Do I Have Tubular Breasts or Have They Sagged? (photo)

Hello... I'm 23 years of age and I have one child. When my breast started developing it was basically just the areola that was seen. While growing up I found that my areola was huge. However my breast didn't sag. After losing weight by poor eating habbits, it sagged a bit. However after having my child it has seemed to sag all the way. I'm wondering if I had tubular breasts all the time or if my breast sagged due to poor eating and breasts feeding.

Doctor Answers 11

Tuberous Breasts

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Many patients considering breast augmentation are seeking to not only enhance the volume of their breasts, but to also enhance the shape and/or improve the symmetry of their breasts. Essentially all breast shape and symmetry issues can be improved during breast augmentation, and with most of them it is possible to make significant improvements and produce an aesthetically desirable breast profile. Accurate preoperative evaluation, appropriate surgical planning and attention to detail during the surgery are all crucial elements in achieving this goal.

Breast asymmetry is extremely common, and in fact essentially all breasts have some identifiable and measurable asymmetry. So the goal of surgery is not really perfect symmetry, as that does not exist in nature, but rather to produce the closest approximation of symmetry that is possible. In some cases it is possible to improve size asymmetry by using implants of different volumes and/or profiles. To do so one must patiently evaluate a wide variety of implant sizers intra-operatively with the patient in the upright sitting position. In some cases the breasts appear to be similar in volume, but asymmetries in the projection of the chest wall may mandate the use of different size implants in order to produce the closest approximation of symmetry.

For some patients it is actually quite important to reduce the volume of the larger breast (hence the somewhat confusing term 'reduction augmentation'), which in turn allows the surgeon to use implants of the same or similar size. If there is a significant difference in breast volume, and one attempts to address that difference solely by using implants of different size, then the result may be acceptable early on but as time passes the breasts will age very differently. The smaller breast with the larger implant will tend to remain youthful and perky-appearing, while the larger breast with the smaller implant will gradually become droopy-appearing and may eventually assume the appearance of a breast hanging off of a small implant. Not a pretty picture.

Other shape issues are quite common, including one known as 'tuberous breast'. 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.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Tubular Breasts

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    You do have elements of constricted breasts and the breasts are droopy as well.  As others have suggested, a full breast lift with or without breast augmentation may be indicated.  There is a continuum in tuberous breast deformity (constriction to tubular to tuberous).

Tuberous Breasts?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

Based on your photographs, I do not think that you have tuberous breasts. As you say, your breasts have “sagged” after weight fluctuation and breast-feeding. If the shape, position, and/or size of your breasts are of concern, I would suggest that you consult with board-certified plastic surgeons to discuss options and goals. Breast lifting plus/minus breast augmentation surgery may be helpful to you.

 You may find the attached link helpful. Best wishes.

Sagging Not Tuberous Breasts

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You have sagging breasts (ptosis) and fortunately not tuberous breasts. This is a far easier breast condition to improve by lifting techniques than that of a tuberous breast deformity.

Tubular Breast Defomity

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From your pictures it's hard to confirm that you have tuberous breasts.  An exam would help better determine this.  However, from the pictures it does not appear to be a true tuberous deformity.  A breast lift, with or without an implant could be done to help improve the shape of your breasts. 

Best wishes,

Dr. Joseph 

Brian Joseph, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Tubular breasts?

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Thanks for posting the photos, but they are heavily shadowed and difficult to review.  They do not look tuberous in these photos.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Tubular breasts?

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No, you do not have tubular breasts. Tubular, or tuberous, breasts occur when the lower portion of the breast is "constricted", or tight. This doesn't allow the breast to full expand. There is often weakness in the areola which allows the breast to push out, or herniate, through the areola. This gives the breast and areola a somewhat odd appearance, similar to a tuberous root vegetable. I believe that your breasts look the way they do because of your pregnancy and genes.

Tubular Breast Deformity??

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Thank you for the great question. No, you do not have a Tubular Breast Deformity. Yes, you do have large areolar areas and saggy breasts. This could be improved with a Breast Lift or Mastopexy. Anticipate, you will drop 1/2 to 1 cup size with such a procedure. Best,

Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

Gary R. Culbertson, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon


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You are just saggy not tubular. To lift them you would need a mastopexy. You may not need implants at the same time, if you have enough breast tissue to make you happy.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Do I Have Tubular Breasts

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There are a number of features that define a tubular breast:
•Wide and puffy areolae
•widely spaced breasts
•high breast fold
•constricted lower pole (deficient tissue in lower half of the breast
•minimal breast tissue
•high breast fold
•narrow base of the breast

Some of the features would not be visible on the photos since there is no side view, but all in all I don't see enough of these findings to say that you have tubular breasts. 

Whatever you call it, the main feature is ptosis, or sagging. The treatment is breast lift, with an incision around the areola, and probably one vertically from the bottom of the areola to the breast fold. If breast size is unsatisfactory, implants could be placed at the same time. 


When you ready for an in person consultation, RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S.

Thank you for your question, best wishes.






Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.