Seattle Plastic Surgeon blogs about the psychological burden of tuberous breast deformity.
I do a lot of breast surgery and I spend a better part of my day looking at breasts. Just like my patients, breasts come in all shapes and sizes.
One breast issue that I see from time to time is called tuberous breast deformity. I have also heard it called tubular breast deformity. This problem does not become apparent until a girl starts developing with puberty. It is not uncommon for pubertal girls to be very, very modest and embarrassed with their development, even with sisters, friends and mothers. So many young women with tuberous breasts haven’t shared their problem with anyone and have just managed to choose clothing, bras and swimsuits that hide their tuberous breasts. I have seen young women in their 20’s and even 30’s with this “secret” and I have seen the psychological damage that tuberous breasts can cause.
Tuberous breasts is a problem that gets very little attention in the popular culture or even the medical culture and often patients with tuberous breasts feel very isolated and think that they are the “only one” with this deformity. That is until they come in and see me and I can tell them that I see this condition many times a year and that they are, in fact, not alone.
Treatment of this condition is always surgical and treatment varies depending on the severity of the deformity, the size of the breasts and the patient’s desires. I have never seen a tuberous breast that I could not make a lot better. Not perfect, but a lot better.
The surgery usually consists of treating the deficient base of the breast with an implant or fat transfer and then addressing the pointy and droopy shape and the puffy areola with some type of breast lift. In some cases, only a lift is needed to rearrange the breast tissue and reshape the nipple.
My tuberous breat patients are some of my most gratifying patients. It is so wonderful to see these women actually enjoy shopping for a bra or swim suit. I have seen some young women go from being very, very shy and self conscience to being confident and happy with their bodies.
I just wish that this problem would get a lot more attention. Maybe this blog will go viral? Who knows. Spread the word and thanks for reading. Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder