This is a 19 year old who is 5’10” and 150 pounds who came to my office for a breast enhancement. She complained that her breasts were not proportional to her body and she wanted a better shape.
This is a CLASSIC presentation for tubular breast condition, also known as breast hypoplasia, tuberous breasts or constricted breasts. Her breasts are small and widely spaced apart. Her areola are enlarged and her breast tissue is “herniating” through the areola making it “puffy” in appearance. There is only a small amount of very dense breast tissue, the inframammary fold is high, and the base of the breast is quite small. We do not know why this condition occurs. We describe this as a “condition” because about 1-3% of breast enhancement patients have this appearance and the presentation is somewhat characteristic.
She is seen here after a breast augmentation with 375cc silicone implants placed through the areola, beneath the muscle. I also “splayed” her breast tissue so that it was less “ball-like” and more “flat” like a pancake. Her areola was reduced in size as well. I actually cut the muscle at the bottom of the breast to allow for the implant to drop lower so that she would get the best shape. She is seven months out from her surgery in these photos.
In her own words
“Since I was 16, I knew my breasts were different from other women around me. However, I went through my teen years merely believing my breasts were just small and my nipples were oddly shaped. Finally, as a 18 year old entering college, I realized that my breasts were not just small, but actually shaped differently than all the other girls around me. I decided to visit Dr. Caridi the Fall semester of my sophomore year. During my first appointment, Dr. Caridi explained to me that I had a developmental condition called Hypoplastic Tubular Breast Syndrome. After learning this, I wondered why no doctor had told me before! I was incredibly relieved to learn not only about my condition, but also that it could be corrected with surgery. After my surgery, I recovered quickly. Within a week and a half I was able to return home and walk around my hometown. As a young adult, I was worried that people would notice my implants and think negatively of me. However, my implants were hardly noticed. Since the day I got my breast augmentation, I feel that I have been given the breasts that I was always meant to have. Before my surgery, no one noticed how disproportional my body was, but now people appreciate my figure. I truly cannot express how grateful I am for Dr. Caridi and his staff. I feel infinitely more confident now as a woman and am incredibly glad that I chose to get a breast augmentation.”
Her breasts are fuller and rounder. Her areola are smaller. She has cleavage. There is no hint of any “tubular breast.” This can be a challenging operation for, and a breast augmentation alone may not offer the best outcome. My patients need to work their breasts after surgery to help “shape” them. It was a relief for her to know that she had a “medical” issue with her breast and she wished that she would have done the procedure a lot sooner. It’s important that if you suspect you have tubular breasts that you consult with a qualified Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Family doctors or pediatricians may not be quick to recommend treatment for this condition that could be harmful to a young woman’s normal psychosocial development.
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