TUBEROUS BREAST SURGERY

“Tuberous breast” or “constricted breast” is often a congenital condition which affects the size and shape of the developing breast. It can be unrecognized because its degree of involvement varies between patients, and some can have mild involvement without realizing it. Typically, patients notice that they have always had cone-shaped breasts or a “Snoopy”-shaped breast with large areolas. However, there are a number of patients who come to be seen for breast augmentation, and are then noted to have the tuberous breast/constricted breast condition on examination. It is important to recognize this at the time of the consultation because the breast augmentation operation needs to be tailored for the tuberous breast, in order to optimize the ultimate breast shape. Tuberous breast correction surgery is usually done at the same time as a breast augmentation. For more information on breast augmentation, please visit our Breast Augmentation procedure page

Tuberous breast happens because during development, a constriction band develops which limits the ability of the breast to expand and grow in a normal round fashion. Instead, a small amount of tissue grows through the center of the constriction band, causing the breast to have a very narrow base and instead grow in a forward direction. This stretches out the areola even while the breast is not very large.

Good candidates for this procedure:

  • Patients with tuberous breasts/constricted breasts ever since puberty

  • Patients who are looking to increase the breast fullness and improve the shape

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What to expect: Consultation

All cosmetic consultations are complimentary and serve as a great opportunity to gain further insight by voicing your concerns and having questions answered. During the initial consultation, Dr. Hsu will ask some questions to get to know you and determine if you are a good candidate for tuberous breast surgery.

During the consultation, Dr. Hsu will first ask about the history of the breast development, and determine what kind of goals you have for your breasts after surgery. He will also ask about your medical history, including existing medical conditions, past surgeries, tobacco usage, daily medications, supplements, allergies, and if you have children. After giving a thorough examination, Dr. Hsu will voice his opinions about going forth with the procedure. In order to reach your aesthetic goal, both you and Dr. Hsu will work together to decide all the necessary details that will ultimately give you the best results.

Surgery Details:

On the day of surgery, come in early to fill out paperwork, meet the anesthesiologist, and the staff will prep you for surgery. Dr. Hsu will meet you in the pre-operative area before surgery to make markings on the areas planned for surgery and answer any last questions you may have. 

If you have tuberous breasts, or sometimes called constricted breasts, corrective breast surgery is a good procedure to achieve the natural breast shape you desire. During the two-hour surgery, Dr. Hsu will find the ring of constriction and release it. This is important so that after the implant is placed, the implant can stretch out the overlying skin which has been tight and unexpanded throughout your breast development.

The augmentation results can immediately be seen, but the results of tuberous breast correction can sometimes require several months to a year for the skin to stretch out fully.  Tuberous breast surgery can be challenging, but if you understand that the skin-stretching process takes time, you can obtain very nice results. 

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Recovery & Post-operative Instructions:

After the surgery, Dr. Hsu will wrap dressings around the surgical area which will remain there for the first week during healing. You will also need to wear a surgical bra for about a week to aid the healing process. It is not recommended to lift elbows above your shoulders, but you can still use your arms for different things. During the recovery period, walking is encouraged to help quicken the healing process and minimize clots. Dr. Hsu will be available 24 hours afterward for any immediate concerns.

It is crucial to keep the surgical area dry until Dr. Hsu gives his approval to shower. To clean the rest of your body, you can bathe from the chest down. Swelling & bruising will peak about 48 hours after surgery but will then decrease significantly in the first two weeks. Most patients can return to work after two weeks, but many patients return even sooner. The biggest limitation for post-operative patients is driving, which should be avoided while taking pain medication. Patients usually stop taking pain medication after five to seven days and plan their work schedules accordingly. Six weeks is usually an appropriate time to return to most types of exercise and activity.

Dr. Hsu likes to follow patients after surgery for an extended period of time to make sure the patient is satisfied and healing well. Most follow up appointments are scheduled immediately after surgery and for up to a year afterward.

Dr. Hsu's view on Tuberous Breast Surgery.

Tuberous breast (or constricted breast) surgery is challenging and is a slightly different operation than the standard breast augmentation.  In my experience, it is often unrecognized. I have seen many patients who have come see me for breast augmentation, and when I inform them after examination that they have tuberous breasts and can not just have a standard breast augmentation, they tell me that they have never heard of that before.

In my opinion, the key to a good result for tuberous breast correction is careful recognition in the operating room of the specific area of the breast that is constricted, so that it can be “released” during surgery.  Afterward, using the correctly selected implant will help the area stretch out over time.  I have found that, depending on the degree of breast constriction, patients may need to allow for several months of patient waiting for the skin to stretch out and for the constriction to improve.

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