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Tuberous and Tubular Breast Deformity: What Is It and What Can Be Done?

December 20, 2018

No two breasts are made the same! Some women have very little breast tissue, and some have so much it causes them physical pain. Some have breasts of two varying sizes. And others, have Tuberous Breast Deformity or Tubular Breasts. Just what is Tuberous Breast Deformity and Tubular Breasts, and how can it be fixed?


What is it?

Tuberous Breast Deformity or Tubular Breasts describe a congenital deformity classified by your breasts not quite developing into a normal shape or size. The condition usually presents itself in puberty. You can see all or most of these signs, to varying degrees, including:

  • Too much breast skin at the top of the breast, and very little or a “tight” lower portion of the breast
  • A narrow or “constricted” breast base
  • A smaller breast volume in general
  • The breast fold is high and not in the normal position for the overall breast.
  • Breast tissue may be very “puffy” –  appear to herniate – around the areola.
  • The areola of the breast is often larger than average.

A Tuberous Breast is when the entire breast appears smaller and flatter.

A Tubular Breast is when the breast actually has some breast tissue, but it looks like a tube and leans over the higher than normal breast fold.

Although there is a “difference” between Tuberous Breast and Tubular Breast, they are quite similar, and have similar treatment options: breast surgery with a breast implant.


Classification System

There are actually 2 classification systems: the von Heimburg and the Grolleau. I tend to use the Grolleau because it accurately looks at the breasts in different quadrants.

  • Type I: lower medial quadrant has hypoplasia/lack of development
  • Type II: hypoplasia of both lower quadrants/lack of development of the entire bottom of the breast
  • Type III: hypoplasia of all 4 quadrants/lack of development of the entire breast

How To Treat All Of the Issues

Make the Areola Smaller

You may need some of the outer edge of the areola trimmed and closed so that your overall areola is smaller. Sometimes you may need a vertical incision under it, depending on your overall amount of tuberous breast or tubular breast deformity.

Breast Augmentation for Volume and Contouring

Tuberous Breasts and Tubular Breasts require breast volume, so a breast implant is usually necessary to be proportionate to the rest of your body. This has been enhanced in the past 10 years with the use of silicone gel breast implants, which have a more natural feel and also can help contour and shape your overall breasts.  

Contouring of the Breast Tissue in the Bottom of the Breast

The lower portion of your breasts have very tight skin, which is giving an unnatural shape. Just putting in any breast implant will not help with lower breast shape. A silicone gel breast implant with more cohesiveness and resistance to change soft tissue shape may help your breasts achieve a more natural appearance.  

The internal breast tissue also has to be adjusted, and this may require loosening and repositioning the breast tissue you have, as well as possible creation of an “internal bra” with your own tissue to achieve the most aesthetic results.  

Fat Grafting

Long term, some patients may need fat grafting, especially in the lower portion of the breasts, to help mask the breast implant in the lower portion of the breasts and give a more natural look and feel to the breasts. Fat grafting can be done at the same operation as the original correction, or it may be needed after healing has occurred.

Time: Be Patient

It’s very important to realize that healing with Tuberous Breast and Tubular Breast corrections takes months. Just doing the surgery is not enough. Your body needs time to heal and let the swelling subside, and this process usually takes 6-12 months.  

Revision Plastic Surgery

Unfortunately, given the unpredictability of how your breasts heal, you may need an additional surgery around 1 year after your initial surgery. Some patients need fat grafting to mask the breasts, especially at the bottom of the breasts. Some patients may need scar revision or other smaller adjustments that can be done in an office setting.  



Tuberous Breast Deformity and Tubular Breast Deformity are uncommon issues, and several options exist to achieve beautiful, natural looking breasts. Every patient is different, but with these issues/diagnoses/problems, the variation is a lot bigger and requires a completely custom approach to each patient and breast.  


How Do I Make a Consultation?

Call my office at (415) 362-1846 or email, and my Patient Care Coordinator will get you started!

Consultations typically take 45-60 minutes, and I do the entire consultation personally, without the use of a nurse or helper to vet your questions and concerns without me present. Consultations are $150, and the cost of the consultation goes towards the cost of surgery when you decide to book your procedure.  

If you are uncertain if you are a candidate, ask for my Patient Care Coordinator at and send in photos of your breasts. I can look at your photos and help you determine if you are a good candidate before coming to my office. There is no charge for this service.


Are You on Social Media?

Of course! You can see before and after photos, videos, and get a glimpse into my life as a Plastic Surgeon.

Instagram: @drroykim

Twitter: @drrroykim

Facebook: Dr. Kim Plastic Surgery


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