What is Wrong with my Nipples? My Nipples Are Constantly Swollen? (photo)

They swell so large they are unrecognizable. They are quite tender and I believe it is the weight of my nipples pulling off my body causing the soreness. They go down when I am cold or for no specific reason, and that can last from anywhere from a few seconds-minutes. til they swell back up. I've had all my hormone levels tested and breast exams, all normal. Do I have tuberous breasts? I've also developed long, black, coarse hair around my nipples. I'm naturally blonde w/ translucent body hair.

Doctor Answers (4)

Tuberous Breasts

It appears that you do have tuberous breasts. Tuberous breast deformity is a developmental condition. During the breast developmental phase, an aberration occurs that causes a constricting ring to grow around the base of the breast. This ring keeps the breast from developing properly, stopping its horizontal and/or vertical expansion. The extra pressure from this process causes the breast tissue to herniate and move toward the area of the nipple/areola. The end result of this process is misshapen breasts, large areolas and irregular nipples, known as tuberous breasts. This problem can range greatly in severity. Some patients with minor tuberous breast deformity will only have breasts that have a high fold, tight base or a constricted appearance while others may suffer from a more severe problem where the breasts resemble tubes.

Ideal breasts are comprised of evenly distributed tissue while tuberous breasts are characterized by tissue that is concentrated directly underneath the protruding nipples. Because of this, a common treatment technique involves releasing this constricted breast tissue by making internal radial incisions that allow it to splay out properly. These incisions are done internally so the patient doesn't see anything externally. In most cases I will suggest the placement of an implant, typically in the sub-mammary position to better influence the breast’s shape and to add greater volume. If excess or sagging skin is present, I may recommend performing a breast lift as part of the procedure as well. A more accurate assessment can be obtained through a physical examination with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon. Best of luck!

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Tuberous breasts



  Yes, you have tuberous breasts and your nipples are "herniated".  This is because the areolas are large and need to be made smaller with a compaction of the undelying tissue to become part of your breast.

  You need to have this adjustment and if this makes you happy alone, then fine.  however, if you want to correct the BREAST tubular component also, then do implants at the same time and correct the entire process.  Your case is 2 hours or so and it is done.

  Make sure you see someone that does a lot of tubular breasts and is not afraid of your case.  Nothing against the breast surgeon that is hesitant with your case but some breast surgeons just do not feel comfortable with tuberous breasts.  Your case is not difficult.

              Steven M. Lynch, M.D.

Steven M. Lynch, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Tubular breast areola look like they are constantly swollen


Your photographs show you have tuberous breasts.  You would benefit from breast augmentation and areola reduction.  This can all be done through a circumareola incision to reduce the size of your areola and increase your breast to the desired size.  You are an excellent candidate for Breast Augmentation with Mini Ultimate Breast Lift.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

You might also like...

Tuberous Breasts?


Thank you for the question and pictures.

Yes, I think your breasts do demonstrate many of the qualities seen with tuberous (constricted) breasts.
Some of the characteristics seen with tuberous breasts include a very narrow base, short distance from areola to inframammary fold, tight (constricted) lower pole of the breasts, relatively wide space between the breasts, "puffy" areola and some degree of ptosis (drooping).  
Generally,  correction of tuberous breast anomalies involves breast augmentation with areola reduction / mastopexy procedure. The distance from the inframammary fold is increased (to create a more rounded out appearance). Proper implant positioning improves the distance (cleavage) between the breasts. The areola reduction helps to treat the pointed and "puffy" appearance of the areola.

In your case, if the appearance/shape/size of the breasts are a concern,  you may be an excellent candidate for corrective surgery.   You may also be a good candidate for laser hair removal.
When you are ready, please make sure you consult with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons who have significant experience with this type of surgery.
I hope this, and the attached link, help.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 757 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.