Tuberous Breasts

Tuberous Breasts Surgery (Hypoplasia) Sydney

  • Rebates from Private Health Insurance and Medicare
  • Hospital fees covered by private health insurance
  • Day surgery only

Tuberous breasts are a result of a congenital abnormality and both men and women can be affected. The abnormality tends to start developing during puberty and it may worsen with age. Tuberous breasts have several other names such as constricted, and conical-shaped breasts.

Signs of this condition include having enlarged areolas, a large gap between your breasts, a very high mammary fold (where the underwire of your bra sits), narrow breasts, minimal breast tissue, sagging of the breasts or different sized and shaped breasts. It is possible for tuberous breasts to affect the ability to breastfeed and in most cases, women simply find it too difficult altogether.

In general, tuberous breast correction surgery may involve a combination of techniques, including breast augmentation mammoplasty (implants) and/or a breast mastopexy (lift).

What to expect during a tuberous breast consultation?

Dr Norris will aim to make you as comfortable as possible. He will take measurements of your breasts and explain what tuberous grade you are. You will then have a discussion with Dr Norris about your concerns and what you would like your breasts to look like after surgery.

Dr Norris will also evaluate your breasts by looking at your skin tone, the condition of the breast and fatty tissue as well as the position of your nipples. He will measure your breasts and photographs will be taken for your medical records. Next, Dr Norris will discuss how the operation is performed, where the incisions can be placed and what type of implants and sizes are available. You will then be given a detailed quotation which will include the various options for tuberous breast surgery. If you decide to proceed with surgery, Dr Norris will see you again at a second consultation.

During your second consultation, your surgery will be scheduled and Dr Norris will provide you with detailed instructions on how to prepare for your procedure.

What type of implant will be used?

There are a lot of decisions to be made when selecting an implant. Below is a beginners guide to understanding implants:


  • Smooth
  • Textured
  • Polyurethane (furry Brazilian)


  • Low
  • Moderate
  • High
  • Extra High
  • Ultra High


  • Round
  • Anatomical (teardrop):
    • Oval Base Anatomical profile inferior lower pole
    • Round Base Tear drop profile moderate lower pole
    • Oval base Anatomical pole superior lower pole

And of course, one of the other most important decisions is your implant size. Most women will choose to have silicone gel implants because they offer a more natural feel. There is currently no scientific evidence that silicone gel breast implants put you at an increased risk of breast cancer, autoimmune diseases or cause problems when breastfeeding. There is a small chance that these implants may interfere with the interpretation of a mammogram but this can be avoided if special views are requested at the time of the scan. There is also evidence that suggests textured and polyurethane-coated implants help reduce the risk of scar tissue formation (capsular hardening) in the breast pocket around the implant.

Dr Norris will advise you if he thinks you may require 2 different sized implants. Most women are asymmetrical, but only a handful will require implants of different sizes. While most implants increase in 15-25cc increments, the majority of women are only 5-10cc different in size between breasts.

How tuberous breast surgery is performed?

Dr Norris only ever performs breast surgery in fully accredited medical facilities.  Prior to your procedure, you will be introduced to the anaesthetist who works closely with Dr Norris. You will be taken through the final details of your procedure and a general anaesthetic will be administered.

There are normally three choices for incision placement, which means any scarring will form accordingly. However, with tuberous conditions, you may only require one incision. In most instances, the incision is made around and through the areolar or under the breast, in the mammary crease.


  • Inframammary – (hidden in the fold under the breast)
  • Periareolar – (hidden around the edge of the areola)

After Dr Norris has made the incision, the pocket in which the implant will be placed is dissected. This means that excess breast tissue and skin will be removed.


This pocket lies behind the natural breast tissue, on top of the chest wall muscle (subglandular) or either beneath the chest wall muscle (submuscular/subpectoral) .

The pocket that is used will depend on a number of factors, including how to best correct your tuberous shape and give your breasts the appearance you desire, the presence of breast ptosis and the type of implant used. Dr Norris most commonly places the implants in the submuscular position as it is easier to hide the implant and lessens the chances of the implant being felt. However, 50% of tuberous cases may need to have the implants placed on top of the muscle to address the tuberous shape of the breasts.

When the implant is placed in the pocket, it will be centred beneath the nipple and carefully positioned. Very occasionally, a drain may be placed in each pocket but they will be removed the day after your breast surgery. The incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures to save you the inconvenience of scheduling a time to have them removed. A waterproof dressing is applied over the incisions after your procedure and you will leave the hospital wearing a comfortable and supportive surgical bra.

What happens after the surgery?

  • Breast surgery for tuberous breasts can take between 1-3 hours to perform depending on the incisions that will be used and how asymmetrical your breasts are
  • You will be in the hospital for approx. 5-7 hours in total before being discharged
  • A friend, or responsible adult, must collect you from the hospital as you cannot drive home. Not only will your range of movement be restricted but your pain medication might cause drowsiness too
  • Dr Norris will send you home with detailed aftercare instructions as well as a prescription for pain medication
  • Daily short showers are permitted, provided your waterproof dressings are dried adequately.
  • It’s highly recommended that you sleep on your back, elevated by a few pillows, for the first 6 weeks. Sleeping this way is more comfortable and will reduce swelling
  • Pain levels will be at their worst during the first 2 days after surgery but this can easily be managed with your pain medication
  • It’s not uncommon to experience bruising, swelling, tenderness, and sensitivity. Swelling can vary from patient to patient and should resolve within 2 weeks
  • Light exercise such as walking is permitted after 1 week. Your normal exercise routine can usually be resumed after 6 weeks but Dr Norris will advise you accordingly
  • You can return to work after 1 week unless it involves heavy lifting or use of the upper body. You may need to stick to lighter duties for the first 3 weeks
  • A follow-up appointment will be booked for you on day 3 after the operation. This is to check your wounds and change the dressing

Possible complications of tuberous breast surgery

  • Rupture – Breast implants are not meant to last a lifetime. Breast implants can rupture when the shell develops a tear or hole. Ruptures can occur at any time after implantation, but they are more likely to occur the older the implant gets. Severe capsular hardening can also cause an implant to rupture.
  • Capsular hardening – A hard capsule can form around the implant due to the body’s natural response to foreign material. Breasts that have capsular hardening will appear firmer and look different.
  • Haematoma – This is when excess blood collects in one or both breast pockets. The blood is either absorbed naturally or will require surgical drainage. Symptoms include swelling, pain, bruising, skin that is hot to the touch and itchy breasts.
  • Infection – In most instances, infection occurs within the first 3 weeks after surgery. This will need to be treated immediately with an antibiotic. .
  • Stretch – Are unpredictable and vary between patients. To prevent them we advise the use of vitamin e and bio-oil before and after surgery to soften the skin.

How much does tuberous breast surgery cost in Sydney?

Tuberous breast surgery is a highly personalised procedure. No two patients will require the exact same approach, which is why costs can vary quite significantly. Scheduling a personalised consultation with Dr Norris is the best way to obtain a more accurate quotation as this will not only include your unique requirements but hospital and anaesthetist fees too. Since tubular breasts are seen as a deformity, both Medicare and private health insurance providers will generally cover some of the costs associated with surgery. Dr Norris can provide you with more details on how you can take advantage of a Medicare rebate during your first consultation.

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