What Are the Benefits of Reconstruction for Tuberous Breasts?

I am Native American and have Tribal Health Insurance. I am trying to put together information about having my Tuberous Breast Deformity corrected.

I was NOT able to properly breast feed my son. I had some milk production, but not enough for him to thrive, and I'm wondering if anyone has seen a case where the breast reconstruction de-constricted the milk ducts enough to facilitate proper breast feeding. Or of any other medical benefits. Will it relieve pain & sensitivity I experience now?

Doctor Answers 10

Breast feeding after tuberous breast correction

What are the medical problems associated with constricted breasts?
The greatest medical problem is psychological. Numerous articles have appeared in magazines and newspapers
The psychosocial improvement with surgery can be enormous even when the results lead to mild improvement. Complete correction is not always possible
This breast problem takes a tremendous toll on a young woman’s self –esteem.
The condition may affect the ability to breast feed is the breast glands are not adequately developed, but subsequent surgery can also make this problem more difficult.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

What are the benefits of reconstruction for tuberous breasts?

Thank you for your question!   The standard procedure would be placement of an implant (or tissue expander, depending on the lower pole of your breast) as well as a circumareolar breast lift.  These modalities would correct the issues with tuberous breast: constricted breast at the inferior pole, via breast prosthetic; scoring of the tissue to release the bands; lowering the inframammary fold; correcting the herniation of breast tissue into the areolae; and decreasing the overall size of the areolae.  These are the hallmarks of tuberous breasts.  Such procedures should not impact your ability or effectiveness of breastfeeding.  Also, it should not relieve pain.  Typically, correction of tuberous deformity is an aesthetic procedure to simply improve appearance - there are no known functional deficits from this condition.

Consult with a plastic surgeon well-versed in breast surgery and discuss your goals and expectations.  S/he will then be able to examine and discuss the various options and assist you in deciding which decision os the right one for you, given your desires.  Hope that this helps!  Best wishes for a wonderful result!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Surgery to Correct Tuberous Breast Deformity

Surgery to correct tuberous breasts can provide significant cosmetic benefit, however, any such surgery will nat produce any functional improvement in your ability to breast feed. That said women who undergo correction of tuberous breasts are generally very happy with the results that such surgery can produce and report high degrees of satisfaction. Interestingly, in severe cases of tuberous breast deformity, we have found that some patient's insurance plans will cover the expense of surgery; this will depend on both the severity of the deformity and the specific insurance plan benefit.

Broadly speaking, there are two options for correcting tubular breasts: 1. using a breast implant and 2. using your own tissue. Each approach has pros and cons. More information about these options and about tuberous breasts is available on my practice website.


Tuberous breasts

Tuberous breast reconstruction is not covered by insurance as far as I know.  Uuslaly this is deemed cosmetic in nature.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Tuberous breasts correction for facilitating proper breast feeding

The release of the breast along its periphery, by definition, involves severing some breast gland and duct tissue. Although it releases the breast, it may actually limit the ability to breast feed.

Furthermore, tuberous breasts are not typically associated with pain. I would therefore recommend you see a breast specialist as there may be something else here that needs to be addressed.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Constricted breast deformity (tuberous aka tubular)

Unfortunately, I am aware that this is considered a congenital breast deformity but not aware of any studies that specifically demonstrated correction of lactation problems or relief of pain and discomfort.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Tuberous breast deformity correction

Imporvement of the tuberous breast is purely for appearence purposes, that is, it does not improve breast feeding, pain, tenderness, etc. That being said, some insurances do pay for correction based on restoration to normalcy. If your insurance requires a medical reason they will probably not cover it.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Benefits of tuberous breast correction

Hi MBrim24. For the most part tuberous breast is a cosmetic deformity and is not associated with symptoms of pain and/or senstiivity. However, because the deformity includes underdevelopment of the breast, it is possible to affect your ability to breast feed. It is possible that because of the underdeveloped breast, you have an insufficient number of milk producing elements to make enough milk. Since many women without tuberous breasts are also unable to produce enough milk, we will never know if, in your case, you cannot make enough milk because of your tuberous breasts. For the most part, women who have surgery to correct tuberous breasts are very happy with the aesthetic result. Hope this helps.

Tracy M. Pfeifer, MD, MS

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Surgery for tuberous breasts

Tuberous breast is a descriptive term and can mean a variety of different appearances and anatomy to the breast. Surgery will not be expected to change your ability or lack of ability to breast-feed. You should be careful about dong surgery with expectation of curing pain. Although you do not describe what pain and sensitivity you have, sensory changes are unpredictable so we usually do not perfom surgery to change sensation. If you don;t have pain, you mihgt imagine that surgery will produce, not cure, pain. Nipple sensation is usually diminished if it does change, but there can been annoying periods of hypersensitivity as well.

Have surgery predominantly because it will give you a better sense of self-confidence or self-esteem because of the improvement in size or shape.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Benefits of correcting tuberous breasts

The benefits of correcting a tuberous breast deformity are mainly cosmetic and to improve your self esteem.  I doubt there would be any functional benefit such that insurance would want to provide coverage.  Pain, sensitivity and breast feeding ability are really unrelated. 

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 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.