A breast augmentation is a surgery to enlarge the breasts using implants.
For some women a breast augmentation involves a bit more than just the placement of breast implants. One example is women with tuberous breasts.
We each bring our own unique existing anatomy to the breast augmentation table.
Your existing breast anatomy is key to what your augmentation surgery will involve, the kind of implants that you can have and what your post-surgical outcome will be.
Tuberous breasts are a kind of ‘constricted’ breast.
Tuberous breasts don’t have the usual look of a “typical” breast. Instead they are tube-like (hence the name) because the width of the breast isn’t in proportion to the chest. Basically, the breast is noticeably narrower at the bottom than the top.
Tuberous breasts are considered a kind of deformity - meaning the breasts haven’t developed normally.
As the breasts have developed the bottom tight (constricted) part of the breast hasn’t been able to grow out and down into a normal breast shape.
This leaves the breasts with the tube shape and usually some degree of drooping in the center of the breast. Nipples are also usually larger-looking, relative to the size of the breast, and puffy (because the breast tissue is pushing against the nipple from the inside of the breast, due to the tightness).
Correcting tuberous breasts
If either you or your surgeon recognize that your breasts are tuberous you can still get a breast augmentation. In fact, women with tuberous breasts who choose to get a breast augmentation can address both the shape and size of their breasts through surgery.
The goal of correcting tuberous breasts is to help even out the breast width, making the bottom part of the breast (the tight, constricted part) the same width as the rest of the breast.
A correction is achieved in a few stages:
First, the tight breast tissue is loosened from the inside of the breast. The surgeon makes a number of small cuts inside the breast (called radial scores) in the area where the tight tissue is. This helps create more space for the breast to kind of unfold and widen.
After the repair of the tight breast tissue, the second step is to ensure there is some pressure on the area where the widening has been made. An implant does this job, as it helps to fill out and stretch the new space in the breast.
The third step is to correct the nipple. This may involve a type of breast lift (mastopexy), which involves a cut all around the nipple. This is done to make the nipple smaller (by removing some of the nipple around the edges) and with stitches around the nipple is also helps to slightly flatten the tuberous breast (which is usually quite pointy in side view).
Tuberous breasts exist on a spectrum. If you’re consulting with a Board Certified plastic surgeon about correction of tuberous breasts with an augmentation they will discuss with you that it may involve multiple surgeries.
The results of a BA to correct tuberous breasts are not always immediate. It takes a number of months for the breasts to heal and for the cuts in the constricted tissue to allow the breast to unfold AND for the breast implant to help stretch out the tissue. Some women also end up getting some fat grafting or other surgical tweaks to help change the shape of their breasts when they undergo a breast augmentation for correction of tuberous breasts.
Although it may take more than one surgery and some time for the results to be fully seen, women who choose to undergo a breast augmentation to correct tuberous breasts are usually super happy with their outcome. It’s a bit more complicated of a breast augmentation but with the overall goal of addressing size and shape of the breasts it’s a really positive option for women to achieve a long and happy relationship if they have tuberous breasts.