Everything you need to know about tuberous breast correction surgery

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The tuberous breasts is a malformation in the breasts that causes them to have a tubular shape. This deformity is an aesthetic problem that undermines the safety of women who suffer from it. The good news is that it can be corrected by surgery. Here we tell you everything you need to know about the corrective procedure.

What are tuberous breasts?

Tuberous breasts are a benign condition of the breast tissue that causes abnormal breast tissue growth. This causes the breasts to have an irregular, tubular or cone-shaped appearance.

The origin of this malformation is related to problems in the production of hormones and to the rigidity of the tissue covering the breast. Tuberous breasts are characterized by a lack of development in the lower part of the breast, as well as on the sides.

As the mammary glands grow, they expand into the nipple-areola complex, causing the tubular shape instead of the normal rounded appearance of the breasts. 

The way the breasts develop causes them to take on an elongated and prominent shape, with a wide, downward-facing areola. Although they are not cancerous, tuberous breasts affect the self-esteem and quality of life of those who suffer from them.

Milder conditions can be corrected by breast augmentation. For more serious conditions, surgery is more complicated, but a good result can also be achieved.

How do tuberous breasts affect self-esteem and health?

This deformity does not represent a risk to a woman's physical health. However, it can have a significant impact on her self-esteem and quality of life.

For many women with tuberous breasts it is inevitable to compare themselves with others who have a more harmonious breast, which causes dissatisfaction with their own image. At the same time, it generates feelings of discomfort and insecurity in women, especially during adolescence and young adulthood.

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Sometimes the negative image they have of their body can lead to problems of anxiety or depression. In addition, it can cause women to isolate themselves or avoid intimate contact with others for fear of rejection.

It can also be difficult to find bras or clothing that fit your breasts well.

Identification and diagnosis

Many times women who have tubular breasts do not know it, especially when the deformity is mild or medium. The doctor can evaluate the breast and determine if it is a tubular breast.

Signs and symptoms of tuberous breasts

Common signs of tuberous breasts include:

  • The breasts are elongated and have the same shape from the base to the nipple-areola complex.
  • Breasts widely separated from each other.
  • Breast asymmetry.
  • The mammary sulcus is very elevated and there is little development in the lateral poles.
  • Areolas are usually very large.
  • It can occur in one or both breasts at the same time.

Medical diagnostic process

To diagnose tuberous breasts, the physician will perform a physical examination of the breasts to detect any abnormalities. A mammogram or ultrasound may also be ordered to obtain clearer images of the internal structure of the breasts. 

There are four types of tuberous breasts:

  1. Grade I tuberous breasts: this is the mildest type, in which the areola is oriented downward and inward. The submammary sulcus is shallow and the tissue is concentrated in the upper part of the breast.
  2. Grade II tuberous breasts: the areola is large and prominent, and the tissue is concentrated in the central part.
  3. Grade III tuberous breasts: in this case the areola is very prominent and cone-shaped. The submammary sulcus is absent and the tissue is concentrated in the upper part.
  4. Grade IV tuberous breasts: this is the most severe case of tuberous breasts, in which the areola is very prominent and falls below the submammary fold.
graph of tuberous breasts
Graphical source

It is important to note that the classification of tuberous breast types is not always accurate. The malformation may occur in one or both breasts and some women may have characteristics of two or more types.

Treatment options

To improve the appearance of the breasts, there are different treatment options. The choice will depend on the individual case and the degree of the condition. The more severe the malformation, the more complicated the correction.

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Tuberous breast correction surgery: an overview

It is possible to correct tuberous breasts through cosmetic surgery. To do this, a breast reshaping is performed in which the surgeon seeks to lift the breast, and redistribute the breast tissue to expand the breast and improve the contour to achieve a natural appearance.

It also seeks to elevate the position of the nipple and areola, and there are cases in which the size of the areola is reduced.

Surgical techniques used

The technique chosen by the cosmetic surgeon will depend on the degree of the condition. The mildest ones are easier to correct and with a breast augmentation with implants can be corrected. With the breast prosthesis it is possible to increase the size and expand the lower pole. The surgery allows to give the breast a more rounded shape. All the reconstruction can be done in a single intervention.

In severe cases it is not enough to place a prosthesis, it may also be necessary to perform a breast lift. The repair of severe tuberous breasts may require two stages. First the skin is expanded and then the rest of the procedure is performed.

Through physical evaluation, the surgeon will determine the best technique for the patient, whether the abnormality can be corrected with breast augmentation or mastopexy.

Preparation for surgery

The surgeon will give specific instructions to the patient before surgery. It is important to follow all the indications to achieve the best results and an optimal recovery. In most cases, the results are very satisfactory.

The doctor needs to know how the patient's general health is, so he or she will order preoperative tests, such as blood tests, electrocardiograms and chest x-rays. He/she will also ask questions about the patient's medical history, including any diseases or conditions he/she may have, as well as the medications he/she is taking.

The patient will be advised to stop smoking and alcohol consumption at least two weeks before surgery, as they can interfere with healing. It is also important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet and regular physical exercise to improve your overall health and facilitate recovery.

tuberous breast surgery

The recovery process

The results of surgery to correct tuberous breasts are usually positive. However, it is important to keep in mind that the recovery process requires time and patience.

What to expect during recovery?

The postoperative period after surgery is not painful, but there may be discomfort and swelling that will be treated with medications indicated by the surgeon. After surgery, the patient must wear a special bra for the time indicated.

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You must comply with the rest period. After ten days you may return to work, depending on the type of activity you do.

The days following surgery you should get enough rest and avoid strenuous activities. You should also keep the chest area clean and dry, and comply with medication.

Follow-up appointments with the surgeon are required to monitor your progress.

Gradually the swelling will decrease. Over the months, the scars will begin to fade.

Tips for successful recovery

  1. Follow your surgeon's instructions carefully.
  2. Get enough rest.
  3. Take the medications prescribed by your doctor.
  4. Wear compression garments to help control swelling.
  5. Avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activities.
  6. Attend follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor your progress.

Results and expectations

One of the main goals of mastopexy is to make the breasts look more symmetrical, firm and lifted. However, it is important to have realistic expectations about the final results. 

Although the shape will greatly improve, it is likely that there will still be some minor irregularities or asymmetries that do not affect the overall appearance. With the passage of time and the use of compression bras, the breasts will take on their final appearance.

Maintenance of long-term results

To preserve the results of surgery for as long as possible, it is essential to adopt long-term healthy habits. This includes wearing compression bras for the length of time indicated by the surgeon.

After recovery, wearing the correct bra will also help maintain breast shape and prevent sagging.

Eating a balanced diet and maintaining a stable weight is also important. This will prevent weight fluctuations that affect the shape and size of the breasts. On the other hand, you should not expose yourself to the sun without protection, as it can make the scars from the surgery more visible.

The breast will continue to age naturally, but by following these recommendations, the patient will enjoy the aesthetic benefits of the surgery for several years.

Conclusion: making the right decision for you

Tuberous breasts are an aesthetic problem that interferes with a woman's quality of life. However, it is a problem that can be corrected with surgery. If you are not happy with the appearance of your breasts, contact our specialists.

The results of surgery to correct tuberous breasts are often very gratifying for women seeking a more natural shape for their breasts. With proper postoperative and long-term care and follow-up, it is possible to preserve the aesthetic benefits of surgery for many years.

Dr. Miguel Fernández Calderón - Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Miguel Fernández Calderón - Plastic Surgeon


Degree in Medicine from the University of Castilla-La Mancha, with training in Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University Hospital La Paz. Member of the Spanish Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (S.E.C.P.R.E).

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