The condition of tuberous breast, also known as tubular breast, is one of the most common congenital breast shape deformities in women and can cause abnormalities of breast volume, volume distribution, breast shape and nipple areola complex size and shape. Tuberous breasts develop when the skin does not stretch adequately during puberty resulting in abnormal development of the breast tissue. This deformity can affect one or both breasts.
Characteristics of Tuberous breasts are:
- Narrow and elongated cylindrical shaped breast
- Breast with abnormally constricted base with little or no breast tissue
- Enlarged protruding and puffy nipple areola (pigmented area around the nipple) complex
- 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
The degree of severity of Tuberous breasts will influence the type of treatment employed, but the principles of treatment remain the same:
- Widen the constricted base to a normal size
- Lower the inframammary fold
- Increase the skin envelope
- Augment the breast
- Reduce the nipple areolar complex
- Restore symmetry to the breast
Depending on preference and suitability, either an implant or the patient’s own tissue maybe used to provide the volume needed to correct the tuberous breast. While the use of breast implants is more common, both perforator flaps (in particular DIEP flap and TAP Flap) and fat grafting can be used as an alternative to correct tuberous breast deformity. By using your own tissue, complications specific to breast implants (such as implant leakage, rupture, rippling and capsular contracture) can be avoided, however the procedures are lengthier, with longer recovery time and you will have additional scars (on the donor site).
There are various techniques used to reconstruct tuberous breasts, depending upon the type and severity of the condition. During consultation, your surgeon will assess your specific needs and will tailor your surgery to your individual clinical requirements.