Nipple reduction surgery involves decreasing the size of protruding or disproportionately large nipples and trimming excess tissue to create an aesthetically balanced breast.
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
The size and shape of the nipple, while not typically an indicator of a health concern, can cause aesthetic distress for some individuals. The nipple is cylindrical in shape with a curved top, however nipple hypertrophy occurs when the projection or diameter of the nipple is overly tall or wide. Nipple hypertrophy can be present during puberty but can also be caused by pregnancy, breastfeeding, or trauma to the tissue. When performing a nipple reduction, the focus is more commonly on the projection, or height, of the nipple. The diameter, or width, of the nipple can also be corrected during the procedure. First, preoperative marks will be drawn on the nipple. Depending on the preference of the patient, a circular mark will be made at the base of the nipple as well as between 6-8mm from the base of the nipple, delineating the new nipple height. If the diameter of the nipple is being reduced, additional rectangular or wedge markings will be made on the top and bottom of the nipple, equaling the amount of tissue to be removed. Only local anesthesia is necessary during a nipple reduction procedure. The base and trunk of the nipple will be infiltrated with lidocaine. Incisions will be made following the preoperative markings. Extra skin will be dissected and removed. Sutures will be used to attach the nipple to the base, reducing the height. If the width of the nipple is being reduced, the skin on the circumference of the nipple will be sutured back together as well. A bandage will be placed over the nipple and areola. Most patients are recovered 2 weeks after the procedure.
The goal of a nipple reduction is to reduce the projection or diameter of the nipple.
What to Expect
Nipple reduction surgery involves decreasing the size of protruding or disproportionately large nipples and trimming excess tissue to create an aesthetically balanced breast. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after a nipple reduction.
- Stop taking blood thinning and anti-inflammatory medications for 2 weeks
- Stop smoking 4 weeks before and after the procedure
- No alcohol 2 days prior
- No eating or drinking 6 hours before the procedure
- Preoperative marks on the nipple
- Local anesthesia
- Incisions made
- Skin undermined and excised
- Sutures to close
Most patients are able to return to work 1-2 days after the procedure. Patients should refrain from strenuous or sexual activity for 7-10 days. If the nipple reduction is performed in conjunction with additional surgeries such as an areola reduction or breast augmentation, recovery time may be longer.
The ideal candidate for a nipple reduction is self conscious of the size of their nipples and has realistic expectations from surgery.
Not Recommended For
Nipple reduction is not recommended for women who plan on breastfeeding after surgery as this can affect results.
Side effects of nipple reduction may include infection, prolonged pain, asymmetry, loss of sensation either temporary or permanent, heightened sensitivity, numbness, loss of pigment, visible scarring, reduced ability to breast feed, or loss of nipple.