Do I Have Herniated Nipples or Tubular Breasts and What Can I Do to Correct That? (photo)

My breasts have looked this way since I was a teenager. I'm now 23. I waited hoping there was going to be some improvement somehow regarding the shape of my nipples but it's time to admit they isn't going to be any. I think it's time to do what I think will be best for me so I can stop being so self-conscious about it. How would you call this problem and what can I do to correct this? (I have had no children yet, so I wouldn't want to risk my future ability to breastfeed them. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 4

Puffy nipples

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I am going to jump on the bandwagon with the other responding doctors here and advocate that you don't do anything.  You have a very natural shape to your breasts.  A slight protrusion of the nipple is a healthy, youthful look.  Anything that you might do to change this might be more risky than beneficial.  There is an old saying in surgery that "the enemy of good is better".  Sometimes if you try to do too much, you run the risk of screwing it up altogether!

Tuberous Breasts?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

 The side view photograph that you posted demonstrates the area of concern nicely. You  certainly have “puffy” areola but otherwise none of the other characteristics seen with tuberous/constricted breasts. On the contrary, your breast demonstrate a pleasant shape.

 At this point, considering  the pleasant shape/size of your breasts  and your concerns about the potential ability to breast-feed,  I would suggest that you stay away from surgical procedures.

 Keep in mind, that areola reduction surgery does carry the potential risk of abnormal scarring, areola asymmetry, spreading of the areola…

 I hope this (and the attached link) help.


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You have to assume that when you have children with or without breast feeding, that you breasts might change. With that in mind you might consider waiting until later to address the problem (areola reduction)

Do I have herniated nipples?

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Thanks for your question and the photos. You do have what could be referred to as herniated nipples but really no other indication of a tubular or constricted breast. I think you should take comfort in knowing this is a normal look and no surgery is required. The only procedure you might entertain would be consideration of an areolar reduction procedure which involves surgery around your areola with a permanent suture all the way around to take of the tension. I would recommend that you not have surgery for the reasons you mentioned but it is always wise to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to review your concerns. I wish you well.

Dr. Edwards

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.