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Tuberous Breasts - To Fix or Not to Fix?

By Cathy Enns
 
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I’ve seen postings recently in a feminist forum about tuberous breasts, and whether one would be justified in having plastic surgery to improve them. The woman who initiated the discussion said she wanted to have the procedure, but felt bad about it. As a feminist, she said she felt “angry” that she was longing for surgery and even that she “wanted to die at the thought.”

If there ever were a condition that might drive a woman who thinks that “plastic surgery, on the whole, is ridiculous” to go under the knife, tuberous breasts would be a good candidate. Named for the fact that the breasts resemble tubers in shape, tuberous breasts (sometimes called “tubular breasts”) are formed when the base of the breast is smaller than usual. This constricted circumference causes the breast tissue to push forward and sometimes down, exacerbated by the fact that the inframammary fold (where the breast attaches to the chest wall) is often higher than normal.

Women with tuberous breasts usually have large areolas as well. When all these factors are present, it’s easy to see why one of the nicknames for this condition is “Snoopy breasts.” Although you may consider the famous Beagle adorable, you probably don’t want to have breasts that remind you of his nose.

In most cases, to create breasts that are more pleasing in appearance requires a bit more work than simply inserting implants. Plastic surgeons often need to make internal incisions to release constricting tissue and expand the base width of the breast. The breast pocket may need enlarging to accept an appropriate implant. Because women with tuberous breasts often have scant breast tissue, it’s often best to place implants below the chest muscle for a natural looking result. For this group of patients, silicone gel breast implants should be considered, as they tend to hold their shape well.

The feminist whose posting I read said that her tuberous breasts were “self esteem shattering” and that she always kept her bra on while having sex.

Add a Comment122 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I am 28 years old and have asymmetric tuberous breasts. Like many women posting here, I hated the way they looked and hid them behind padded bras. I'll never forget the time in my early twenties when I was making out with this guy and we progressed to my least favorite part: taking off my top. I remember him staring for a second at my bare chest, then he got up and put his clothes back on in the bathroom. I realize now he was just a superficial prick, but at the time I was ashamed and humiliated at his reaction to my breast shape. I decided to take action. No, it wasn't getting surgery, like I'd fantasized about for years. I decided to take up nude modeling. The art class at the local University offered $15 an hour for models. As a dancer, I knew I could get into somewhat difficult poses, and in my experience, challenging myself by doing something I didn't want to do made me more confident in the long run. At first it was gruesome being surrounded by all of my peers, showing off the most hated part of my body in full light. But the obligation to do a good job, and the repetition eventually made me comfortable with the whole thing. Six years later I'm happily married and still modeling nude, but just recently I started getting really self-conscious about my breasts again. I confided in another woman who said, "If they bother you so much, why don't you put the money together and get surgery? You'll feel so much better about yourself." Of course that made it worse. I started investigating fat grafting enhancement, staring at before and after surgical pictures, etc. My husband hates the idea and says he loves my breasts. He says they have two different personalities... the puffy one and the big one. They're extra-sensitive too, which I'm worried might change if I got surgery done. Although I have my doubts and low spells with my funny boobs, it's good to know that I'm not alone and it's been especially compelling to read others' stories. You know what? We're all just skin tubes. Some people got lucky with socially acceptable tubes, but we're just another variation. Thanks for the mammaries!

February 10, 2013 - 5:26pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

When I was very young, I had huge aureola and I thought, "Wow, I must be going to have some big boobs!" LOL. How wrong I was! I never understood why mine never grew, and why they were so strangely shaped...and worse, why they were so "ugly". And, I'm sorry, but that's the only way I can describe them. At least my own, anyway. And I have always kept them hidden.
When I had my baby, I was nagged at by the doctors to breastfeed, which I wanted to do, but had no milk. They told me that the reason I didn't have any milk was because I didn't try to breastfeed enough. Well, believe me, I tried. I could get out nothing more than few droplets, which really upset me since I know the value of breastfeeding. It wasn't until then that I researched the reasons for lack of milk production that I found out about tuberous breast deformity.
I will be honest. I am ashamed of my breasts. Luckily, they look "normal" on the top ; that is, when I have on a bra. But they are so disproportionately small! I'm 5'8" tall with a medium build, and a very, very flat chest.
Several years ago I got really excited when I had insurance, thinking I could get them "corrected", but was devastated when I found out the insurance company only covered surgery for ONE tuberous breast. If you had two, it was considered a cosmetic procedure. I could never quite figure that one out. For some of us, having this problem can be incredibly emotionally draining, and can really deplete your self-esteem.

I would love to get them "fixed", and for no one other than myself.

December 2, 2012 - 6:32pm
PaigeAlayne

Hi anonymous, I wrote above under the name Paige. I think that they are considered a deformity because of their lack of mammary tissue and often the inability to produce breast milk, but I come from the same school of thought as you. I'm 22 and mine are both tuberous and asymmetrical, which is a bit harder to live with. Still, though, I refuse to get breast implants. Maybe some day when fat transfer is cheaper i'll have the smaller breast made to match the larger. Until then, though, I continue to work on learning to love myself. As a side note, my doctor has never mentioned mine either.

August 11, 2012 - 11:57pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I have tubular breasts and am a 34B with "puffy nipples" i'm 29 and they are quite perky and while I have always sensed that they are a bit different, I have NEVER known them to be considered a "deformity" until today. I am so shocked that that word would even apply to my breast shape. This article is Plastic Surgery propaganda disguised as helpful/non-judgemental advice. What is a "normal" breast I wonder. We all know that most breasts are not symmetrical, have a range of sizes in terms of aureolas, nipples, some have Montgomery's tubercles and some do not. I think the word "deformed" is so unecessarily harsh. I saw a young lady with tuberous breasts on a Plastic Surgery forum asking what could be done for her and she had one of the prettiest pair of breasts I have seen in a while. Sure enough there were a bunch of "Doctors" telling her what was "wrong". But being a woman in this harsh world and having to read articles like this, the seed of doubt has now been planted in my head and I am left to wonder about how my breasts will come across to a potential suitor.
Are men encouraged to have their penises straightened if they curve a little? No. But breasts can come under such intense scrutiny... As for the "medical field" regarding it as a deformity. My Doctor never pointed it out to me so I'm wondering, is she unqualified or is this whole "deformity" talk just a ploy for Plastic surgeons to make more money off of people's insecurities?

August 11, 2012 - 11:49pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Your doctor most likely didnt tell you as to not offend plus many doctors dont even know about Tubular breasts. My doctor dismissed it and told me I was imaging it till I came back with my mother who explained the condition and then referred me to a surgeon. These breasts are not "normal" and are extremely difficult to cover up. For a teenage girl growing up with every girl around her having these amazing breasts and practically nothing happening to yours its shattering. Your self esteem is non existent and you cant be a woman like any other girl around you. i get your trying to put the its okay to be different message across but this feeling of they are ugly comes from the person themselves and their judgements on what is "normal". These article is particularly encouraging as it supports women who are in doubt for surgery. if your breasts are perky then I would say they are tubular. go on google type in tubular breasts stage 4 look at the images. The flat chest with the massive nipples which cannot be contained by a bra are mine, stage 4.

July 17, 2014 - 10:33am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Your doctor most likely didnt tell you as to not offend plus many doctors dont even know about Tubular breasts. My doctor dismissed it and told me I was imaging it till I came back with my mother who explained the condition and then referred me to a surgeon. These breasts are not "normal" and are extremely difficult to cover up. For a teenage girl growing up with every girl around her having these amazing breasts and practically nothing happening to yours its shattering. Your self esteem is non existent and you cant be a woman like any other girl around you. i get your trying to put the its okay to be different message across but this feeling of they are ugly comes from the person themselves and their judgements on what is "normal". These article is particularly encouraging as it supports women who are in doubt for surgery. if your breasts are perky then I would say they are tubular. go on google type in tubular breasts stage 4 look at the images. The flat chest with the massive nipples which cannot be contained by a bra are mine, stage 4.

July 17, 2014 - 10:33am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Thank you so much for sharing your story! I wrote the original article, and as you can see it stirred up the @#$%! But that's a good thing, and having turned out over a hundred articles for EmpowHer (no longer writing now), I have to say it is the piece I am most pleased about because of the many reactions.

Anyway, what I wanted to say was how impressed I am with your decision making process. Your statement about good men is right on the money, and so are your observations for making the choice that's right for you. (I would be equally impressed if you decided not to have surgery, BTW.) What's important is to research, be as objective as you can, sleep on it, consider the impact of your condition on yourself--no one else--and make the choice that will make you feel best about your life.

I wish you all the happiness in the world!

--Cathy

August 8, 2012 - 10:24am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I know I'm a few months behind posting this but I would like to share my story with everyone else who has posted on here. I am a 18 year old female who discovered just a few months ago that I have tuberous breasts. From the time I began puberty I knew that my breasts weren't "normal". Even knowing that, throughout high school I always had a small glimmer of hope that they would grow. Well there I was turning 18 and I still looked exactly the way I did when I was 13! So I decided to do some research on my own and came across the words "insufficient mammery glands" which then led me to "tubular breast deformity". I remember just crying. Crying because I knew this is what I had and I would never be normal in my eyes.
Now I would like to respond to the actual question here "to fix or not to fix?". Let me just tell you all a little background info. Throughout high school I have had 2 serious relationships and several casual relationships as well. All of them included the guys I was with seeing my breasts. And let me tell you, not one guy ever once pointed out that I didn't look normal or that he was turned off by my breasts. That brings me to the relationship I'm in now. My current boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years now and of course he's seen my breasts. He was the first person I ever told about my tuberous breasts, to which he explained that yes he always knew they looked a little different but never once dd it bother him or turn him off.
Now let me also tell you how many countless nights I have cried myself to sleep because of my tuberous breasts. No one knows the emotional pain you endure until you live with them. You long to be normal. You envy every other woman who has "normal breasts". Having tuberous breasts can consume your life.
For all the above reasons I have decided that BA surgery would be the best route for me to go. I just want to make one thing clear, I AM DOING THIS FOR MYSELF. I want all you ladies to know something: a good man will love you the way you are! And if a man doesn't love you PLUS your tuberous breasts then he is no man you should want to be with. BA is a wonderful "fix" for women living with tuberous breasts. It's not for everyone, and that is 100% ok. But sometimes women have to do things for themselves and themselves only. In no way shape or form do I want huge DD's, I just want BREASTS. I would never even be even considering this if I didn't have this condition, but the thought of going through with it makes me feel so much better.
Lastly, I want to say THANK YOU for this article. It along with the comments have uplifted me, inspired me, and given me many different points of view on the subject. I feel so relieved knowing there are many more women living with the same exact thing as me. I hope you all have a wonderful day, and thanks again.

August 8, 2012 - 7:37am
dmegceo (reply to Anonymous)

How did you find a surgeon that was skilled in this type of surgery? Where do I look?

January 19, 2014 - 2:54pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I'm pretty sure the topless actress in the episode of Game of Thrones I saw last night had tuberous breasts. I was happy to see some being flashed around :)

April 13, 2012 - 11:04pm
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