I know it when I see it, and believe me, I have seen a lot of gynecomastia and tubular breast condition at the Austin Gynecomastia Center. Now, what exactly is a tubular breast?
A tubular breast is a condition where the tissue beneath the nipple areola complex herniates or pushes through the areola. It looks elongated, narrow and very full. The surrounding chest area may or may not be full as well. It is one of the worst forms of gynecomastia because it looks quite odd and it is very difficult to hide in clothing or shrugging the shoulders forward (bad posture).
In all the cases I have come across, there is a lot of glandular material present. Unlike “simple” puffy nipples, the appearance of tubular breasts doesn’t change that much with stimulation or temperature differences. It’s also found in female breast conditions, as the development of breasts in males and females is very similar.
Treatment requires removal of the offending glandular tissue and contouring the remainder of the chest (all Zones if needed) to ensure a masculine, satisfying result. Sometimes it may be necessary to make the areola smaller (with a scar completely around the areola), but in most cases not. This is because the skin in this area has an incredible ability to retract once the gland is removed (think of a balloon getting smaller once the air is released).
A circular incision around the areola can sometimes look like a pizza pie and catches the eye more so than an areola that may be bigger than ideal but looks “normal”. This is a decision best discussed with an experienced gynecomastia surgeon. Remember, you can always come back for a minor procedure if desired, but once you commit you can’t go back. All scars are permanent by definition.
Tubular breast condition is just bad luck. It does not mean you are weird or abnormal or at a higher risk for cancer or recurrence of the condition after appropriate treatment. It happened because of a slight difference in embryological development in that area—simple as that. There is no need for me to get all technical here. It is what it is and it can be treated very effectively.
If you think you have tubular breast condition and you are seeking the advice of an experienced and caring gynecomastia expert, engage Dr. C at the Austin Gynecomastia Center. It’s comforting to know that you will be dealing with a surgeon who has been there, done that. Fix it once, and fix it right.