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The tuberous breast deformity: classification and treatment

  • D.v. Heimburg
    Correspondence
    Correspondence to Dr Dennis von Heimburg, Klinik fur Verbrennungs- and Plastische Wiederherstellungschirurgie, Universita¨tsklinikum Aachen, Pauwelsstraße 30, D-52057 Aachen, Germany.
    Affiliations
    Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, St Markus Hospital, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Teaching Hospital, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
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  • K. Exner
    Affiliations
    Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, St Markus Hospital, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Teaching Hospital, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
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  • S. Kruft
    Affiliations
    Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, St Markus Hospital, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Teaching Hospital, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
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  • G. Lemperle
    Affiliations
    Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, St Markus Hospital, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Teaching Hospital, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
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      Abstract

      To date there are many descriptive terms for the tuberous breast deformity but there is no widely accepted nomenclature.
      A retrospective study was undertaken of 68 tuberous breasts and the operative corrections performed. The deformities were classified into four types. Type I (hypoplasia of the lower medial quadrant), type II (hypoplasia of the lower medial and lateral quadrants, sufficient skin in the subareolar region), type III (hypoplasia of the lower medial and lateral quadrants, deficiency of skin in the subareolar region) and type IV (severe breast constriction, minimal breast base).
      Areolar prolapse, usually regarded as a major symptom, was only found in 30 (44%) deformed breasts. Postoperative review of 51 breasts in 31 patients showed that type I cases treated by reduction mammaplasty of adequately sized breasts or augmentation of hypoplastic breasts had excellent results. These procedures with additional spreading of the breast tissue in type II deformities give good results. Severe cases (types III and IV) treated by augmentation and tissue spreading procedures have an unsatisfactory shape and have a ‘second crease’ deformity. For types III and IV, additional skin in the subareolar region by tissue expansion or flap procedures is necessary.
      There is no one method to correct ‘the’ tuberous breast but there are many procedures which should be used according to the type of deformity. The classification developed could end the confusion in nomenclature.

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