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Ask Rene: My Breasts Look Weird… Should I Worry?


Hi Rene, 

I am currently 15-years-old and I think I have tubular breasts. I have looked at many photos on google images, and they look very similar to mine. I am very flat-chested and pointy, therefore find it hard to wear nice tops and certain other outfits. I also find wearing a bra very uncomfortable because of the shape of my breasts, but I need to, otherwise they look all pointy through my shirt. All of my friends have normal sized chests and I just look weird. I am also an aspiring actress, and I’m worried this will effect my career. What can you suggest??

Thank you,

Aspiring actress

Hey there, Aspiring:

I’m glad you wrote in; breasts are a hot topic around here last month and we’ve been highlighting some awesome women as part of our series Survivors Stories that we’ve been running. Your situation is not about cancer but does highlight the role our breasts play in who we are so your question is not to be taken lightly.

Before I started researching  Tubular Breast Deformity (also called Tuberous Breasts), I thought it was something that could be take care of with a  padded bra or certain clothing choices. But you also mentioned it was uncomfortable so I went to  New York Plastic Surgeon  Dr. Thomas Sterry for answers. 

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Here’s what Dr. Sterry had to say:

“This is an interesting problem and its treatment was probably best described by one of my professors, Dr. Saul Hoffman.  The basic issue is that a tight ring of connective/breast tissue develops around and under the areolar ring. This causes the remaining breast tissue to “herniate” or push through the ring and makes the breast look sort of like a mushroom. The base width is typically much smaller on the affected side. Yes, it is typically just one breast, although I have seen cases where both sides had some element of constriction. Of course, this is very troubling to young women as they are developing and can really wreak havoc on a teenager’s self-esteem as they go through puberty.

The mainstay of treatment is to operate. The constricting bands need to be divided from behind the breast in a stellate or “star-like” pattern. This requires an incision around the border of the areola (don’t worry, they heal pretty well). Then an implant is typically needed to make up for the decreased volume and base width that I mentioned earlier. It also helps to shape the breast and keeps the constricting bands from reforming. In any case, these are interesting operations and usually very satisfying because the patients are so appreciative.”


So based on what Dr. Sterry said, the next step is probably to talk to your parents and have them take you to a doctor who can recommend whether you should see a plastic surgeon; that’s important because of the physical discomfort you describe. The Internet is good for a lot of things but in this case, you really need to get an official diagnosis otherwise you’re just guessing. Once you’ve seen a specialist (if that’s what’s recommended), he or she can determine the best course of treatment and whether surgery is needed.


I know you said you wanted to be an actress and I don’t think this should hold you back. It’s normal, as a teen to want to look like everyone else. But I think if you take a closer look, you’ll see we all have imperfections, including famous people. Look at some of those actresses you admire; maybe their teeth aren’t perfectly straight or one eye is a bit larger than the other. But those are the things that make them unique and stand out from the crowd. Start reading up on some of them… I’ll bet there’s something in there for you.

Whether you have tubular breasts and need surgery or not, keep sight of your dreams and work toward making them a reality. I don’t think you can go wrong thinking like that.

Good luck to you!

Do you have a question for Rene? She has an answer. Click here and fire away. You can also leave a comment here or on the Facebook page and don’t forget to follow along on Twitter.

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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