Tuberous Breasts: The Debate on Fixing "Snoopy Boobs"

Cathy Enns on 23 Dec 2012 at 9:00am

Any time plastic surgery comes up in the media it sparks a lot of passionate discussion. After writing an article on the subject, I discovered that a hot button issue for some women is whether or not tuberous breasts should be "fixed." 

Many with the condition suffer great distress and want nothing more than to achieve a “normal” look through breast augmentation.  Others feel that women should accept themselves as they are, and refuse to be influenced by media-promoted notions of the way we “ought” to look.

tuberous breast surgery

What are “Snoopy Breasts”?

Tuberous breasts form when “the skin of the lower half of the breast remains attached to the chest wall [and] does not grow with the remainder of the breast during puberty,” says Dr. Aaron Stone. As it develops, breast tissue is forced outward and downward in the shape of a tuber, or as some have pointed out, the nose of a certain lovable, cartoon beagle.

What’s the debate?

The anti-surgery side is fueled by terms the medical profession uses to discuss this condition.  Many plastic surgeons refer to tuberous breasts as “a deformity,” and given that the word means a deviation from the norm, it applies. But some women are understandably disturbed to hear their breasts referred to as “deformed” and the procedure that could change them defined as a “correction.”

Plastic surgeons agree that the appearance of so-called “Snoopy” breasts can be greatly improved through cosmetic surgery. In most cases, the surgeon releases constricting tissue and places breast implants below the chest muscle. Some women benefit from a breast lift as well, and some elect areola reduction as part of the procedure.

before and after breast lift

Negative reactions to my previous article ranged from irritation to outrage. Women wrote that surgery amounts to inserting devices into their bodies and pretending they have breasts. Some assert that the condition has been invented by plastic surgeons as a moneymaker.

Those who have chosen breast augmentation have much different comments. They share that their tuberous breasts caused them great pain, damaging their self-esteem and impacting their personal lives.  The most common input from these patients is something along the lines of, “I wish I would have had surgery sooner.”

 

There is no right answer, and it varies for everyone, but we'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

 

Photo credits: Dr. Tom Pousti; Dr. Michael Law