Tuberous breasts, also known as tubular breasts or breast hypoplasia, are a condition that is caused by breast tissue that does not proliferate properly during the puberty stage. This is not common, but it also cannot be considered rare as women don’t usually seek treatment for this.
While this condition doesn’t pose direct health threats, some women might seek treatment to correct it. Furthermore, tuberous breasts may also present issues for those who choose to breastfeed.
This article will tackle more about what tuberous breasts are, such as their symptoms, causes, and treatment.
Symptoms and Causes of Tuberous Breasts
Breasts come in different shapes and sizes, usually determined during puberty. With tuberous breasts, they can be any size but have characteristics in common, such as:
· Cylindrical breast tissue, rather than rounded. The tissue would be the same shape from the base to the end of the breast.
· Tissue constriction at the breast’s base
· Saggy appearance to the breast/s because of abnormally elevated lower breast fold, or which is where your breast meets your chest)
· Areola hypertrophy, or when your areola is bigger than what is normal
· One breast may be affected, with one looking underdeveloped compared to the other. Other times, both breasts have irregular shapes.
There are three category types, which depend on the multiple features mentioned above. These types are:
· Type I: Minor constriction
· Type II: Moderate constriction
· Type III: Severe constriction
The causes behind tuberous breasts are still unknown. There are no confirmations of genetic links between tuberous breasts.
There is a study that suggests a genetic link when this condition is identified in twin brothers, though. Furthermore, the study suggests that the condition is caused by an excess amount of collagen in the facia and connective tissue components in breasts. It would result in abnormal gland development, thus changing breast shape.
Related: 8 Scientific Breastfeeding Benefits
Treatment for Tuberous Breasts
Since tuberous breasts were described in 1976, doctors developed and improved the surgical techniques that improve this condition. Since the condition won’t threaten one’s health, people usually don’t seek medical treatments.
Speaking of risk factors, there are rarely, if not any, physical problems associated with tuberous breasts. However, the condition may have damaging effects on mental health and overall comfort.
With the availability of approaches that can correct the condition for the short or long term, people can opt to have it ‘fixed’. For instance, women can wear extra pads or inserts in bras for a more symmetrical appearance. If a permanent solution is wanted, then plastic surgeons perform procedures that can correct the appearance of tuberous breasts.
Doctors have different approaches to the corrective surgery of the tuberous breast. Here is an example of one procedure:
1. The doctor will make an incision that runs from the bottom of your areola up to the back of your breast
2. A new lower breast fold and the glandular flap will be formed
3. An implant will be inserted into the breast area
4. The surgical site is closed up using sutures
At times, surgeons would correct the areola’s appearance and reduce the size.
Oftentimes, surgeons can correct the appearance of patients’ breasts in just one surgery. But if a patient has breasts that differ significantly, then there would be a two-step procedure.
The first procedure would focus on placing a tissue expander in the patient’s chest, and the second one will involve fitting breast implants.
When considering surgery, make sure you are aware of any risks involved and speak with your doctor beforehand. Some common risks would include bleeding, infection, scarring, and risk of deformities. Furthermore, you will need to consider the cost and aftercare, so if you plan on undergoing an augmentation surgery, research and prepare ahead to make the entire process as smooth and comfortable as possible.
Tuberous breasts may cause anxiety and lower confidence in some people. While this condition is not harmful in terms of physical health, there are ways to correct the appearance to help with one’s mental health and self-esteem.
Hopefully, this article taught you more about tuberous breasts and helped you understand what you need to know. If you believe you have tuberous breasts and would like to correct their shape permanently, talk with your doctor to weigh your options.
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