Background: Breast asymmetry is commonly accompanied by tuberous deformity. To date, no study has reported the incidence of this breast deformity in the presence of asymmetry. A retrospective analysis of standard preoperative photographs was performed on 375 consecutive female patients presenting for mammaplasty over a 10-year span.
Methods: Women were examined for symmetry, asymmetry, and the presence of tuberous deformity. Patients were graded by the Grolleau Classification System. Patients having congenital anomalies, tumors, infection, radiation, chest wall deformities, previous breast surgery history, and incomplete chart data were excluded.
Results: Of the 375 patients studied, 81.1 percent (n = 304) presented with asymmetry. Of these asymmetric women, 88.8 percent (n = 270) were found to have tuberous deformity. Of the 71 patients who were symmetric, 7 percent (n = 5) were tuberous. Concurrent nipple-areola complex involvement in the tuberous asymmetric patient population was present in 50 percent of the women (n = 116). Of the tuberous deformities with nipple-areola complex, 87.9 percent (n = 116) were Grolleau type III. Nipple-areola complex involvement was not found in any of the symmetric patients. Of the 275 women with tuberous deformity, 531 breasts were tuberous and 60.3 percent (n = 320) were Grolleau's type III. In total, 57.1 percent of all reduction mammaplasties (n = 92) and 83.2 percent of all augmentation mammaplasties (n = 178) had asymmetry with tuberous deformity.
Conclusions: This is the first published study to demonstrate that tuberous deformity is strongly associated with asymmetry in women presenting for mammaplasty. This should be evaluated in preoperative planning to ensure optimal outcome. Patients with this deformity should be educated preoperatively so their expectations of postoperative results are realistic.