Corrective Surgery for Tuberous Breasts: How Do You Know if You Have Tuberous Breasts?


How Do You Know if You Have Tuberous Breasts? If you are considering breast augmentation and your breasts are considered tuberous, you will want to ensure you choose a highly qualified Plastic Surgeon with skill and expertise in corrective breast surgery, not merely a Cosmetic Surgeon or general doctor who treats all breast augmentation surgeries alike.



Why is choosing a breast surgery Specialist Plastic Surgeon important?

Firstly, not all breasts are alike – not even two breasts on the same person. There is often noticeable asymmetry between breasts of any size. Small breasts are not always tuberous. And even with tuberous breasts, there are different types of tuberous breasts. We cover tuberous breasts below, but first, let’s talk about planning for surgery – because if you’re on this page, chances are you are seriously considering breast augmentation.

Planning Corrective Surgery for Small or Tuberous Breasts: KEY Points to keep in mind when choosing a Plastic Cosmetic Surgeon.

  • The surgical planning part of breast augmentation is actually far more complex than most women realise.
  • Some Surgeons are known for a one-size-fits-all model of operation; but a good Plastic Surgeon will take many measurements and work with you to ascertain:
    • the best-choice range of breast implant sizes to meet your preferences or reduce asymmetry
    • placement of the breast implant so it looks aesthetically pleasing
    • which strategies can reduce the risks of complications or skin sagging (weight changes, ageing or pregnancy can impact your results)

Corrective breast surgery to address deformities or breast quadrant concerns requires immense skill, experience and knowledge to get it ‘right.’

Secondly, ALL types of Breast Augmentation Surgery are considered serious and include risks. While Breast implant surgery is deemed a safe operation for healthy, suitable  patients, and has frequently performed, not all breast surgery goes perfectly to plan.

The more experienced your Specialist Surgeon, the more likely it is they can minimise risks AND effectively help you with any unanticipated complications.

Cheap Breast Surgery isn’t always a Bargain – Revisions are Costly (Not everything can be fixed).

Discounted breast implant surgery may be on offer, but you’d be wise to ask, from whom?

Particularly for tuberous breasts, Breast Augmentation surgery is not something you’d want to entrust to a doctor (a GP or Dermatologist, for example) who is NOT qualified as a Surgery Specialist or Plastic, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgeon. Nor to one who only operates in the back room of a Clinic using ‘twilight’ anaesthetic or awake breast implant procedures. These doctors tend to have NO operating rights in real hospitals (whereas Specialist Plastic Surgeons DO tend to have operating rights in hospitals).

So be sure you know if your Surgeon is a FRACS qualified Specialist – and in what field of Medicine – and choose wisely.

do you have tuberous breasts surgery - specialist-plastic-surgeon-melbourne

Thirdly, the skin and nipple aerola complex (NAC) on many patients with tuberous breasts may be vulnerable to stretching or sagging. You wouldn’t want to worsen this condition by getting a bad boob job by an under-qualified Practitioner or from an overseas ‘cookie cutter’ breast surgery “factory” approach.

The diagram below shows some common breast shapes that may lead to requests for Cosmetic or Corrective Breast Surgery.

There is, actually, NO perfect breast shape and all breasts may be considered beautiful.

  • There are, however, cultural and personal preferences and hence, breast surgery to reshape, resize or re-position the breasts and nipples is very commonly sought by women of all ages.
  • Even MALES frequently request breast surgery (often male breast reduction surgery OR breast reduction by liposuction for Gynaecomastia).


What’s important to know if you are looking into Corrective Breast Surgery for Tuberous Breasts

Firstly, many people mistakenly think small breasts are tuberous, when they’re actually not. But often, tuberous breasts may not be recognised properly by less experienced Surgeons.

That’s another reason it’s important to choose a Surgeon who has expertise in this area so that you get a good breast augmentation  result.

Choosing a Surgeon for Tuberous Breasts (from our Melbourne Clinic Team): Cosmetic Surgeon vs Plastic Surgeons

Firstly, no doubt you’ll have seen recent news stories about unscrupulous doctors and clinicians performing Surgery without proper safety and sanitation in mind. These tend to be non-Specialists who entered the cosmetic surgery industry with minimal training. Some of these clinics appear more focused on profit than patient safety at times, and may cut corners to offer breast augmentation discounts or operate in onsite rooms without hospital level monitoring.  Some respected Breast Surgeons offer in-clinic surgery as well; but it’d be wise to check to see what qualifications and Australian hospital operating rights the Surgeon has been granted.

Genuine Surgical Specialists, on the other hand (meaning they actually hold a Surgery Specialist Registration with AHPRA), typically spent over 12 years gaining that qualification. This likely included undergoing extensive examinations and ongoing education requirements to hold the protected medical title of Specialist Plastic, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgeon. Not so with an average cosmetic surgeon, as you hear about in the News on a regular basis.

cosmetic-surgery-breast-augmentation-implant types

So what are our best TIPS for choosing a good Surgeon to correct the condition of Tuberous Breasts (or Breast Augmentation for small breasts)?

  1. Choose a qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon who has performed a number of Corrective Procedures for Tuberous Breasts.
  2. Ask ANY and ALL questions you have and find out if your surgery will be done under general Anaesthesia in a REAL hospital vs. “awake but medicated” in a back room of some clinic.
  3. Find out if the Surgeon has FRACS, ISAPS, ASAPS and similar qualifications. Check to be sure they are a Specialist with AHPRA, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. (Search the Surgeon’s name, click on Details and scroll down to Registration Type. Then you’ll see what area of medicine they focused on and what their Specialty qualification is in.)
  4. It’s best to ensure your Surgeon actually has specialised IN Surgery (e.g. is a Specialist, in the area of Surgery – such as a Specialist Plastic, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgeon).


If they are not a specialist, they could be qualified in anything from general medicine (a GP) to a Specialty in Dermatology (skin); but not exactly surgery. Yet many call themselves Cosmetic Surgeons (as seen in recent TV Stories, that title is not protected in Australia, meaning nearly anyone can call themselves by that title).

  • On the other hand, a Specialist Plastic Surgeon will be listed as such on the AHPRA site as having a Specialty in Surgery and specifically, Plastic Surgery.
  • They will also typically belong to professional organisations that require ongoing or advanced training, such as ISAPS, ASAPS and ASPS (membership into these associations is not given to non-Plastic Surgeons).

The title Plastic Surgeon is protected in Australia by the Medical Board. We are happy to help you search if you’re not sure. Because we see many revision patients who thought they knew what they were getting elsewhere, but were surprised to find their Surgeon wasn’t actually a Specialist for these procedures. Just phone us on (03) 8849 1444 and we can send you the AHPRA search link or help you learn how to check your preferred Surgeon’s Specialty qualifications and medical focus.


In terms of getting the right Breast Implants with Augmentation Surgery:

  • Make sure you know the BRAND and MAKE of the breast implants that your surgeon will be using.
  • Make sure it’s a well-known, long tested brand that has a good reputation in Australia for longevity of breast augmentation surgery.
  • Know the risks of using less known brands or types of implants linked with complications.
  • Ask your Surgeon if they follow the 14-point Breast Augmentation Surgery Safety protocols.

The more informed you are, the better questions you’ll be able to ask at your consultation before you consent to corrective breast surgery to improve the appearance of tuberous breasts.

Tuberous Breasts – An Overview of Presentations & Different Types

Tuberous breasts often involve:

  • Constriction around the base of the breast (around the crease)
  • Large, puffy looking nipples
  • Minimal breast mound tissue other than the puffy-looking nipple aerola complex (ANC) – constricted breasts
  • Sagging, tubular-looking breasts that are small or narrow in nature (they might look ‘square’ or ‘pointy’ and the height of the breasts will not seem quite in balance, proportion wise).
  • Higher than normal breast crease (inframammary fold)

In more medical terms, if you have Tuberous Breasts then your Surgeon might note you have:

  • Herniated nipple aerola complex (NAC)
  • Lower Pole Hyperplasia
  • Deficient skin envelope inferiorly
  • Elevated Inframammary fold

There are different types of Tuberous breasts – and a classification system by Groulleu and colleagues that Surgeons can use to indicate the form of tubular breasts.

  • Type 1: Lower Medial Quadrant Deficient
  • Type II:  Both lower quadrants deficient
  • Type III: All four quadrants deficient with constriction of breast tissue horizontally and vertically

Source: Groulleau System Tuberous Breasts from DeLuca-Pytell, R.C. Piazza et al.

So if you think you might have TUBEROUS breasts and want an opinion from a genuine Specialist Plastic, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgeon, send an enquiry form (below) or phone us on (03) 8849 1444 during Clinic Hours. We’ll help you ascertain which of our Breast Surgeons can assist you with evaluating the condition and exploring your options for breast augmentation using quality breast implants and/or autologous fat transfer methods (if suitable).

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For more information about Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery options and research in Australia.

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Download our free guides or phone (03) 8849 1444 today – and ask for a no-obligation consultation.