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What Causes Tubular Breast Deformity?

Published on November 29th, 2021

Occurring during puberty (though actually a congenital abnormality that just first appears during puberty), tubular breasts are caused by connective tissue malformation that gives the breasts a tube-like appearance. While they’re often mistaken for small breasts, Tubular breast deformity is more than simply a cosmetic issue; it can also affect a woman’s ability to breastfeed due to insufficient glandular tissue that produces milk

What are Tubular Breasts?

First described in 1976 by Doctors Rees and Aston, researchers are still not entirely sure what causes Tubular breast syndrome. One theory is that it occurs at an embryonic stage and that there may be a genetic predisposition to tuberous breasts. Another links the Tubular breast with a lack of collagen deposition.

Surprisingly, many women are unaware that they even have Tubular breast deformity, partly due to some doctors being unable to accurately diagnose the condition, leaving many women in the dark, thinking their uneven or small breasts are simply a cosmetic issue. Because Tuberous breasts require a diagnosis followed by a special augmentation technique to correct, this lack of awareness around tuberous breasts can be very problematic, as many women will seek breast implants for their “small breasts”, and are left with implants that don’t fit their specific anatomy.

Tubular Breast Diagnosis and Treatment.

There’s no specific test for tubular breasts, rather it’s generally diagnosed by sight. This is because there is one feature that all tubular breasts have in common: a lack of breast tissue both vertically and horizontally, leaving the breast with a tube-like appearance. In addition, tubular breast deformity may also include enlarged or dome-like areolas, a flat upper breast, and/or a narrow breast base. There may also be a lot of asymmetry present or an abnormally large space between the breasts.

The treatment for tubular breasts is most often surgical correction. But as previously mentioned, this isn’t your typical breast augmentation; it’s a complex procedure and requires a specialized surgical approach to ensure the best possible outcome. Your surgeon will have to perform subtle technical maneuvers in order to achieve a natural and aesthetically pleasing outcome. In fact, if your surgeon is unaware of your tubular breast deformity, a traditional approach to breast augmentation can actually worsen the swelling and prominence of the areola, exacerbating the tubular breast shape. That’s another reason why it’s so important to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon who has vast experience in breast augmentation!

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