Are my Breasts Considered Abnormal and Tubular?

My breasts are very small and set far apart, with large areola's that almost point to my sides. I have had 2 miscarriages and since then, I have noticed a greater loss in breast mass / tissue at the upper portion of my breasts.

They have always looked disfigured to me and I am very self conscious because of this. So, is this a normal condition? Or tubular? What can be done to repair the abnormality? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 19

Tubular breasts are characterized by having a constricted breast base.

Tubular breasts are characterized by having a constricted breast base with resulting breast ptosis and widened areola from upward displacement of the the breast tissue under the nipple.  All the tissues are normal.  However most plastic surgeons pay much attention to this breast form as the best corrective treatments require thought and adjustments in our breast augmentation techniques to have the best outcomes.

Specific to your case, your breast tissues are normal but the form is indeed tubular but not severe.  In planning your treatment there would need be a plan to address the follwoing: 1) constricted base to your breast, 2) psuedoptosis of the breast, 3) volume enhancement, 4) areola reduction, 5) lateral positioning of your nipple areola complex.

Points 1-4 can be simply addressed in your case with lowering of your inframammary crease and release of breast tissue to expand the breast base, submammary placement of a implant to correct volume, and areolar reduction.  However point #5 remains a problem as its treament is less predicatable.  A thorough discussion of the risk benefits of a surgical plan for your lateralized NAC should be had with your plastic surgeon as the resulting scars for treatment of laterlized NAC may not be the best return for your energies.  Best of luck to you.  

Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Abnormal? No. Typical? No.

I myself am confused by the conflicting answers given to your question- so I'll try to clarify some things.  First, it's very difficult to evaluate exactly what's going on in your case from the single photo you provided.  In lieu of directly examining you, good standardized front and side photos would be required to give you specific information.

I see many cases of Tuberous breasts in my practice and most are minor.  In some cases the nipple issues of tuberous breasts need to be addressed surgically to assure an acceptable result- but not always.  The fact that your breasts are far apart is an issue usually seen with tuberous breasts, as the breast base is, by definition, narrowed.  The fact that your nipples are angled so far to the side is, however, not part of what's typically seen with this condition.

The lateral (to the side) position of your nipples on your breast needs to be addressed if you are to have any sort of augmentation surgery- otherwise you run the risk of this being even further exaggerated from surgery...but, again, I'd need to see better photos to tell you this for sure.  In a recent case of a patient undergoing breast augmentation surgery in my office, the decision was made to re-evaluate the breast shape, in the sitting position, once the implants were placed.  The decision to treat the tuberous deformity was made by me during the surgery.  Photos were taken so, afterward, I could explain the decision to the patient.  Treating a tuberous deformity often requires additional scars on the breast which has to be part of the decision-making process.

You can feel free to post additional photos.  I'm happy to then get back to you.

Good luck in your quest!!!...Scott Newman, MD FACS 

Scott E. Newman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

You have mild form of tubular breast

Your breast are far a part and with large nipple-areola complex. The areola stretching is consistant with tubular breast. Breast augmentation with implants will only enlarge your breast and push you nipples position more to side. I would suggest fat grafting for your breast. This a non-conventional approach and the goal would be breast enlargement less than a cup and correction of the nipple position.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

Are my Breasts Considered Abnormal and Tubular?

Your breast show developmental abnormality with exagerated separation( "wide  cleavage") and nipples pointing to the sides.  Your breasts need to be reshaped and it is up to you whether you also  opt   for augmentation  .The approach should be periareolar with emphasis on relocating the nipple-areolar comlexe more medially.

Augmentation alone will not give you the best result.!

Erel Laufer, MD
Dunedin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Breasts that are located far apart

You do not appear to have tubular breasts but your breasts appear to be located laterally (to the side) on your chest wall. You can have a straightforward breast augmentation with a good result.  Your breast implants will be located behind your natural breasts, meaning that the distance between your breasts will still be far apart, however with a good bra it will be easier for you to achieve cleavage.

Best wishes,

Dr. Bruno

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 283 reviews

Tubular breasts

Your photographs don't really appear to depict tuberous breasts.  Straightforward breast augmentation should work well in your case, but as with all surgery, the approach will have to be individualized based on the shape of your breast and torso.

Malik Kutty, MD
Sugar Land Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

The tuberous breast, constricted with prominent nipple

The truly tuberous breast has a constricted skin envelope, tightness along the fold and a nipple which tends to be 'herniated' or pushed forward. Your breast does not seem to fall into the category of a tuberous breast, though has issues all its own. Your breasts are normal in a sense, though widely spaced on a broad chest. Many options are available, from implants or improve size and symmetry, to forms of breast life to adjust nipple areolar size, and to a degree nipple position. It will take some time during a consultation to sort out what goals are important to you, and what limitations your tissue offers.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Constriction or tuberous breast.

From what I have seen on the Internet there's a lot of confusion about what constitutes a constricted breast and what constitutes a tuberousbreast.  In my opinion they are to some extent a spectrum.

A constricted breast has the tight base and the distance from the nipple for the fold that of the breast is abnormally short.  In my mind the tuberous breast is a breast that looks somewhat like Snoopy's nose with a big dilated areolal at the end.

In a patient with a mild degree of construction when I place breast implants I release the bottom tissues of the breast so that the breast will hopefully take on the shape of the implant.  If the breast does not take on the shape of the implant one can see a breast sitting on top of a breast implant.  This is known as double bubble.

The tuberous breast may actually need a more aggressive approach to entirely change the shape of the breast.  For the truly tuberous breast I will often do a full breast lift or mastopexy with or without implants  to give the snoopy nose breast a more normal shape. This approach leaves mastopexy scars.

From the picture you have provided it actually appears to me that you have a mild degree of constriction.  It is a situation in which I would generally place an implant to restore upper pole fullness and do some scoring of the lower part of the breast so that the breast will take on the shape of the implant.  I tell my patients that if they have any evidence of double bubble after the implants have dropped and settled they may need to consider a staged periareolar tightening.

Beyond the mild constriction your breasts are very lateral on the chest wall.  While it's appealing to place an implant more towards the midline if the implant is placed too close to the midline in your situation it will make the nipples look even farther apart. Your surgeon will have to find a balance. The areolas look normal from this photo.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Tubular breasts

Tubular breasts is a way of categorizing the shape and anatomy of the breast is some women. It has a wide range of variations and severity. In some ways, it doesn't matter how you categorize it. A surgeon should analyze the anatomy and you should agree on a goal as an end result. Any surgery will be customized to meet those goals as much as possible. Depending on what bothers you (i.e. size, asymmetry, position of the nipples, size of the areola, shape and proportion, etc.), the surgery should serve the goals.

Robin T.W. Yuan, M.D.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Not really, based on your photo

Your breasts don't look particularly tuberous but they do seem to be spaced a little far apart, which is normal. While you mention that you've noticed that your breasts have decreased in fullness in the upper pole, it appears that the issue isn't too severe. If you'd like to increase fullness there, a high profile implant might help. However, you should know that your breasts will still remain far apart despite a breast augmentation. (The space might be slightly decreased, though).  You can consider areola reduction if you find them too large.

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 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.