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Tuberous breast is a not a very well-known congenital abnormality. Women often think that they have small, underdeveloped breasts. They don’t know that there are treatments appropriate to their condition which is often a source of great psychological discomfort. The appearance of tuberous breasts may even be changed through breast augmentation with implants or with lipofilling.

  • Many treatments available
  • May be combined with breast augmentation with prosthesis or with lipofilling
  • Major physical and psychological improvement


This information sheet is issued by Dr. Vincent Nguyen, board-certified plastic surgeon in Paris, familiar with tuberous breast treatment.

It provides all the information about the surgery, scars, recovery, before and after comparison photographs, Social Security coverage and the cost of tuberous breast procedure.

What is a tuberous breast?

It’s a breast abnormality that occurs during puberty. Breast development is stymied by a widespread fibrosis making it impossible for the breast to develop normally. It gives the breast a tube-shape aspect. The deformities may be:

  • Anomaly of the base of the breast
  • Abnormal elevation of inframammary fold
  • Anomaly of areola and nipple
  • Mammary asymmetry
  • Mammary hypotrophy

Are there different types of tuberous breasts?

As classified by Grolleau, there are 3 different types:

  • Type 1: hypoplasia of the lower medial quadrant. Areola droops pointing downwards. The volume is normal or hypertrophic.
  • Type 2: hypoplasia of the lower medial and lateral quadrants. Areola droops pointing downwards.
  • Type 3: hypoplasia of all 4 quadrants. Severe base constriction, breast looks like a tuber.


What are the different treatments for tuberous breasts?

Different surgery techniques may be used depending on the type of tuberous breasts and on the deformities to correct:

  • Breast lipofilling
  • Breast implants
  • Breast lift or breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty) that comes with scars
  • Expansion of breast tissues
  • Techniques of mammary gland redistribution (Puckett and Ribeiro)

What is the treatment for each type?

  • Type 1: breast surgery technique and breast implant or breast lipofilling if needed.
  • Type 2: breast implant or breast lipofilling and lift technique.
  • Type 3 challenging treatment with 2 procedures within a 3 month time period: breast implant, lipofilling, expansion of breast tissue more or less combined with a lift technique.



  • Two preoperative consultations with a board-certified plastic surgeon will be conducted as well as a consultation with an anesthetist.
  • You will get a mammography or/ and an ultrasound.
  • Before and after comparison photographs will be taken.
  • A post-surgical compression bra, wireless and front opening, will be prescribed.
  • Preoperative instructions are as follow:
    • Quit smoking at least one month before the surgery and up to 1 month after the surgery to avoid any complication or necrosis risk.
    • Discontinue any anti-platelet or blood-thinning medication 15 days before the surgery.


  • It is performed under general anesthesia.
  • The patient is in a sit-up position for an optimal result.
  • It lasts 1 to 2 hours depending on the treatment and on the deformity to correct.
  • Dr Vincent Nguyen uses the most advanced techniques of surgery that avoid the use of drains and performs the surgery himself on both breasts.

The final result is visible 3 months after the surgery but the physical and psychological benefits are immediate.


The recovery depends on the technique that is used but:

  • It is not a painful surgery.
  • Patients may go home the same day or the following day.
  • Swelling and bruising on the breast area appear the following days.
  • No nursing care is required.
  • You may have a shower the day following the surgery but you can’t have a bath before a month.
  • All sutures are resorbable and under the skin, it is not necessary to take them off.
  • A compression bra must be worn night and day for 6 weeks to help healing.
  • Avoid sun on the scars for at least a year.
  • Most patients may go back to work 5 to 15 days after the surgery, depending on the nature of their job.
  • You may resume physical activities after 6 weeks.
  • Follow-up consultations with Dr Vincent Nguyen will be scheduled (1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and a year after the surgery).


  • Part of this surgery may be covered by Social Security and also by some health insurance companies as part of reconstruction surgery. The pathology must first be confirmed by the Social Security Medical Advisor who delivers a prior agreement.
  • If the surgery is considered as an esthetic procedure, there is no coverage by Social Security or Health Insurance Company.
  • The costs may vary depending on the patient, on the type of breast implants, on the incision scars, on other combined procedures (such as lipofilling or a breast lift), on the location of the surgery, on the length of the procedure and other related expenses. The costs may vary from … to … (find all the costs on this website).
  • Make sure to find a board-certified plastic surgeon expert in breast surgery who will evaluate your needs, discuss your options and guide you to achieve the best result for you.


What is the effect of the treatment on pregnancy and breastfeeding?

It depends on the technique used to correct the abnormality, but, as a rule, patients can breastfeed normally, even with silicone implants as silicone can’t get into breast milk.

Does surgery affect breast sensitivity?

Immediately after surgery patients may experience hypersensitivity of the areola and hyposensitivity in the lower part of the breast. These symptoms gradually disappear.

What scars does a tuberous breast treatment leave?

At least and regardless of the type, there will be a scar around the areola. Depending on the deformity, there may be a vertical incision scar and sometimes a horizontal scar in the fold.

If breast implants are used, will they be permanent?

No, breast implants are not permanent. They will have to be replaced. All the information is available on this website, in breast augmentation with implants information sheet.

If my first surgery was covered by Social Security, will the change of implants also be covered?

In case of initial surgery for breast malformation it may be covered by Social Security but only after prior agreement.

Can my breasts become tuberous again If I lose too much weight after breast reconstruction and lipofilling?

No, once the deformation is corrected, the breasts can’t become tuberous again. But, as for any other breast lipofilling, the size of the breasts may be affected by weight loss. All the information is available on this website in breast lipofilling information sheet.

May I get a hybrid breast augmentation to correct tuberous breasts?

Yes, you may have a hybrid breast augmentation with breast implants and lipofilling with fat injection to treat tuberous breasts. All the information is available on this website in hybrid breast augmentation information sheet.

Poland syndrome