Do I Have Breast Hypoplasia/tubular Breasts? (photo)

I'm 24, 150 lbs and 5'5. I've always thought my breasts were way too small for my frame. I've lost some weight (70 lbs) in the past ten years and even at my highest weight, they just filled out a B cup. My areolas are too large for my breast size and I just don't think they're shaped all that nicely. I also have polycystic ovary syndrome, which might just have messed up their development. What needs to be done? Thanks for all your help.

Doctor Answers 11

Do I have Tubular Breasts?

Do I have #Tubular Breasts?
This breast condition is a developmental problem of the breast. It may be characterized by a variety of appearances generally seen at the time of puberty. There may be breast underdevelopment of the breast with little or no breast tissue. There may be deficiency of breast skin. The breast may appear narrow, tubular, long, conical or droopy. These contours have resulted in the use of unattractive names such as #TubularBreasts, or #SnoopyBreasts.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Breast hypoplasia

Thank you for your question and for sharing your photo. Based on your photograph, it appears that your breast are constricted and not allowing the lower aspect of your breast to fully develop. Breast surgery is an option to help reshape the breast and release some of the constrictions. An implant and a breast lift may help to reshape the breast as well. I would visit with a board certified plastic surgeon who can discuss the different operative techniques and options with you.

May just be mildly tuberous

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. Judging from your photos, your breasts may be mildly tuberous, but not readily apparent. A breast lift and areola reduction can enhance your breast contour. You may also want to consider breast implants to add volume. 

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Tubular breasts?

Thank you for your question!  Given your photos, it does not appear that you have true tuberous breast/constricted breast deformity.  For such a deformity, 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.

You appear to have large/stretched areolae along with breast ptosis (sagging).  Given your desires of larger breasts as well as improved shape, you would likely benefit from a breast lift with an implant.  

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.  I would expect a very pleasing result for you!  Hope that this helps!  Best wishes for a wonderful result!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Breast augmentation in tubular breasts

Your posted photos show large areola and the majority of the breast tissue at or above the nipples. On the left there is very little tissue below the nipple level and more tissue in the inner half of the breast vs. the right side. Large areolae and little tissue below the nipple level are components of tubular breasts. If you place an implant centered under the nipple it is obvious it will not look good. You need adjunctive procedures to redistribute the breast tissue and make the areolae smaller. It is unclear from the photos whether any lifting or inframammary fold adjustment is also necessary.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Correcting breast deformities

     Reviewing your pictures, I would suggest a breast lift ( mastopexy), with reduction of areolar size and perhaps a reast implant behind the muscle.  Your desire for a larger breast will not be fulfilled without an implant.

Talmage Raine MD FACS

Talmage J. Raine, MD, FACS
Champaign Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Tubular breasts?

Yes, your breast do have components of a tubular breast.  This can be addressed with augmentation alone or possibly be combined with a lift, depending on your goals and needs.  Its very common to have a 'double bubble' on your lower pole for sometime until your tissues stretch out to accommodate the implant.  See one of your local plastic surgeons and best wishes!

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Tubular or tuberous breasts

Yes, you have tubular breasts and likely they are too small for your frame.  Augmentation can improve the size and will help with the shape as well.  The breasts, particularly the areolas, will also need attention to make them smaller and flatten to front of the breast to make it less bullet shaped and more dome shaped.

You are not alone.  Many patients with tubular breasts undergo breast augmentation and reshaping (mastpexy) every year to improve the shape, symmetry and size of their breasts and most are very satisfied with their results.  Be aware that no one has two breasts that are "twins" or exactly alike and that they will still be a little different from each other after surgery, too.

Deborah Ekstrom, MD
Worcester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Mild Tubular breasts?

While at first glance, you seem to have some mild symptoms of tubular breast deformity, a good physical exam will be able to distinguish how constricted your breasts are, etc. as aptly discussed by the surgeon below.  Most likely you will need a lift along with augmentation for best results, but probably only a peri-areolar lift (donut) as your main concern seems to be the size of the areolas.  Sometimes based on exam, a bit of 'cheating' can be performed by greatly lowering the breast fold such as in this case below.

Best Wishes,

Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

?Tubular breasts??




There are a number of features that define a tuberous/tubular breast:

•Wide and puffy areolae

•widely spaced breasts

•high breast fold

•constricted lower pole (deficient tissue in lower half of the breast

•minimal breast tissue

•high breast fold

•narrow base of the breast

A number of these seem present to a mild degree. But whatever it is called, the treatment will be a combination of breast augmentation and lifing. The lift will bring the areolas to a more attractive position, and will decrease the areolar size. 


When you are ready for an in person consultation, RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S. Thank you for your question, best wishes.

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.