examination and then provide a treatment plan suited best to your needs. Here are some examples of different tuberous breasts before having surgery.
What does tuberous breast surgery involve?
Breasts can be corrected with surgery and the technique used will depend on the severity of your breasts and what your desired result is. Usually a specialised breast augmentation technique is used to release the constricted tissue, increase the volume and stretch out the tissue. Some patients may need a mastopexy (breast uplift) at the same time.
The choice of operative technique involves careful analysis and Mr Wilson will discuss the procedure with you in detail. A secondary fat grafting procedure may be indicated 3-4 months after surgery to further refine the shape and aesthetic outcome depending of the severity prior to surgery.
The type of scarring will depend on the type of surgery you have. If you have a simple breast implant procedure the scar will normally be in the fold underneath the breast. If you do need surgery around your nipple, this will involve a fine scar around your nipple. In both cases, your scars will remain slightly red for some months following surgery and thereafter subsequently fade.
It is normal to have a second consultation, for you to ask any further questions, once you have had time to consider the different surgical options. After the decision is made, Mr Wilson will carefully prepare for your surgery.
Before and after gallery
Going home after surgery
You may be able to go home the same day of the surgery, but many patients will spend one night in hospital. Patients are recommended to take around two weeks off work immediately after the operation in order to ensure they recover fully.
What are the risks of this surgery?
Complications with surgery are rare, but there are potential risks that you need to be aware of before deciding if you want to go ahead.
A collection of blood (haematoma) in the wounds can occur even if drains are used. This is normally obvious within a day of surgery, and if significant you may need to return to theatre to have this removed under general anaesthetic. A wound infection can also occur any time after surgery until the wounds have fully healed.
In addition, sometimes the nipple, areola and surrounding skin are more sensitive after surgery, and sometimes they are less sensitive. Such changes are often temporary and often settle after a few months but changes can be permanent in rare cases. The operation is not possible without creating scars. Normally these are narrow and start off red and fade over a few months.
How much does this surgery cost?
Depending on the type of procedure you require, the cost of surgery can vary.
These are guide prices and are subject to change following an initial consultation with Mr Wilson, where a bespoke quote will be provided, specific to each patient.
At Nuffield Bristol Hospital
At BMI Bath Clinic
At Winfield Hospital (Gloucester)
At St Josephs Newport
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