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Tuberous Breasts

What is this?
Tuberous breast or severely asymmetrical breasts are congenital anomalies caused by a change in the development of the mammary gland. They are characterised by a great increase in the distance between each breast, an evident asymmetry between the two furrows and very large areola/nipples that can cover the entire apical part of the breast.
mammella tuberosa
Why undergo this surgery?
Most women have slightly different breasts. Nonetheless, this asymmetry is particularly evident in some cases and this may cause embarrassment and limitations in one’s daily life. Tuberous mammary deformities can vary. Among the most common cases, there are:
- cone-shaped breasts with a large areola;
- breasts with an unusually narrow base;
- great distance between breasts;
- tight skin under the nipple;
- light or no inframammary fold;
- flat upper part of the breasts;
- mammary tissue that seems to project into the areola and nipple.
In some women, this condition may regard only one breast. This causes asymmetry, which may be very difficult to hide. A corrective surgery can bring back symmetry and remodel the breast in order to give it the desired shape and volume.
What needs to be done before surgery?
The surgeon will prescribe some tests to do before the surgery. Among these, a bilateral mammary ultrasound is particularly useful.
How is the surgery performed?
The surgery is done under general anaesthesia. It may be done in a day hospital or require one day of hospitalization. Less severe cases may foresee only an increase of the breast. Sometimes however, it may be necessary to restructure, remodel and increase the breast as well as reposition the nipple. The mammary gland may be expanded with or without using an implant; it can be remodelled via lipofilling – i.e. the use of fat taken from other parts of the patient’s body. In some cases, more surgeries may be required. Indeed, before inserting an implant, it may be necessary to expand the breast base using purposely-made implants that are inflated via weekly made injections of a saline solution. In case of ptosis, a breast lift – with the removal of excess tissue and repositioning of the breast and nipple – is required. The procedure used for asymmetrical breasts may vary depending on how severe the asymmetry is. The aspects to correct are shape, position and volume of the breast. Sometimes it may even be necessary to have a:
- breast augmentation;
- breast reduction;
In order to achieve the best possible result, it may be necessary to undergo a breast reduction associated with a breast lift – also known as mastopexy. Moreover, in case of severe asymmetries, another surgery may be required.
What happens after the operation?
After the surgery, swelling, and pain may occur. Return to normal daily activities occurs after 1-2 days. Avoid heavy activities or sports for a few weeks. Dressings are generally applied to reduce swelling. To accelerate recovery a surgical bra may be indicated. Furthermore, drains are placed to remove possible accumulation of fluids. They are then removed after about a week.
Painkillers can be effective for the pain. Even antibiotics may be prescribed.
Scars differ depending on the surgical technique used. They may have a periareolar shape, be under the furrow or have the shape of an inverted T. Recovery requires at least one year.
Once the swelling is gone, the results are permanent.
What are the possible risks?
Possible risks are those associated with the surgical procedure used to correct the defect.
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Dr. Luca Piombino
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