Tubular breast, also known as tuberous breast, constricted breast, or oval breast is a developmental disorder of the breast shape and growth that can cause significant body image concerns. Tubular breasts have a very narrow base and usually a long skin envelope. The best analogy for the tubular breast shape is Snoopy’s nose. The breasts are not as round in shape, lack lower pole breast tissue and skin, have a tight inframammary fold with a very short distance from the nipple to the fold. The nipple-areola complex is larger in diameter than normal and is often herniated or bulging. The amount of breast tissue can be variable as well as the nature of the disorder. The degree of tubular deformity can be the same in both breasts. However, there is often significant breast asymmetry (size and shape difference between the two breasts).
Tuberous breasts develop during the growth phase of the individual when the breasts fail to grow proportionally due to lack of lower pole skin and a high inframammary fold. The breasts tend to start high on the chest and can be widely spaced. Instead of turning into a round breast with normal cleavage, the breasts end up having a narrow tube shape. Also, the developing breast tissue is often forced through the tight, tube-shaped skin into the looser skin of the nipple-areola complex, causing oversized, puffy areolas.
Women who have tubular breasts are usually self-conscious about their condition and are very apprehensive about having their breasts seen by anyone. The treatment is somewhat complicated. It typically involves expanding the lower base of the breast with a saline or silicone breast implant, lowering the inframammary fold, and reducing the bulging of the nipple-areola complex. The scars are similar to those created during breast augmentation surgery, but they completely span the edge of the areola.
Given the fact that breast implants are used to correct tuberous breast deformity, we encourage you to visit our Breast Augmentation pages. In here, you will learn about implant safety, different types of breast implants, submuscular versus subglandular implant placement, recovery after surgery, and potential complications of breast augmentation and tuberous breast correction.
Proper correction of tuberous breasts is a challenging endeavor in breast surgery and requires a significant amount of prior experience. In our plastic surgery and body contouring practice, Dr. Agha sees women with varying degrees of breast asymmetry or tuberous deformity. The surgery to correct tuberous breasts may be done in a single state or in multiple stages, depending on the severity of the condition.