Tuberous Breast Surgery
Tuberous breasts, also called breast hypoplasia, are misshapen breasts that may develop during puberty or after breastfeeding. Tuberous breasts can impact men or women in one or both breasts.
Tuberous breasts may have a breast shape that is conical, narrow, oval, droopy, or pointed instead of traditional round- or teardrop-shaped breasts. The breasts may also appear to be spaced further apart than normal, with a gap of 1.5 inches or wider between them.
What causes tuberous breasts?
The conical shape of tuberous breasts may be caused by constricted breast tissue—sometimes the result of hormonal imbalance or genetic factors—which causes low breast volume underneath or on the lateral sides of the breasts. This in turn can cause breasts to have the appearance of puffy, prominent, or enlarged areolas.
There are four types of tuberous breasts:
- Type I tuberous breasts lack adequate tissue below the areolas on the lower half of the breasts.
- Type II tuberous breasts may have a less rounded appearance due to a low volume of breast tissue both underneath the areolas and in the lateral (side) quadrants of the breasts.
- Type III tuberous breasts, similar to type II, have low breast tissue volume while also having minimal breast skin in the subareolar region, which may make the nipples point downward.
- Type IV tuberous breasts are the most severe type, characterized by minimal breast base tissue and severe tissue constriction.
In most cases, corrective surgery performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon can alter the shape and size of tuberous breasts.
Why consider tuberous breast surgery?
Tuberous breasts are a common congenital anomaly. You may hear them described as a deformity, but tuberous breasts are a cosmetic breast condition with no implications for the health of an individual. Surgery is an option that can help those with tuberous breasts feel more confident and satisfied with their silhouette if they desire a change. Depending on the specific type of tuberous breast deformity, a plastic surgeon can add volume to one or both breasts, tighten breast skin, lift the breasts, or alter the appearance of the areolas.
In some cases, tuberous breasts impact the ability to breastfeed. If the shape of tuberous breasts makes it particularly difficult for a baby to latch onto the breast to extract breast milk, then tuberous breast surgery may resolve the problem. However, tuberous breast surgery cannot compensate for insufficient glandular tissue in the breast (an uncommon condition that can make it difficult to produce breast milk).
Types of tuberous breast surgery
Both the type of tuberous breast and your goals for the procedure influence which style of surgical procedure is right for you.
There are two main options to consider: a breast augmentation or a graft.
Breast augmentation to correct tuberous breasts
Individuals with mild low breast volume, drooping breasts, or insufficient breast skin (or those requiring areolar modification) may prefer a breast augmentation to correct tuberous breasts. Breast augmentation surgery involves inserting a breast implant into the breast to achieve fullness.
In many cases, breast augmentation is combined with a breast lift to reach an individual’s desired surgical outcomes. For those with more severe types of tuberous breasts, a tissue expander may be placed in the breast prior to breast augmentation surgery to prepare breast skin to accommodate breast implants.
Fat grafting to correct tuberous breasts
For individuals with insufficient breast volume, injecting tuberous breasts with fat harvested from another area of the body can balance and reshape the breasts, improving their appearance. This minimally invasive outpatient procedure removes fat from a chosen donor site, such as the thighs, hips, or abdomen, and installs it in the breasts.
While structural fat grafting does not surgically alter the appearance of the areolas, the areolas may become less puffy and pronounced as breasts are reshaped. Additionally, adding breast volume in the inframammary fold makes the areolas appear smaller in comparison to the overall breast size.
Surgical procedure and recovery
Tuberous breast correction surgery can help those dissatisfied with the appearance of their breastsn to achieve their aesthetic goals. By working collaboratively alongside our patients, we ensure optimal results for those wishing to correct tuberous breasts.
The first step is a thorough, collaborative consultation. Before surgery, we provide:
- 60- to 90-minute in-depth initial consultations with a complete medical history review and physical assessment by Dr. Maman
- Multiple pre-op visits to answer all your questions
- Specialized surgery coordinators to help you navigate scheduling, financial, and insurance processes
Once you’ve decided to move forward with surgery, we emphasize convenience, comfort, and a smooth recovery. This includes:
- Convenient NYC operating facilities
- Luxury recovery room options at NYC hotels
- Complimentary, custom post-operative support garments and scar treatment regimens
- Attentive and routine aftercare visits
Personalized, Holistic Patient-Centered Approach
Understanding each patient’s personal and clinical needs is central to our practice. We customize treatment plans for each patient, and each patient receives Dr. Maman’s personal contact information along with direct round-the-clock access to our nurse and surgical coordinator.
“Dr. Maman knows his craft so well. He listens to my requests and provides information when I need it. His staff are thoughtful and make sure I feel guided. Grateful to have found him, I feel safe all throughout and the result is beautiful.”
Recovery timelines vary depending on the type of tuberous breast correction surgery.
Individuals who elect for structural fat grafting can generally resume normal activity 2–3 weeks after the procedure. Swelling may persist in either the donor or graft sites for up to six months after surgery. In some cases, multiple procedures are required to achieve the desired results.
Because breast augmentation procedures require general anesthesia, patients must attend the surgery with a companion and require monitoring in the hospital or one of our luxury recovery rooms for at least one night. Individuals may experience swelling in the breasts for several weeks after surgery, and activity should be modified or limited for up to 12 weeks following the procedure.
In both cases, patients will be provided with a custom support bra to wear after their procedure as well as a scar care regimen.
Before and after: tuberous breast surgery results
Realistic expectations and goals
In order to achieve your desired surgical outcomes, it is important to share your goals for surgery with your plastic surgeon. In some cases, multiple procedures may be combined to help you achieve your ideal silhouette.
Long-term outcomes and maintenance
While the results of tuberous breast correction surgery are generally stable over time, various factors such as weight gain, aging, and pregnancy can impact surgical outcomes over time. Maintaining a stable weight through healthy lifestyle choices may also help preserve your breast shape and size.
If you elect to receive breast implants to correct tuberous breasts, implants generally last between 10–25 years before needing to be replaced.
Tuberous breast surgery as a solution
If you are dissatisfied with the appearance of tuberous breasts, surgery can help you achieve confidence. To request a consultation with Dr. Maman, contact us.
Meet Dr. Daniel Maman
Dr. Daniel Maman is a Harvard fellowship-trained and board-certified plastic surgeon specialized in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast, body, and face.
Tuberous Breast Surgery FAQs
What type of tuberous breast surgery is right for me?
The best tuberous breast surgery for you depends on the severity of your tuberous breasts and your goals for surgery. To achieve optimal surgical results, discuss your goals with Dr. Maman during your consultation.
How long does tuberous breast surgery take?
Tuberous breast surgery generally takes around two hours to complete, depending on the surgery type. If surgery is being combined with additional procedures, more time may be required to complete all procedures.
Is an areola reduction part of my tuberous breast surgery procedure?
Generally, the appearance of the areolas is naturally improved through tuberous breast surgery techniques as the breast is reshaped and breast volume is increased. If Dr. Maman believes areola reduction is necessary to help you achieve desired outcomes, this will be discussed at your pre-operative consultation.
Can tuberous breast surgery help with breastfeeding?
Both the shape of the nipples and a condition called insufficient glandular tissue (IGT) can make it difficult to breastfeed with tuberous breasts. While tuberous breast surgery can improve nipple shape, which can help infants latch onto the breast more effectively, tuberous breast surgery will not make the breasts produce more milk.
How do I know if I have tuberous breasts?
There is no medical test to determine if you have tuberous breasts. If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your breasts, an experienced plastic surgeon may be able to determine if your misshapen breasts are tuberous and make an appropriate recommendation.
Surgical Procedure FAQs
Where will my surgery be performed? How long does breast reconstruction surgery take?
Dr. Maman usually performs breast reconstruction surgeries at an in-office, AAAASF-certified facility or an outpatient ambulatory surgery center (ASC). He also has operating privileges at Mount Sinai Hospital, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York Eye & Ear Infirmary, and Englewood Hospital. We work with you to select the best facility for your needs.
Your surgery can last between one and eight hours, depending on the level of reconstruction you need and which phase of reconstruction you are in.
Will I need special clothes after my surgery?
We will provide you with custom surgical bras and compression bandaging after your surgery at no additional cost. These specialized undergarments will help reduce swelling and speed your healing. Most patients find that wearing loose-fitting clothes and button-down tops for the first week or two accommodates their surgical drains and provides the most comfort.
What is recovery like?
Most individuals receiving tuberous breast surgery have an unremarkable recovery. Although you may require some assistance with household tasks and to take some time off work for the first few days, most individuals can resume normal activities within 6 weeks. For most individuals, just a long weekend away from an office job is required.
Following all activity restrictions, wound care recommendations, and pain management guidance is essential to guarantee the fastest possible recovery.
How do I treat scars after surgery?
Dr. Maman will provide you with detailed scar treatment protocols, medical-grade creams, and tapes to minimize your scarring.
Will the surgery require follow-up visits?
Monitoring the outcome of breast cancer reconstruction surgery requires close observation and regular post-operative visits with Dr. Maman. Because we value our patients’ health and satisfaction above everything else, we do not charge for post-operative visits, whether they are part of your detailed follow-up plan during the first year after surgery or the annual visits that we recommend to ensure your final results are maintained.
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1100 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10128
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