Tuberous/Constricted Breast Deformity: A common but often unrecognised breast condition

A relatively common, but often unrecognised, breast condition in young women is “tuberous” or “constricted” breast deformity, a congenital condition in which the breast fails to develop fully during puberty; the breasts may develop unusual shapes as well as develop differently to each other.

Although the cause is not understood, plastic surgeons believe tuberous/constricted breast is caused by an underlying restriction of the normal growth of the breast during puberty, particularly the lower half. As the breast continues to grow, it is restricted in the lower half, pushing excess breast forward beneath the areolar region. This causes a “tuberous” (an elongated shape), where the breast is often narrow and long, with a puffy and wide areolar shape. Because the lower breast doesn’t develop properly, the upper breast collapses down, giving a droopy breast. The two breasts are often affected to different degrees, so major asymmetries may also exist.

Having breasts develop like this can cause significant embarrassment and social problems, however surgery can usually offer major improvements.

The surgical treatment for tuberous/constricted breast deformity is to release the constricted breast tissue, either through an incision around the areola or from below the breast, to allow the breast to splay out naturally. To improve the breast volume, or to correct asymmetries, a breast implant is often placed beneath the breast to enhance its shape. Often, the areolar circle is made smaller at the same time, and the fold under the breast lowered. If the breast is drooped, a breast lift is done at the same time. In severe cases, more complex reconstructive plastic surgery is required to stretch the skin and existing breast tissue prior to insertion of the final implant.

As a fully qualified plastic surgeon, Dr Merten is experienced in these complex breast conditions. To see some of Dr Merten’s work with tuberous/constricted breast deformity and breast asymmetries, please click here

For more information about this or any other plastic and cosmetic surgery procedure, please contact Dr Merten at Macquarie Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery at:, Email:, or call for an appointment on 02 9812 3890

Dr Steve Merten

Guest Bloggers – from time to time MUH invites our specialists to provide content on our MUH Blog. Please note that with all guest bloggers the views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the individual and are not necessarily the views of Macquarie University Hospital.


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