Tuberous breast disorder when the size is not the only thing that matters
Aesthetic Surgery

Is it true that we all like large breasts? Details from the sector suggest that every year in Spain 18,000 breast enlargements or mammoplasty procedures are performed. Mammoplasty is the medical name for this surgical technique, which is also the most commonly used procedure.

However, clients do not always visit an aesthetic medicine centre with size issues. Breast asymmetry and malformations are another reason a women may take the decision to have an operation.

Breast development in women is directly related to hormones. This process usually begins between the ages of 7 and 14, although full development is usually between 13 and 18. However in some cases there is abnormal hormone production and this can result in certain deformities, commonly known as  Tuberous breast disorder. To find out more about this topic, keep reading.

What are tuberous breasts?

Tuberous breasts (also known as tubular breasts, constrained breasts or conical breasts) are an anomaly that occurs during development, which can affect either one or both of a woman’s breasts. This malformation is particularly evident on the underside and lateral parts of the breast. The appearance is that of breast too far apart, with a short underside and a “tubular” or “conical” shape to a greater or lesser extent. In many cases there is a degree of drooping and herniation of the areola which may also be too large in diameter, i.e. it bulges due to the pressure exerted by the mammary gland. The “ice-cream cone” appearance of the breast can lead to as much, or even more of a complex as small breasts, with an effect on self-esteem and personal relationships.

Why do they happen?

Tuberous breasts are more common than it seems. Approximately 40% of women who come to a centre for breast surgery do so because of tuberous breasts.

As the body develops, the tissue covering the mammary gland may present a defect in the form of excess stiffness, and it fails to expand properly as the breast gradually grows. In this way the growing mammary gland becomes trapped in the rigid skin and tends to herniate and bulge through the point of least resistance, which is the fine skin of the areola and nipple.

Main features of tuberous breasts

  • Shortage of tissue and narrow breast base.
  • Large areolae.
  • Herniation of the mammary gland inside the areola.
  • High sub-mammary groove.
  • Asymmetry.
  • Ptosis or drooping of the breast.

Types of tuberous breast disorder

  • Grade I: Tissue deficit on the internal lower internal quadrant of the breast.
  • Grade II: Tissue deficit in both lower quadrants.
  • Grade III: Deficit in all quadrants.

What does tuberous breast repair surgery involve?

In general, clients will ask for a breast enlargement without knowing that what they actually need is for their breasts to be reshaped and the lower sections of the breasts enlarged to improve their appearance and correct their shape.

At Nordetia Clinics we have one of the best Plastic, Aesthetic and Repair Surgery teams, experts in the correction of the abnormality and shape of this breast disorder. At your first consultation you will have a full breast examination (size, shape consistency, skin condition, level of tuberosity), as there are different surgical techniques and it is important to choose the right one for each case.

Specialists stress the important of proper assessment for tuberous breast correction, as, in milder cases, some women think they simply have small breasts.

No two tuberous breast corrections are the same. The surgeon must adapt the surgical technique to the degree of breast asymmetry, the shape of the breast, the client’s physiognomy and the condition of the breast tissue. Where a breast lift is required, the areolae need to be reduced or raised, or in severe cases of tuberosity with major asymmetry, the surgeon will need to use a periareolar approach. On the other hand, with average levels of tuberosity, the incision will be the same as for a breast lift or mastopexy (vertical or an inverted T)

The length of the procedure will also vary depending on the complexity of each case, but it is usually lasts around two hours, with an overnight stay in hospital.


Thanks to this procedure, at Nordetia Clinics we can help our clients to have a more natural and symmetrical breast shape, correcting the initial malformation and repairing the herniation of the breast base. The results are truly excellent, helping you feel good about yourself and allowing you to regain your self-confidence and the self-esteem that you may well have lost.

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