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What are Tubular Breasts?

Tubular breasts are one of the more common breast variations that we see as plastic surgeons. The reason most people who have tubular breasts do not think they are common is because people with tubular breast deformities go to great lengths to hide them. The typical tubular breast has a combination of a constricted, narrow breast, breast ptosis (drooping), and an enlarged areola.

For Those with Tubular Breasts, There is a Way Out

The good news for those with tubular breast deformity is that with breast augmentation and a breast lift, the majority of these patients can have attractive breasts. It is important to make sure you go to a board-certified plastic surgeon who has extensive experience with tubular breast surgeries.

Woman posing dramatically in pool with eyes closed

Tubular Breasts Explained

Tubular breasts are a deformity in breast development. For reasons currently unknown, a fibrous ridge encircles the base of the breast, constricting normal growth. As the name suggests, the breasts don’t form properly. Their shape is constricted, the normal rounding of tissue does not occur, and the breasts protrude in a conical or tube-like shape.

The tubular breast condition presents at puberty when breasts are first developing. The symptoms range from mild to severe—in one breast or both—and can affect women or men. Common symptoms include:

  • Small breasts that are elongated and shaped like a tube
  • A saggy or drooping breast (known as breast ptosis)
  • Larger than normal areola
  • Wide breast placement with larger than normal space between the breasts

Though there’s no physical threat associated with the condition, the damage to self-esteem and anxiety in romantic relationships can be very detrimental. (Tubular carcinoma, sometimes referred to as tubular breast cancer, is not the same condition, nor is it specific to having tubular breasts.)

Tubular breast augmentation surgery is a safe and effective procedure that offers newfound confidence in how your body looks and feels, especially in your intimate relationships. Tubular breasts often go undiagnosed because patients are unaware of the condition or feel embarrassed discussing the problem.

Our doctors have performed thousands of tubular breast correction surgeries at Ranch & Coast Plastic Surgery. Their expertise helps patients feel at ease, knowing a solution is at hand.

Before & After

Tubular Breast Augmentation Procedure

There are two procedures the plastic surgeon will combine for a tubular breast correction:

  • Breast augmentation using implants to correct the breast dimensions
  • Breast lift to address sag or droop and fix the ratio and placement of the areola and nipple. 

The elegant, upscale offices are at Ranch & Coast are equipped with the latest medical technology. The staff includes a dedicated surgical R.N. and board-certified anesthesiologists. 

Tubular Breast Correction Consultation

During your initial meeting with your surgeon and their medical team, they will discuss the specifics of both treatment options. Be prepared to provide standard medical information—health history, medications, tobacco and alcohol use, and any previous breast surgeries. Implants will be used in the augmentation procedure. We use what’s called an I.N.S.P.I.R.A. ™ implant by Allergan—made of cohesive silicone gel to create a natural look and feel.

During your appointment, we’ll discuss the best size implant for your body’s proportions and to reduce the space between the breasts. Our doctors will also discuss your preference regarding changes to the areola and nipple size and location once the implant is in place. The breast lift is the finishing process for reshaping your breasts and showing off your new cleavage. Before you leave, you will receive detailed instructions for pre and post-operative care.

Pretty girl sitting on ledge of pool holding phone


On the day of your procedure, do not eat or drink anything after midnight. This procedure is conducted under general anesthesia, so it is important that you follow the pre-operative instructions carefully. Bring a soft bra with no underwire and comfortable closing. You will need to have someone accompany you – do not plan on driving yourself home.


When the patient is sufficiently sedated, an incision is made for placement of the implant, typically in the bottom crease beneath the breast, called the inframammary fold. A sizer (temporary implant) is inserted to determine the position and volume of the final implant. Our surgical facility has specialized equipment that allows us to view the implants while the patient is prone and sitting up. When the doctor is satisfied, the sizer is removed and replaced with the final implant. Depending on your unique condition, each breast may require different sized implants.


Once the procedure is complete, you will be taken to a recovery room for an hour or so, to awaken naturally from the anesthesia. The recovery R.N. is on hand to deal with any nausea or confusion that can be common after surgery. Should you feel more comfortable staying overnight, our surgical center is the only one in the San Diego area to offer patients that option. Out of town guests should plan to spend approximately a week to recover before flying home.

Tubular Breast Correction—Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

The breast lift serves a dual purpose. First, to address the droop or sagging that is a common symptom of the tubular breast condition. The second is to normalize the size of the areola and nipple, as well as adjust its placement on the breast.


Follow all the pre-operative instructions to the letter. In a tubular breast correction, the breast augmentation and breast lift will be combined into a single surgical appointment.


Many patients undergo a breast lift if their breasts begin to sag or lose shape due to pregnancy, changes in weight, or aging. Tubular breasts have a similar problem with the flattened shape and droopy appearance. Once the patient is fully sedated, the doctor will begin to adjust and tighten the skin and tissue to lift and tighten the placement on the body. The doctor will do an incision around the nipple area of the breast to resize the circumference of the areola. Often with tubular breasts, the nipple itself may need correction in terms of size or position. The lift corrects profile and position, creating a natural, sloping line on the body. Differences in symmetry can be corrected, and a more youthful appearance created. When combined with the breast augmentation, the outcome is lush, rounded breasts that are well-placed on the chest.


As noted earlier, patients will spend an hour or two in the recovery room before leaving the facility. 

Post Op Recovery

The Ranch & Coast staff will provide you with detailed instructions for post-operative care. Please follow the instructions carefully to help with the healing process. You should expect some swelling and discomfort. The doctor will provide medication to help manage pain as is appropriate to your specific condition. 

This is a significant procedure—if you’re working, you should plan to take at least a week off. No heavy lifting for two weeks, and please avoid any exercise that specifically works the pectoral muscles until your surgeon gives you clearance. There will be a series of follow-up appointments, the first within a day or two of your surgery.

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