Concerned I have Tubular Hypoplastic breasts and won't be able to breast feed. Will correctional surgery help? (photo)

I have always been so conscious of my breasts, but it has always been aesthetic. I did some research online and think I may have 'Tubular Hypoplastic breasts' which can mean you cannot breast feed which is a real concern for me. Do I have this condition? Will correctional surgery improve my chances of breast feeding or is it simply aesthetic?

Doctor Answers 13

Tuberous Breasts come in many varieties

Only a full exam can tell if you have tuberous breasts. The photo does suggest a constriction of the inframammary fold.

We have great techniques including my teardrop augmentation mastopexy that can help correct this deformity. Good Luck.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Tubular Breasts?

Thank you for submitting photos, they are very helpful. It appears to me that you have a constricted  base and high inframammary fold on the right side and what may just be glandular ptosis on the left. You do not have herniated tissue through the areola. Probably not classic tubular breasts. A physical exam would be helpful. Your ability to breast feed is unknown until you attempt to do so. Most women (90-95%) of women can breast feed however. Any surgery you may have will be cosmetic in nature and will not improve your ability to breast feed. In fact, depending on the surgery, you may reduce your ability to breast feed. I would suggest that you see 2-3 surgeons (board certified of course) in your area and get their opinions regarding this.

Douglas L. Gervais, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 175 reviews

Constricted bases with narrow breasts and high riding inframammary folds but not classic Tubular hypoplastic breasts

Thank you for your question and the photo. From the one photo you sent it appears as if you have constricted bases with narrow breasts and high riding inframammary folds but not classic tubular hypoplastic breasts. You do not have pseudoherniation of the nipples. No one can predict with certainty whether you will be able to breast feed or not. Corrective surgery is aesthetic and does not improve the likelihood of you being able to breast feed. If anything, it could make it worse. To discuss the details further, see two or more board-certified plastic surgeons in your area for a complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery.  I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 182 reviews

Breast Feeding and breast lift surgery

About 90% of all women can successfully breast feed, with or without surgery.  If this is a high priority for you then I would delay having any type of lift surgery to enhance the appearance of your breasts.  A mastopexy or breast lift is an operation that will change the shape of your breast by moving the nipple/areola upwards and removing any excess skin under the breast.  The resultant scar is around the nipple/areola and extends vertically downward from the 6 o'clock position of the nipple/areola to form the so called "lollipop" scar.  This operation DOES NOT IMPROVE your ability to breast feed and in fact could decrease your ability to breast feed.

Regardless what you label your breast shape as (tubular, tuberous, hypoplastic etc), the treatment or the type of procedure required will be some form of breast lift with or without an implant.  Your final decision should be made considering your age, marital status, acceptance of scars, desire to breast feed, cost and recovery time.

Please consult with a board certified plastic surgeon whom performs breast enhancement procedures frequently for a private consultation to discuss your options.

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Breast feeding possibilities

The external shape of your breast will not have any bearing on your ability to breast feed after pregnancy.   Remember that 7 to 10% of women will not be able to successfully lactate.  If  you are not concerned about the shape of your breasts then only time will tell if breast feeding will be possible in the future.   

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Tuberous breasts

I think that you may have a tuberous deformity but an exam in person is essential. One photo does not demonstrate it very well.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Tuberous Breasts?

Thank you for the question and picture.

Yes, I think your breasts do demonstrate some of the qualities seen with tuberous (constricted) 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" and 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 implant positioning improves the distance (cleavage) between the breasts. The areola reduction helps to treat the pointed and "puffy" appearance of the areola.

In the most severe cases of tuberous breast, a more complete breast lift may also be necessary.  In many cases however, a lift is not necessary. The patient should be aware that the final result will take months to see and that they will need to be patient and that revisionary surgery is more likely than in patients who do not present with tuberous (constricted) breasts.

In your case, if the appearance/shape/size of the breasts are a concern,  you may be an excellent candidate for corrective surgery. This would best be done when you are ( and you may already be there)  close to your long-term stable weight. Surgery will likely involve breast augmentation and some degree of breast lifting.
When you are ready, please make sure you consult with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons who have significant experience with this type of surgery.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Your ability to breast feed can not be changed by surgery

Your pictures is not very helpful because of the limited views. based on these pictures you have ptosis of the breast and enlarged areola. You would need to have lift to improve the nipple and breast position and make the areola smaller. The surgery will not improve you ability to breast feed .

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

Tuberous breast and breast feeding

A tuberous breast may not affect breast feeding in any significant way. The breast will fill out and engorge, and the nipple will certainly support breast feeding. Your photo is not one of a tuberous breast however.

Best of luck,

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Tuberous breasts, yes or no?

You see Henrietta, there is no black and white answer.  As was said, you have some of the features of a tuberous breast deformity, but without examing you it would be difficult to say.  I feel your creases are tight and high, and the base may be slightly narrow.  You also have ptosis, or drooping commonly associated with tuberous breasts.  Why not go on several consultations to see what can be done for you, if you so desire.  If you are happy with your breasts then why worry about it, it's just a name.  Good luck whatever you decide to do, Dr. Schuster in Boca Raton.

Steven Schuster, MD, FACS
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.