Facebook Pixel

Tuberous Breasts - To Fix or Not to Fix?

Rate This

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 Comment130 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Snoopy breast is NOT the same as tuberous breasts...

April 12, 2015 - 9:05pm
EmpowHER Guest

Dear Anonymous (the 2/25 post):
Why don't you have a consultation with another plastic surgeon? Make sure you find one who has a lot of experience with tuberous breasts (their website should tell you). Perhaps you might get a better offer from a different doctor. Don't go cut-rate, though...make sure he/she is board certified with great credentials.

If you don't (or can't) have surgery, please know that breasts come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, and most men (and women) do not require their partner to have perfect, round 36 C cups. If you're not afraid of a little raunchiness, google terms like "puffy nipples" and you'll see people displaying "non perfect" breasts with pride.

I wrote the initial article and I still believe that if tuberous breasts are a real obstacle to a person's quality of life (or a misshapen nose, or saggy tummy skin, or whatever), they should save money, have cosmetic surgery and get on with things. But if you don't, do not let tuberous breasts ruin your self-esteem.


February 25, 2015 - 6:42pm
EmpowHER Guest

So I just went to a consultation today to see about getting a breast augmentation. I've always known my breasts were small and my nipple were puffy but I had no idea that it was due to a deformity until today (by the way I'm 30 years old) I am so down and bummed and embarrassed now. I've always said that I was going to get a breast augmentation and when I finally have the money together, I find out that because of the tuberous breast it's going to cost an additional $8,000. I feel like my dreams have been crushed! Anyway this just sucks!!!

February 25, 2015 - 4:08pm
EmpowHER Guest

I'm 17 and slowly getting used to my tuberous breasts. I felt quite self conscious about them for a time, but knowing other women have this problem too has made me feel less of a freak. Now I'm even surprised I used to think about them this way, and nobody who's seen them, man or woman, has ever complained in any way. And even if they've scared anyone off (I dunno, no way to tell really), I can only feel relieved that they saved me from a relationship with a complete asshole.

February 9, 2015 - 10:18am
EmpowHER Guest

You're not alone, sisters. I find comfort in knowing that I'm not alone in this struggle. But you know what? I don't think we should see it as a struggle. If I had the money I know I would highly consider correcting my TBD, but I like to think I'd choose to skip the surgery and love my breasts regardless. I once heard someone say that when you judge the creation you also judge the Creator. My God doesn't make mistakes. I'll eventually get over myself and I hope that instead of losing sleeping over the shape of my breasts I'll be kept awake by the work that needs to be done to make this cruel, cold world a better place.

November 29, 2014 - 10:05pm
EmpowHER Guest

I hate my tubular breast, however I have to disagree with you completely on a comment you made in your article.
Tubular Breast can not be compared to a cleft palate or webbed fingers because it does not hinder you from doing day to day task.
This is why many health insurance companies do not cover breast augmentation for tubular breast.

October 27, 2014 - 4:26pm
EmpowHER Guest

Cathy, do you actually understand the gravity of your words? Emphasizing that tuberous breasts are a deformity may hurt those who have them and maybe lack the guts to have their breasts corrected or emotional maturity to love their breasts regardless. I am one of them and your article made me cry. Empowher?! I don't think so

October 25, 2014 - 1:46am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Tubular breasts are a deformity in the sense that they havw not correctly developed. This article made me feel so much better about getting my breasts sorted. They are not normsl breast, depending what degree you have mine are severe a normal bra does nothing it dowsnt even protect my modesty because my areola is so large and puffy. This whole love yourself and your nody mo matter what is complete rubbish as society will never accept it. Plus if you hate them yourself how can you grow to love them no man has a problem with rhese breasts but it does affect a womans seld esteem.

October 28, 2014 - 2:20am
EmpowHER Guest

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

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
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Cosmetic Procedures

Get Email Updates

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!


4285 Health


2729 Lives


2538 Lives
5 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

If you were able to have plastic surgery would you do it?:
View Results