What Are Tuberous Breasts and Why/how Do You Get Them?

I have already been told on here that I have tuberous breasts. My questions are...why do you get tuberous breasts? What are they beyond their unsightly appearance?

Doctor Answers 14

Tubular Breasts

Tuberous breast deformity involves a constricting ring that grows around the breast base. This ring stops the horizontal and/or vertical expansion of the breast, leading to constricted appearance with large areolas and irregular nipples. Surgery is necessary to release constricted tissue, and implants may be placed to enhance volume.  

Tuberous Breast

Tuberous breasts are something you are born with.  Like some women are born with large breasts and some with small, some are born with tuberous breasts.  This is simply a label plastic surgeons place on breasts that have certain characteristics: the nipple is lower on the breast (ptosis or sagging), some of the breast tissue is pushed out into the areola (the dark part around the nipple), and there is a short distance from the nipple to the fold below the breast.  The good news is - a breast augmentation and mini-breast lift can give tuberous breasts fullness, make them more round and place the nipple in the center of the breast.  You will love the improvement!  K. Roxanne Grawe, MD Columbus Plastic Surgeon

Tuberous/Constricted Breast Concerns?

Tuberous breasts describe  a developmental breast “anomaly”  without specific known “cause”. There are lots of variations of tuberous breasts.  Some of the characteristics seen with tuberous breasts include a very narrow base, short distance from areola to inframammary fold, tight (constricted) lower pole of the breasts, relatively wide space between the breasts, "puffy" areola and some degree of ptosis (drooping).   Generally,  correction of tuberous breast anomalies involves breast augmentation with areola reduction / mastopexy procedure. The distance from the inframammary fold is increased (to create a more rounded out appearance). Proper breast implant positioning improves the distance (cleavage) between the breasts. The areola reduction helps to treat the pointed and "puffy" appearance of the areola.

In your case, if the appearance/shape/size of the breasts are a concern,  you may be an excellent candidate for corrective surgery.   Exactly what operation would help you will depend on a full communication of your goals. Based on  your question and pictures provided,  a breast augmentation as well as an areolar skin/tissue  reduction  will serve to significantly improve the shape/contour of your breasts.    
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Tuberous Breasts

Tuberous breasts tend to be narrow at the base and are overly projecting for their size, and this phenomenon may occur on one or both sides. In its mildest form, the lower pole of the breast is underdeveloped or may even appear constricted - sometimes referred to as a 'constricted lower pole'. In severe cases the breast is conical in shape and is sometimes described by the patient as looking like a 'torpedo' or a 'Snoopy dog'. Regardless of the degree of tuberosity, it is possible to dramatically improve the appearance of the tuberous breast during augmentation surgery using a number of specialized surgical techniques.

Many patients with severely tuberous breasts have said that they have never removed their bra in an intimate setting. Careful patient assessment, thoughtful planning and attention to detail during the surgical procedure can produce a dramatic and life-changing improvement for most patients with tuberous breasts.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

Tuberous breasts

The cause of this developmental  breast condition is not known. It varies in degree of severity and may be unilateral or bilateral. The treatment is surgical.

While I would consider many of these cases to be reconstructive in nature the surgery is not covered by insurance.


Ann F. Reilley, MD (retired)
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Tuberous breasts

Your photos show limited views but do seem to indicate that you have mild tuberous breasts. In the hands of a qualified plastic surgeon should you wish larger breasts a breast augmentation will improve your appearance. Placement of the implants above the muscle (subglandular) is often the desired position selected by plastic surgeons. Finding the best one will be the most important decision to make.


What are tuberous breasts and why/how do you get them?

Thank you for your question!  Women are born with this appearance of the breasts and there is no known etiology for this process.  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 could likely get great results with an implant and possible breast lift.

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! 

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Tuberous breasts

Tuberous breasts develop because a patient is genetically predisposed to it.  There is no other  answer to why they develo in some patients other than what i dsescribed..

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Tuberous breasts - why

Sorry Hope, but I don't have a good answer for you.  The lower portion of the breast remains tight and the base very narrow causing the "tuber" or potato - like appearance.  If I knew the exact cause I would be happy to explain it to you.

Why Do People Have Tuberous Breasts?

   I am not sure that anyone really knows why certain people develop tuberous breasts.  The only correction for them is surgical.  There is no additional risk or problem with having tuberous breasts.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

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.