Surgical treatment to improve the aesthetic appearance of the tuberous breast

Drs. Marta Yuste, specialist in Plastic Surgery and medical coordinator of the Institut Ruiz Castilla at Hospital Universitari Dexeus, and Mireia Ruiz Castilla, Head of the Plastic Surgery Service at Hospital Quironsalud Barcelona and Hospital Universitari Dexeus, focus their attention on the surgical treatment of this clinical entity.

What is tuberous breast and what are its causes?

Tuberous breast is a congenital anomaly of the female breast, usually presenting bilaterally and asymmetrically. Its incidence is still unclear, as there is significant underdiagnosis. Dr. Ruiz Castilla explains that “in general, it is detected by surprise when women, with a complex about the shape of their breasts, make a first visit for breast augmentation, symmetrization or breast lift surgery”.

The specialist in Plastic Surgery assures that it is a very common anomaly and that “95% of the patients interested in changing the shape of their breasts are so because of a tuberous breast, even without knowing that they suffer from it. This implies that around 90% of the surgical interventions for breast deformity are to correct this type of anomaly”.

“About 90% of surgical interventions for breast deformity are performed to correct the tuberous breast”

For her part, Dr. Yuste details that “there is a belief that the tuberous breast is caused by an alteration in the fibrous layer that lines the breast, resulting in the construction of a constrictive ring. This prevents the uniform growth of the breast tissue which, as a consequence, expands in the only available direction, i.e. forward, thus adopting a tube shape”.

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What are the characteristics of the tuberous breast?

“This anomaly manifests itself in different ways, always through the shape of the breast: tubular, caprine or Snoopy. In any case, there is a scarce development of the lower pole of the breast, dilation and herniation of the areola, a high submammary fold and a short or scarce volume in the breasts”, assures the specialist Yuste.

Dr. Ruiz Castilla adds, “These characteristics constitute an anomaly in the development of the breast, so their appearance arises at the onset of puberty”.

“Tuberous breast is an anomaly in the development of the breast that manifests in adolescence”

Surgical treatment of tuberous breast

To achieve success in the correction of the tuberous breast, the doctors explain that it is necessary to analyze and act on each of its characteristics: diameter of the areola, the ring and the thickness of the breast tissue. For this reason, they assure that the combination of procedures will always be necessary in this surgery, prioritizing the shape over the final breast volume.

In this sense, Dr. Yuste explains that “the correct detection of the tuberous breast is essential, even in the less severe degrees. In addition, the patient must know what the characteristics of her breast are and be clear about where she wants to go”. From there, she adds, “the degree of breast asymmetry and thoracic measurements must be assessed using a computer program, which allows for greater precision. On the other hand, the quality of the skin, the breast volume and the size of the areola are taken into account. Even with all this information, you should go to the operating room with a plan B and a plan C”.

Regarding the recovery from surgery, the professional indicates that after one month the patients can lead a normal life. During this period, there are two fundamental premises: the limitation of arm strength and sleeping on the back.

Is the tuberous breast surgery complex?

“Indeed. A tuberous breast, however slightly tuberous, must be treated as such. Otherwise, the result may be suboptimal. It is a surgery considered reparative, which combines several techniques in the same patient and, frequently, different methods are required for each breast”, assures specialist Ruiz Castilla.

Taking into account the complexity of the intervention, the expert recommends that “this surgery should always be performed by a team that is accustomed to doing it and that controls the usual repair techniques. At Institut Ruiz Castilla we have two centers and in each of them there is a specialized team with extensive experience in this type of surgical procedures. In addition, we hold joint clinical sessions for the analysis and evaluation of the most complex cases.

More information

Ruiz Castilla Institute

(Hospital Quirónsalud Barcelona: Pça. Alfons Comín 5-7, 08023, Barcelona).

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