Home » Plastic Surgery Procedures » Tubular Breasts

Listen to Lauren’s Emotional Journey

What are Tubular Breasts?

Tubular breasts are typically longer and more narrow shaped breast with a nipple and areola area that may look pointed, puffy and seems to point downward or is too close to the breast crease. Women with tubular breast deformity are commonly embarrassed and unhappy with the shape and asymmetry of their breasts.

Tubular breast syndrome develops during puberty and does not improve over time, with weight gain or loss. Sometimes your pediatrician may recognize that you have a tubular breast and refer you to a plastic surgeon for evaluation. It is not considered an inherited condition, and most times a mother will come in with her daughter who has asymmetrically shaped breasts and have no prior knowledge that this existed or was of concern to their daughter.

Tubular breasts may contribute to clothing that doesn’t look good, difficulty wearing swimwear, and bras don’t fit right and are uncomfortable. Young women, especially, realize their breasts are “different” which causes them embarrassment and sometimes peer ridicule.

Contact Us For a Consultation


Before and After Photos

A gallery of images to assist in finding the sample results you might be looking for in surgical, injectables, and med spa.

Tubular breasts are typically small, asymmetric, not round, tight, constricted (meaning the base of the breast where it attaches to your chest is similar to the end) and the skin between the nipple and crease is short or tight. The nipple is often close to the crease, the areola may be “puffy” and seem too large for the breast, and there is almost always asymmetry. This condition is NOT associated with a health risk.

The breasts may develop as tubular during puberty and become more pronounced later in life following pregnancy, breast-feeding, or weight changes. Regardless of when tubular breasts develop…women of all ages and stages come to Dr. Rudderman seeking options to correct this unwelcome condition and to create breasts that look normal, healthy, and are aesthetically pleasing.

Dr. Rudderman understands your concerns and is sensitive to your needs. He offers only safe and reliable options, with predictable outcomes, to achieve normal balance, enhanced self-esteem, and a pleasing appearance.

How Women Benefit from Tubular Breast Correction Surgery

There are several procedures to treat tubular breast condition and restore or create symmetry and a pleasing shape. They can achieve the following:

  • Tubular breast correction changes the shape from tight to round
  • The nipple and areolar shape becomes flatter and less projected
  • Tubular breast correction repositions the nipple to center it
  • Tubular breast surgery corrects asymmetry and creates balance
  • Breast augmentation improves volume and contour
  • Bras, bathing suits, and sundresses fit better after corrective surgery
  • Tubular breast correction eliminates embarrassing situations and reduces feelings of low self-confidence
  • Results are visible immediately and keep improving over time

Dr. Rudderman is a board-certified reconstructive plastic surgeon. He has performed hundreds of corrective surgeries for tubular breast and has done so with minimal scarring and wonderful, natural-looking results.

Good Candidates for Corrective Surgery

Do you have one or more of the following concerns?

  • Long and/or tubular shape looking breasts
  • Nipple and areola area that is puffy, prominent, and points downward
  • Breasts that never filled out correctly
  • Your breasts are not balanced causing asymmetry
  • Nipples and areolas that look significantly different from each other
  • You don’t like your breasts because they don’t look normal in shape
  • Clothing doesn’t fit right due to irregular breast contour and balance
  • You feel self-conscious and embarrassed about your appearance

If you answered yes to one or more of these concerns, you could be an ideal candidate for corrective surgery.

What to Expect With Tubular Breast Correction Surgery

Dr. Rudderman believes the consultation is critical for you and him. You will discuss your concerns, your options, family history, goals for now and in the future, lifestyle, and much more. From the consultation evolves a sense of trust, respect, mutual understanding, and a correctly personalized treatment plan. After your first consultation with Dr. Rudderman, you will realize that there truly is a difference in how surgeons approach their profession. For Dr. Rudderman that difference means understanding your desires and goals while providing a level of service that places safety and comfort alongside predictable and pleasing outcomes.

An important first step in the treatment process is a careful examination to determine if your breast is “tubular” and to what degree. This means the evaluation of symmetry, skin volume, breast volume, nipple and areolar position, crease position, chest wall symmetry, and development history. The discussion then is directed to your desire for change and consideration of the best approach for a long term outcome, meaning a breast that looks as normal as possible, and “ages” naturally. So that as your weight changes, and hormonal changes occur over time, you have the best chance of your breast remaining “normal” for age.

The surgery most commonly involves elevation of the skin through incisions that may resemble a breast lift and then repositioning of the glandular tissue with skin redraping to stabilize and improve appearance. There are cases where increased volume may be considered, and this will be balanced with long term expectations and may be performed with a secondary operation. Volume increase, if needed, may be accomplished with fat grafting or implant for greater change depending on desires. Most often, no additional volume is either needed or recommended when the operation is performed.

The surgery takes 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours, is outpatient, and may require a drain for 24 hours. You can usually drive in 3 days, return to work or school in 4 days, exercise in 3 weeks, and swim and go to the beach in 1 month. Once performed, your breast will “age” way more natural and you may never desire or need additional breast surgery.

These treatments are not an emergency, and plenty of time will be allowed to have a full conversation to consider options. Additional visits can be provided until you feel confident that you are making the best decision for yourself in health, safety, and outcome.

Dr. Rudderman has done hundreds of breast surgeries and can project your likely outcomes. From the consultation evolves…trust, respect, mutual understanding and a personalized treatment plan.

After your first consultation with Dr. Rudderman, you will realize that there truly is a difference in how surgeons approach their profession. For Dr. Rudderman…that difference means understanding your goals and providing a level of service that places safety & comfort alongside predictable and pleasing outcomes.

Contact us at 678.566.7200 to meet with Dr. Rudderman in our Alpharetta or Midtown Atlanta offices.

Written and reviewed by:

This article was written by Dr. Randy Rudderman, who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (1994). He practices medicine at his offices in Alpharetta and Atlanta. Learn more about Dr. Rudderman, his medical training, and credentials.

What to Expect After Surgery

  • You will wake up with a small dressing over the treated area and a surgical bra –
  • Mild swelling, & some discomfort is normal & to be expected – this resolves on its own and often requires some pain medication for 24 hours then only acetaminophen
  • You will be seen in the office 24 hours post-surgery and given a more comfortable bra
  • Swelling generally is mild and resolves in 2-3 weeks
  • Sutures are absorbable and do not need to be removed
  • You will have a type of brown paper tape on the incisions to protect the area and help with minimal scar formation
  • You may have a drain tube placed depending on the specific operation performed, that needs to be checked several times a day, and we will speak with you daily during business hours to follow your progress and determine when to return to have drains removed.
  • Most patients have drains removed in 1-2 days.
  • Most patients who have surgery on Thursday can return to desk work Monday.
  • Avoid strenuous activity for 3 weeks…Dr. Rudderman will tell you when you can start to exercise again
  • Measurable results are typically visible immediately…but be patient…healing and stabilizing takes time. It can take months for the “new you” to be clearly seen.

Long-Term Results

The results of this procedure are long-lasting. A good follow-up plan is necessary. Additional surgery to further improve appearance may be considered if a change in volume is desired in the future. All breast need good long term follow-up for evaluation of breast disease by your practitioner of choice.

Tubular Breast Correction Frequently Asked Questions

Search our list of FAQs for the answers you are looking for.

Tubular breast, sometimes called tuberous breast, constricted breast, or “snoopy” breast, are breast that develop with asymmetry.

A tubular breast (tuberous breast) includes several varieties. Tubular breast often have puffy enlarged areolas (herniated areolas) where excess tissue is behind the areola (the pigmented part surrounding your nipple. The tubular breast can have a cone shape (associated with a constricted base), are usually different is size from the opposite breast, can have tight skin between the nipple and the breast fold, can look too widely spaced on the chest, may appear flat at the top of the breast, and may have different or unusually shaped nipples. It may not be obvious to you that the breast is a tubular breast, but is often very obvious to one skilled in treatment of tuberous breast.

Most women notice during puberty that one breast is not developing like the opposite breast, or both breast appear to be mis-shapened or look unusual. The common comments are “my breast look strange, different, weird, lop-sided, and never quite developed correctly.” “I thought they would improve but they never grew or filled in.” Most women seek help around college age, but many could be good candidates for treatment during teen years depending on growth patterns.

At least 5 % of women that undergo breast surgery for augmentation do so because of tubular breast. The incidence however is likely to be significantly higher in the average population. Most young women feel that this is rare or unique to them, and do not seek advice from their parents or friends because of embarrassment and lack of understanding. This condition is not thought to be inherited from your mother or passed to your children, can be effectively and safely surgically treated, and can not be improved by diet, exercise, or life style change.

Women with tubular breast often have challenges with clothing, from finding a bra that works, dealing with bra padding with asymmetric breast, trouble finding bathing suits or exercise clothes that fit, and concern about personal relationships.

If you are not sure, and think your breast look really different from your friends, ask to see someone who is a specialist in treating breast, and come in for a consultation.

Surgery for tuberous breast can range from repositioning the tissue beneath the areola, to repositioning tissue between the nipple and the breast crease, to repositioning the entire breast glandular tissue, and may include but does not necessarily include an implant in many cases. Many women have adequate volume and just need reshaping. Studies have shown that most operations even though they may not magically restore the breast to a totally symmetric shape are very pleasing to the women who undergo this operation. The positive impact to most women is dramatic. Even pediatricians have advised patients to wait for full growth. However the impact of early treatment is substantial now at a time when surgery risk in general are so remote. And advice to wait for treatment until after pregnancy is misleading because pregnancy can further advance the asymmetry. The better your breast look before pregnancy, the better you will look after pregnancy.

Yes, he performs all of his patient’s surgeries. Many surgeons use assistants to suture or perform part of the operations. Dr. Rudderman performs the entire operation on every patient. You should ask during any consultation to know who will be your operating surgeon.

No. The incisional scars used for treatment by Dr. Rudderman are identical to those used in a variety of breast lift operations, and no one but you will know what your breast looked like before surgery. Nearly all women consider this issue very personal, will admit when they present for a consultation that even their best friend and mother do not know about their issues and concerns and appearance.

Surgery may involve a combined approach to address the areolae contour issues, the tightness of the lower breast, and the conical shape. These can be done with a modified breast lift techniques coupled with techniques to reposition available breast tissue. When appropriate, additional volume can be addressed with the use of breast implant surgery options.

There is no way to know for sure if breast-feeding will be successful with tuberous breast with or without surgery. However the operations that are performed by Dr. Rudderman to treat tuberous breast maintain the nipple in contact with the glandular tissue, which has the lowest risks of reducing your ability to breast-feed further.

Patients will notice a change in breast position right after surgery. Tubular breast operation may involve several types of incisions depending on the amount of adjustment needed. Incisions may be around the areola only, or around the areola with a vertical incision to the breast crease, and along the crease. All patients are concerned about scar appearance. Most patients heal so well that scars will fade significantly and rarely require any additional treatment or revision. The expected incisional scars will be thoroughly discussed with you before surgery.

Only in the most severe cases do devices such as tissue expanders need to be used to treat tubular breast.

Yes. All cases are supervised a Board Certified medical doctor who has specialized in anesthesiology.

Yes. All of our surgeries are performed in a fully accredited surgery facility using state of the art technologies and a world-class staff with all the comfort and safety factors as a hospital surgery suite.

All surgeries involve some discomfort. Dr. Rudderman is highly skilled and uses advanced techniques and refined instruments that minimize comfort during his surgical procedures. Many patients will take either pain medications and convert to Tylenol within 1-3 days. The skin may be relatively numb for several days to weeks after tubular breast operations.

You will need to avoid all rigorous, strenuous activities for a few weeks (usually 3) until healing is adequate and Dr. Rudderman tells you it’s ok. We will see you frequently during your healing process to help you return to your normal activity as soon as possible. Exercise can be an important part or recovery, and we follow your recovery closely to help you reach your goals.

Dr. Rudderman’s patients most often return to desk jobs in about 4 days. If drains are placed, they usually can be removed in 1 day. Dr. Rudderman can give you a time frame specific to you during your consultation.

Tuberous breast repair surgeries are usually considered to be cosmetic procedures. Cosmetic procedures are not covered by insurance. There may be exceptions so you should check directly with your provider for this answer.

Yes. Financing is available today for all the breast procedures Dr. Rudderman performs. Please check in our business office for information about it.

You will need someone to drive you to your surgery, stay there and then drive you home and stay with you overnight after you have had anesthesia. Dr. Rudderman will advise you based on what you have had done and especially if you have small children. Your follow-up visit will usually be within 24 hours, and you will generally need to have someone drive you to this appointment.