Do I have tuberous breasts? (Photo)

I'm now 37, but my boobs have looked like this since I was 14, 15 years old. They're very depressing to me. I've been wondering if these are indeed tuberous? And can my type get a nipple lift without implants? (I don't want implants since they don't last a lifetime and the size really doesn't bother me - its the shape that bothers me). Thank you.

Doctor Answers 14

Breast Augmentation

Hi EH!  
I agree, no need for implants if you do not want them.   You have some signs of TB.  Some tissue is protruding into the nipple area, and the lover half of your breast is smaller than the upper.  I haven’t examined you, but yes I would say you have a Type II Tuberous Breast contour, and we see this frequently. So, no need to be disheartened. There are four Types that are seen, and you have a mild tendency in this direction. You can see from the side view that your breast comes almost straight out from your chest wall, and therefore from the front view, the lower rounded area is not filled out. I believe if you want a breast augmentation surgery this would be corrected nicely. The web reference below has some photos of examples. There are many approaches. Here are some general tips which are only my personal opinion, not gospel: Your fold is very tight in the breast crease. Put an index card in your breast fold. If your nipple is at the edge of the card or below, then you would be a candidate for a lift, either a vertical or anchor or areolar.
Be sure to see only a board certified plastic surgeon (by ABPS - The American Board of Plastic Surgery) who is a member of ASAPS (The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) and or a member of ASPS (The American Society of Plastic Surgeons). Also, ask if they have an established, high volume breast augmentation practice, performing several hundred breast augmentations each year. Be sure the PS has been in practice for a while, 20-years or more might be a good gauge. Does the PS offer all three incisions? Discuss the implant type (gel or saline), shaped "gummy bear" or non-shaped, smooth or textured, implant pocket (over or under the muscle) and the "quick recovery approach." Ask to see their before and after photos if you didn’t see any on their website. If they are experienced, they should have several 100 breast implant patients for you to view. I would also recommend that your doctor offer you the chance to talk to past patients who would be happy to discuss their experience with you. You need to feel comfortable, so make sure the environment is safe as in an accredited surgery center. Also, ask a prospective surgeon if he or she has ever published journal articles in professional peer-reviewed journals, which they can provide you.
All the best, “Dr. Joe”

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 269 reviews

Tuberous breasts

Thank you for posting your photos and question. I'm sorry to hear that you have been depressed over the appearance of your breasts. It is difficult to determine if you have tuberous breasts without an in-person exam. However, your photos do indicate that this is a possibility. You can improve on the shape somewhat with a lift but the best result is typically achieved with a lift and implant. I suggest that you consult with board certified plastic surgeons to discuss your options and you can decide what will be best for you.
Best of luck,

Mennen T. Gallas, MD
Katy Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Understanding your options for a breast lift without implants when you have "tuberous" breasts.

I cannot determine if you have tuberous breasts by your photos.This would require a consultation in person or by skype.  To best find a qualified Plastic Surgeon who specializes in breast reshaping, I would start with the ASAPS (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) and use the physician locator. All members of ASAPS are board certified Plastic Surgeons who specialize in cosmetic procedures of face, breast and body. Find the names of Plastic Surgeons, then do your due diligence on each one. Google them, look at their before and after photos on their website and look at their RealSelf profiles and reviews. Finally select 1-3, and schedule an in depth consultation. During this consultation the Plastic Surgeon should review your individual options to achieve the most aesthetic breast shape and nipple position that can be achieved with the breast tissue you have. I often perform a breast reshaping procedure with nipple repositioning first, especially on patients who do not want a breast implant. Breast Implants can always be added at a second stage if the patient is sure they want larger breasts after your breasts have a shape you like. My focus is to restore a breast shape that is pleasing to you first, then together we decide next steps if any. Most often I perform this procedure under local anesthesia. Good luck! 

Laurie A. Casas, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Tuberous breasts and lift


You appear to have tuberous breasts and would benefit from a lift alone.
Adding an implant would help achieve a more pleasing breast shape.


Dr. Pedy Ganchi
Village Plastic Surgery

Pedy Ganchi, MD
Ridgewood Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Do I have tuberous breasts?

Yes you do,  I encourage you to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon(s) a breast lift in combination with an implant
would give you a nice correction.   A breastlift alone will not give
you a nice shape.    Good Luck

Richard Rosenblum, MD
Virginia Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Tuberous breasts

You have tubular breast deformity and would do well with combined breast implants and full breast lift. Best of luck 

Stuart A. Linder, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Tuberous breasts ?

You appear to have a component of tuberous breasts as well as some constriction or tightening of the bottom of the breast.  The results are best if you use an implant to help reshape the bottom of the breast to obtain a founder shape   Make sure you seek a few consultations to feel comfortable about the technique 

David R. Alfonso, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Do I have tuberous breasts?

Thank you for your question.  You do have elements of tuberous breast.  A breast left alone may not adequately improve your breast shape.  The use of breast implants are soft tissue expanders to expand the constricted breast can be very helpful for a proper correction.

There are different options to treat tuberous breasts with and without implants

My answer to your first question about your breasts is yes, I think you appear to have tuberous breasts.  This is a condition that occurs when a woman first starts developing breasts, and in short, it has to do with the skin and supportive tissues of the chest wall being too tight to allow normal expansion of the developing breast glands.  The areolae then become the "weak links in the chain," and the developing breast glands "push through," or herniate, into the areolae causing the classic "puffy" appearance of areolae on tuberous breasts, and the classic "pointy," or tapered appearance of the tuberous breast, as opposed to the nice, full, round shape that we would prefer.  In addition to some degree of tuberous breast deformity, you also appear to have a significant degree of ptosis, or drooping, of the breasts, and this causes both the nipples and the breast tissues to be below the inframammary fold where the breast arises from the lower chest.  Ideally, your nipples would be located above that fold, as would the breast tissues.

In your case it is entirely possible that a breast lift alone, without the use of implants, could produce the results that you are looking for.  This is something that would have to be discussed in detail with a board certified plastic surgeon during a personal consultation.  This is the only way to really assess your specific goals and how best to meet those given the size, shape, and position of your current breasts.  The one thing that you must bear in mind is that often we use implants in settings like this not simply to increase size, or volume of the breasts, but also to improve the shape.  Remember, breast implants have other parameters than just volume, and these include measurements like width (and height in the case of many shaped implants) as well as what we call "projection," which refers to how high the breast implant projects off of the surface it is sitting on.  Thus, in your case, while we might not want to make our breasts larger size-wise, we may wish to make them WIDER at the base, so that they have a fuller, rounder shape.  If we don't feel confident in doing that with the existing breast tissues alone, this would be a reason to consider an implant.  We don't necessarily have to use a large implant, and we can sometimes actually remove some of the loose breast tissue during certain types of lifts and replace that volume with an implant, thereby effectively avoiding an overall increase in size while still taking advantage of the shaping effects of the implants.  My point is not necessarily to talk you into breast implants if you really don't want them, rather, I think you should have a realistic idea of the kinds of things we can and cannot accomplish without implants and some of the reasons why we might choose to use an implant in the end.  There are lots of different types of implants out there with different properties, sizes, and dimensions.  If this is ever something that you wind up considering, then an experienced plastic surgeon can fill you in on all of the important factors related to these.  The bottom line is that if you are going to have surgery, make sure that the anticipated result is at least in the ballpark of what you want.

One last thing to consider that I think may help your overall situation is a small amount of liposuction to the armpit, or axilla region.  This can significantly improve the overall appearance of your chest and help produce a relatively fuller appearing breast shape.  In addition, if you decided against breast implants, but still needed some fullness of certain areas of the breasts, additional liposuction can be performed on the tummy or flanks, and that fat can be transferred to the breasts to help create fullness and improve shape too.  I do this quite often, and it's a nice alternative to breast implants in some ladies.

So, as you see, there are a number of things we can offer ladies like you to help improve the appearance of their breasts in a situation like this.  It all boils down to your finding the right surgeon who can help you decide what your realistic goals are, and then come up with a rational plan to get there.  Make sure you consult with only board certified plastic surgeons who have ample experience with breast surgery, and tuberous breasts in particular.   In addition to being certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the only generally recognized organization which certifies true plastic surgeons and has the term “Plastic Surgery” in its title, your surgeon should also participate in the Maintenance of Certification program administered by that board. This program requires that surgeons who participate continue to update their credentials and professional standing regularly, as opposed to practicing on a single lifetime certificate like those plastic surgeons who elect not to participate. To find further information about this program and any surgeons you might consider for your surgery, I suggest visiting these sites: and Good luck.

Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Do I have tuberous breasts? Treatment options?

Based on your photos, you do appear to have a mild variant of what is referred to as 'tuberous breasts'. A mastopexy, or breast lift, is certainly one of your treatment options and this can be performed as a stand alone procedure.

Owen Reid, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 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.