Nipple reduction surgery is a relatively quick, safe procedure that can reduce the size of one or both nipples. This procedure shortens nipple length and reduces width, creating more balance between the nipple and areola. It can be performed on men and women, though it’s more commonly sought out by women whose nipples have become stretched and droopy after breastfeeding. Nipple reduction is not recommended for women who plan on breastfeeding after surgery as this can affect results.
- If you have inverted nipples.
- If your nipples/areolas have changed with aging.
- If you have overly large nipples/areolas.
- If you have asymmetrical nipples/areolas.
- If your nipples that point downward.
- If you’ve had a mastectomy or gynecomastia surgery.
- It can make stretched, droopy nipples smaller and more symmetrical.
- It can make nipples look more well proportioned.
- The procedure is minimally invasive and doesn’t usually require significant downtime.
- Nipple reduction can make both the breasts and nipples look more youthful.
- The appearance of your breast is as close as possible to the appearance prior to your mastectomy or gynecomastia surgery.
You may be a candidate for nipple/areola reduction surgery if:
- You are dissatisfied with your nipple/areola shape and volume after pregnancy, weight loss, or with aging
- You are finished with childbearing and breast-feeding. (If you plan to have children, you may want to postpone surgery.)
- You are healthy and you aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding
- You are maintaining a stable weight
- When unsupported, your nipples fall below the breast crease
- Your nipples and areolas point downward
- You have stretched skin and enlarged areolas
- Your nipples/areolas are asymmetrical
- You have realistic expectations
- You are a non-smoker
Following the procedure, a non-adherent gauze dressing and a generous amount of ointment will be placed onto your breast and held in place by surgical tape. The dressing will need to be changed every few hours for the first few days. If you have been tattooed as a part of your reconstruction, it is important not to let the tattoo get dry, or to allow excessive friction between clothing and the tattoo during this time.
Reconstruction of the nipple and areola is usually an outpatient procedure requiring less than an hour to complete. Most patients will have some mild pain or discomfort which may be treated with mild painkillers and will be able to return to their normal activities within a few days.
The results of nipple/areola surgery are permanent. An initial period of swelling and bruising often obscures the results. As the swelling subsides, your breasts will settle into their final position. You’ll notice that your areolas appear smaller and more centered. You’ll also notice a ring-shaped scar around your new areola. This can take up to one year to heal.