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Tubular Breasts

What is a Tubular Breast?

The condition known as “Tubular Breasts” (also called “Tuberous Breasts”) is a congenital variation of the normal breast shape. Tubular breasts lie along a spectrum from very mild unevenness to extreme breast deformity. Either one or both breasts may be affected.

Women with tubular breasts often feel self-conscious or embarrassed to show their breasts to others due to their unusual shape. Correction of tubular breasts can help improve body image, self-esteem and self-confidence.

Common features of tuberous breasts include a relatively small breast size with a narrow breast base at the chest, a wide space between the breasts, a long and tubular breast shape, enlarged, puffy and protruding areolas and some droop to the breasts. Frequently, the fold beneath the affected breast(s) (“inframammary fold”) sits higher than normal, creating further distortion to breast shape and accentuating droop.

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Tubular breasts tend to be small, narrow breasts with a “tubular” (narrow and constricted) shape, with “pseudoptosis”. The fold underneath the breasts is higher than normal, creating a droopy look that in reality is due to constriction of breast development. The breast “footprint” is too high and constricted. Correction or tubular breasts involves placing a breast implant to fill out the bottom of the breast and to make a more normal, round and natural shape to the breast. The areola is also often made smaller by way of a periareolar mastopexy.

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What is Tubular Breast Correction?

Correction of tubular breasts is particularly challenging and requires surgical experience in reconstructive surgery of the breast, an aesthetic eye, and necessitates additional surgical steps to achieve the very best symmetry with a more natural breast shape. Our goal is always to create a beautiful and Natural breast result that looks in most cases like you were born that way!

A breast implant is usually inserted as part of tuberous breast correction. However, breast augmentation solely will not correct a tuberous breast shape, and can actually accentuate tubular breast deformity if done alone. Additional surgical details are required to normalize the breast shape, particularly at the base of the breast and in the areolar region.

In addition to breast augmentation, proper surgical correction of tubular breasts commonly includes some degree of breast lift (mastopexy) to lift the breasts and normalize the size and appearance of the nipple and areola.

Finally, the inframammary fold is usually lowered to a more anatomic position, and internal “scoring” (internal release of constricting fibers inside the breast) is done to allow the base of the breast to open up and assume a natural teardrop shape.

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Who is a Good Candidate for Tubular Breast Correction?

Good candidates for correction of tubular breasts include women who are healthy, in good physical shape, at their ideal body weight (or a stable weight following major weight loss), women with relatively small breasts relative to their frame, and women who have mild, moderate or severe tuberous breasts.

Women seeking correction of tubular breasts wish to have a more natural breast size and shape, to feel more “balanced” and proportional to the rest of their body, and often desire fuller, perkier and more normal shaped breasts.

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Is a Tubular Breast Correction Part of a Mommy Makeover?

Many Moms have tubular breasts that become even more droopy and deflated after they have children. Tubular breast correction via breast augmentation and/or breast lift is a very frequent component of a Mommy Makeover! Please see our Mommy Makeover section to learn about changes that commonly occur in the breasts, the tummy and other areas of your body after pregnancy, and about breast rejuvenation as a component of a Mommy Makeover!

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What Are the Different Types of Correction for Tubular Breasts?

Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation involves placing a breast implant to enhance the volume of the breast tissue and to create a more balanced appearance to tubular breasts. Even if just one breast is tuberous, both breasts are usually augmented for balance and symmetry. Please see our section on Breast Augmentation to learn more about breast implants and breast augmentation as a component of tubular breast correction.

Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Mastopexy (breast lift) surgery reshapes the breast by rearranging droopy breast tissue, redraping loose breast skin, and lifting the nipples and areolas to a higher and more aesthetic position on the breast. As part of tubular breast correction, a breast lift is vital to normalize an enlarged and protruding areola. Please see our section on Breast Lift (Mastopexy) to learn more about breast lift as a component of tubular breast correction.

Combined Mastopexy and Augmentation

To correct tubular breasts, sometimes a breast augmentation is combined with a breast lift (mastopexy) if there is significant breast droop with a small and tubular breast shape. Please see our section on Combined Mastopexy and Augmentation to learn more about breast implants and breast augmentation as a component of tubular breast correction.

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What Really Happens During Tubular Breast Correction?

Please see our Preparing for Surgery section to learn about what happens in the operating room on the day of surgery. In addition, please visit our Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift and Combined Mastopexy-Augmentation sections to understand details of each potential step. Tubular breast surgery takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete, and is usually done as an outpatient procedure.

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Is Liposuction Part of a Tubular Breast Correction?

Liposuction can be added to tuberous breast correction surgery to help shape the outer region of the breast, providing the best contour possible and to debulk the “axillary roll” (armpit fat) and back roll regions. Your surgeon will examine these areas to determine whether liposuction is an appropriate addition to your tubular breast correction. Please see our Liposuction section for more information.

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What Are Potential Risks and Complications of Tubular Breast Correction Surgery?

When you are considering any type of surgery, you should be fully educated about potential risks and complications. Please see our Preparing for Surgery section to learn about risks and potential complications related to surgery, Special Considerations for Breast Implant Surgery and Postoperative Instructions for Breast Surgery for additional information pertaining to tubular breast correction.

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Please visit our patient gallery to see before and after tubular breast correction results!

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As women Plastic Surgeons, we intimately understand how a woman’s feelings about her body can influence her self-image, self-esteem and her femininity, and we aim to give you the result you are looking for! At your breast surgery consultation, your surgeon will spend a great deal of time with you to get to know you personally and take a complete medical history. We will explore your reasons for seeking tubular breast correction, examine your breasts and if you are an appropriate candidate for surgery, your options will be described in detail.

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*Individual Results May Vary

Dr. Karen M. Horton, M.D. - Plastic Surgery, Physicians & Surgeons - Medical-M.D., San Francisco, CA