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Video

Voiceover:
23-year-old Jane suffers from a congenital deformity called tuberous breasts.

Jane:
For me, the thing that makes my boobs so embarrassing is I think they look like, like a 60-year-old woman’s. I quite often think of them to myself that they look like udders, cause they’re just like there.

Voiceover:
Today she has an appointment at the Princess Grace Hospital in London with breast surgeon Mr Patrick Mallucci.

Mr Mallucci:
That’s the sort of shape we have at the moment, where you have a large aureole, a nipple pointing downwards effectively and a slightly droopier breast. And essentially, what we’re trying to create is a breast that looks like that, with a smaller aureole and a nipple sitting in, in a slightly more appropriate place.

Mr Mallucci:
It’s, it’s a complex procedure using basic plastic surgery principles. It’s about changing shape, form, dimension, height…it’s a tricky bit of tailoring, if you like.

Voiceover:
Despite the complexities, Jane is prepared to go through with the procedure, to have the breasts she’s always wanted. Mr Mallucci carries out surgery to correct tuberous breasts on about ten to fifteen women a year. The first task is to reduce the size of the aureole, the darker area around the nipple.

Mr Mallucci:
What I’m using here is a template, known as a nipple marker, which, uh, helps me determine the size. So I’m just cutting around what is to be the new aureole, and now I’m just cutting around the border of her, um, her original aureole, because this is the excess that we want to remove. What I’m going to do now is I’m going to remove that excess that we don’t want. So now, you see the breast has got this peculiar shape, hasn’t it. It’s what the, effectively this is the breast tissue, and that’s the, that’s the aureole that we’ve isolated.

Voiceover:
Next, Mr Mallucci sets about tackling the droop of the breast.

Mr Mallucci:
I…I’m just dissecting the skin of the lower part of the breast away from the breast gland. This is the key, really, in, in reshaping the breast, is…is restructuring the whole of that lower pole, in order to be able to try and uh, improve upon the shape.

Voiceover:
By separating the breast tissue from the muscle, Mr Mallucci is able to sculpt a new base for the breast, which will give it the lift that Jane lacks.

Mr Mallucci:
And what she now has is a…we’re starting to get the beginnings of a much more anatomical breast, where you haven’t got the herniation through that large nipple aureole complex. You can see the way it’s come in. And you can see how we’ve now for the first time got a little bit of filling of that lower pole. Now, this is now a good breast base in which to start with. And you can see how the dynamics of the breast have completely changed. We suddenly have a much more normal-looking breast, structurally.

Voiceover:
Next, a silicone implant is inserted. It’s slightly larger than the one that will be used on the other side, the aim being to make Jane’s boobs nice and even in size and volume. Then the skin is stitched to the newly-created smaller aureole.

Mr Mallucci:
Yeah, when we close the aureole, you get a bit of wrinkling of the skin along the suture line, and that’s deliberate, because if you think about it, we’re sewing a big circle into a little circle, and the two don’t quite match. Um, but it doesn’t matter, because the body is really good at adapting and sorting it out over time, and so we just warn patients that they may get a little bit of concertinaing, but it settles down very quickly. And you can see now a very stark difference between her new breast and her previous breast. So what we’re going to do now is repeat the same procedure on this side here.

Voiceover:
Finally, after four hours of surgery, Jane’s new boobs are finished.

Mr Mallucci:
Yeah, I’m pretty pleased the way it’s turned out, in terms of transformation of shape. So, I think, fingers crossed and she should be pleased. So Jane will stay in with us until tomorrow morning. She’ll go home, she’ll keep her dressings on. Those dressings will come off in about five days, and for the next five days we ask her to take things relatively easy. In five days’ time we’ll take the dressings down, check that all the wounds are healing nicely, usually those dressings are reduced and we’ll keep those on for about another week or so until the wounds are fully healed. Then all the dressings will come off, she’ll be in a sports bra in this time, and gradually over the next few weeks, um, she’s just going to get back to normality. And hopefully, quite quickly.

Dr Dawn:
How have you got on?

Jane:
Fantastic, yeah. Really good, feeling very happy.

Dr Dawn:
Are you still quite sore?

Jane:
It’s healing really really well, I’m quite surprised by how much the bruising’s gone down.

Dr Dawn:
Pleased with the result?

Jane:
Yeah, I’m really pleased, this has made such a difference already.

Dr Dawn:
Do you feel that it’s made you more confident?

Jane:
Yes, definitely, and I just want to show it off all the time.

Dr Dawn:
Shall we have a little look then?

Jane:
Yeah.

Dr Dawn:
Come on.

Dr Dawn:
Goodness, that really is a difference, isn’t it.

Jane:
Yeah.

Dr Dawn:
You must be really pleased.

Jane:
Yeah, really really pleased.

Dr Dawn:
Can I get you to just pop your arms up, you know, like we did before?

Jane:
Yeah.

Dr Dawn:
They’re much more symmetrical, aren’t they?

Jane:
Yeah.

Dr Dawn:
And then down onto your hips and just really squeeze in. No, that’s great, isn’t it?

Jane:
Yeah, they’re amazing.

Dr Dawn:
And all of this here, the um, you know the scar line around here, it’s obviously, I mean that’s really fresh, isn’t it.

Jane:
Yeah.

Dr Dawn:
And it’ll heal beautifully. And that already, to be honest, I think looks really neat. And over the next few months, any of the redness in the scar there is going to fade. But yeah, really different, you pleased?

Jane:
Yeah, really pleased, just so myself.

Dr Dawn:
Great, thank you very much.

Jane:
Thanks.

Read the video transcript

Jane was upset with her asymmetric and droopy breasts and Dr Dawn diagnoses a condition called tubular breasts, where the breasts appear to be far apart and unusually shaped. Dr Dawn sends Jane to specialist Mr. Patrick Mallucci who decides that surgery would be a viable, effective solution to Jane’s condition. The operation is complex and involves several stages, including the reshaping of the breasts and the insertion of silicon implants. After 4 and half hours Jane’s operation is declared a success and she returns to Dr Dawn to discuss the results. Visibly thrilled with the outcome Jane’s breasts are healing fast and display a marked improvement in symmetry and shape.

Patient Name: Jane Hughes-Wynn
Condition: Tuberous Breasts
Specialist: Consultant Plastic Surgeon Mr. Patrick Mallucci
Hospital: The Princess Grace Private Hospital, London
Length of operation: Approx 4 hours

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Comments and Questions

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I'm 16 and I have tuberous breasts. I'm so self conscious about them and even looking at them makes me want to cry. I never thought that they could be corrected however I decided to go to the doctor to get them checked anyway. They referred me for a breast examination which I had 2 days ago and now I'm being referred to a plastic surgeon. I really hope they can fix them as I can't bear the sight of them. :(





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At your age I would suggest that you wait. As you mature the breast shape may change. There is nothing to be ashamed of with tuberous breasts. Please do nothing hasty.

Is a simple breast augmentation enough to fix tuberous breasts ? Or would a lift be needed. Is it better to have the incisions through the nipple or is the crease fine ? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.





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I saw a private surgeon on friday about my stage 4 tubular breasts. He has said due to being slim he will need to use a round implant and the insertion of that would be the first surgery. I believe thats under the crease but mine must be moved as its high up. Then the second surgery would be to resize my nipple to fit and a potential third as I do not have enough fat on my chest he may have to fat grafted the top to make sure the implants do not show. If you have the option he prefers fat grafting as its more natural however I do not have enough if you do the results are amazing especially for our condition

I'm only 14 I've notice something really weird and different about my breast I'm so scared that I've got it aswell I haven't told my mum so I don't what to do I feel really insecure and quite depressed about my breast,HELP!:(





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I am 17 years old, and my right areola is a lot bigger than my right, it is more puffy and flat than the left and a completely different colour. Could this change as I get older or will I always have this now. It really gets me down and I'm really depressed because of it. Could this be a symptom of anything? Or is it just normal.





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A lot bigger than my left* I meant to say:P

Hi guys. I too have this condition. I knew since I was 18 that I had this condition. I'm now 28 and this IS partly covered by Medicare, this is NOT cosmetic, it's congenital... I seen a plastic surgeon two years ago and had my surgery date booked but chose to wait until I had my last child JUST incase I could breast feed... I could but only for 3 weeks and I knew why. I will be going in to have surgery late this year... Please see another GP. I'm in Australia btw :)





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Aly, I'm not sure if the surgery is covered my medicare or private medical care. I have not discussed my condition with my doctor yet,however, I am sure it's expensive either way. Have you discussed it with your doctor? I am sure your doctor can point you in the right direction or even give some advice. When did you discover that you had this condition Aly?





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Hi everyone Just to let you know, I got my breasts re shaped and enlarged on the nhs, around 7 years ago. I was lacking in confidence and it affected my view of myself , so was referred for the affect it was having in my mental health. I feel so much better now, there is help out there xx

I am 22 and I have tubular breasts. I have always wondered why my breasts looked different from other girls and it was always embarrassing for me to change in front of people. I discovered that I had this condition on the T.v. show my naked secret. I knew instantly that this was my problem. I do not have the kind of money to get surgery, though I do indeed intend to save up for it. However I would love to hear any advice.





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I'm in the same position. I've heard the operation is covered by Medicare or private healthcare cover I think? I'm not sure how that works - how much of a rebate we would get back. I'd really like to talk to other people in the same position about it so feel free to talk to me if you want to. I also want to find a professional who can answer my questions so we can all know more about the surgery!

I have this condition and my breasts look exactly like Jane's. For years I knew there was something wrong with my breasts as they didn't look like other girls' growing up, but now that I'm 26 I realise they're always going to be this way. I finally plucked up my courage to see the GP about it but she made me feel like a silly little girl for worrying about it saying that there was nothing functionally wrong with them; i.e.: I'm not having back pain due to them being too large or not able to breastfeed, but sometimes I feel like they look more like udders than human breasts. I do not have the money to go privately which is why I went to my GP but she said there was no point in referring me to a plastic surgeon on the NHS because where I live they do not do plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons.





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My GP was horrible and said the same, that they worked, without even being sure herself that there was any tissue there at all. It's horrible that there should be a post code lottery on this kind of thing. Just because I live in Cumbria I can't be referred because apparently, the NHS around here isn't doing anything about it anyway. I haven't even got a cup size. I went to another GP at the same surgery though and she's referred me to a specialist. I would get a second opinion if I were you. If you push it you might get somewhere.

Hi I'm 16 years old and I have tubular breasts. I started developing breasts early in the second grade and by fifth grade I knew I had breast deformity and since then I have also wanted to get them fixed. The thing is I don't know how to explain to my mom that I want to get breast surgery. She's not very understanding and is incredibly strict, the thought of her reaction when I tell her I want breast correction terrifies me. She's a single parent so its not like I can go to my dad about this. I just want advice on how I should confront my mom. What are good things you think I should say because I's terrified to tell her. I don't want to wait until I'm 18 either because I don't have any self confidence in myself with me looking the way I do. I feel incredibly uncomfortable in bathing suits and I hate changing for gym in the locker room because I never fit my bras properly. I am just incredibly embarrassed about my body and I hate looking in the mirror when I don't have a shirt on.





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Waiting for 18 which is just round corner, may be a better option as you will have a bit more maturity growth in regards to body, as it is continuing to shape and grow till at least till 21... You have gone this long, another 20 or so months should not be a big deal.. and then no need for the extra burden of the communication issue you speak of.. At present you are under cover via clothing.. No one is picking or making fun... Have you thought of getting fitted for a bra from a good quality lingerie or department store that have trained fitters?? Bathing suits the same, dont go for those inferior quality style type.. There is some really good stuff available if you choose correctly style and clour it distracts..Women with out chests or via a illness that are confronted with breast issues are well versed in how to overcome and camaflouge with correct useage of clothing etc.. You Mum Valentina, well, she is strict as it is a form of protection in their mind..yes it can be over protective at times.. With bringing it up, well, pick your time, when she is not preoccupied, and relaxed etc, and start with how you are feeling about yourself and what is bothering and how it is effecting.. Then after that bring up the medical help you wish to pursue and want her to come along to Doctors for a introductory talk only at this stage to see what is your options, and then we can decide after getting all the pros and cons.??

I thought my mam would be the same but she was understanding and I have surgery booked for April I have slightly tubular breasts

I'm 18 and ive had terrible body image issues because of this since i started developing at 12 or 13. I looked it up on the internet when I was about 14 but was too scared to read anything i didnt want to read so i stopped looking.. Ive had anxiety issues for years which really doesnt help! After just spending a while crying because of my breasts and self esteem/anxiety (a common past time), i finally felt i should look it up again. I am so releaved to find that so many others are going through the same thing and that it can be corrected. I havent told anyone about this...including my boyfriend . i cant take my bra off during intercourse :( i feel like i want to tell him now that i know what it is and am less terrified. I feel that surgery may be necessary for my self esteem and could make my life so much happier! However i must get over my fears of hospitals and operations first... if anyone anyone has any comments, advice, comforting words or anything ! please feel free





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Just to let you know, I'm exactly the same as you except a bit older, 26. I have had such a negative body image growing up because of this and also being slightly overweight as a teen. In fact I developed anorexia and I think a large part of that was to do with how unhappy I was with my body, especially my breasts. If you can't talk to your boyfriend, maybe talk to a sensitive GP or family member - it might just help having someone to talk to about it, I would imagine would be a big help.

Thanks Mary, I've since told two of my closest friends which was really difficult but relieving. I am trying to find an expert in the area just to ask a lot of questions but can't seem to find any in my state yet and I don't really want to talk to a normal GP who may have no idea. I'd really like to be able to talk to other people with tuberous breasts online too- some who had them corrected and some who haven't. It makes me feel more normal aha. Are you in the same boat as me with the whole surgery thing? I want it but I'm terrified!





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