Nipple reduction surgery – nipple and areola reduction procedure

  Home   Search   Resources   Link to Us   Site Map   Contact Us  
Sponsored Articles
homeBreast EnhancementNipple Reduction

Nipple Reduction

Nipple Reduction Surgery

Problem with Large Nipples & What to Expect During Nipple Reduction Surgery?

Nipple reduction surgery is most often requested by women who were born with overly large nipples or areolas (the pigmented area around the nipple). Overly large nipples can cause embarrassment when they are erect as well as make the fitting of bras uncomfortable. Many women also prefer the more demure appearance of smaller nipples as well as a less prominent areola as both are less noticeable under clothing.

While large nipples are usually genetically determined, genes do not always cause large nipples. Nipples can be enlarged though sexual practices that involve tugging, pinching or pulling and piercing. Previous breast surgeries and (very rarely) nursing can also produce enlarged nipples. In general, it is thought that any type of prolonged stimulation to the nipple area can cause them to become permanently elongated, swollen or prominent in appearance.

Nipple reduction surgery can be done on its own or it can also be done in conjunction with areola reduction surgery. Areola reduction around the nipple can give as much aesthetic appeal as a nipple reduction. Keep in mind as well that some plastic surgeons call nipple reduction surgery areola reduction surgery even though technically the nipple is a different part of the anatomy from the areola. At times, breast and nipple reduction surgery is done as a single procedure.

Whether or not a nipple is too large, long or protruding might be a matter of aesthetic opinion but there are a few medical guidelines that define when a nipple is too big. A nipple that requires nipple reduction surgery is usually one that is long and droopy or fat and squat. The nipple may also never invert and always remains in an erect condition. A nipple reduction is almost always done for cosmetic reasons as enlarged nipples rarely cause any physical discomfort. This is also why it is a surgery that is rarely covered by health insurance.

Nipple Reduction Surgery - Procedure

There are over twenty methods that a plastic surgeon can use to perform a nipple reduction and consultation with him or her before the operation can determine the specific plan of action that is best for you. Some of the approaches that your physician may suggest to you include:
  • Removing just the top of the nipple and closing it with sutures to make it shorter
  • Removing a band of skin from the base of the nipple, pushing it back into the breast and then sealing it in that position with sutures
  • Removing fatty tissue from beneath the areola to allow the nipple to sit deeper in the breast.
The good news is that a nipple reduction is not a very invasive procedure and can be done under local anesthesia in your plastic surgeon’s office. The bad news is that you may require several trips for touch ups. This may be required to make the shortened nipples “match up”. It is difficult for the surgeon to tell at first how nipples will heal and if they will heal in a way that makes them look symmetrical with each other. In fact, nipple reduction surgery is one of the few surgeries that is largely done “by eye” so make sure you pick a plastic surgeon with a talent for balance.

The procedure is so simple that most patients don’t require any sedation at all and only a local anesthetic is used in the breast area. Often you leave the office with nothing more than a light bandage over the nipple. Sedation or anesthesia is only required if you are having the procedure done in conjunction with a larger operation such as reconstructive breast surgery, a breast lift or breast implants.

A nipple reduction may also be combined with what is called an areola reduction. Areolas require reduction when they become large, puffy and uneven in color and diameter. Sometimes this condition is caused by genetics and sometimes it is caused by trauma to the breast through sexual practices or breast feeding. In this case skin may be gathered at the point around the base of the nipples and removed as part of the overall reduction.

Nipple & Areola Reduction Surgery – Recovery

Recovery after a nipple reduction is usually very rapid and usually you can return to work on the same day. Some people experience a loss of nipple sensation that lasts about a week. However be forewarned that the nerves in the nipples and areola are a very complex network and sometimes a permanent loss of sensation is the result of surgery. If scars occur in the form of a lightening of the tissue where the nipple has been operated on, a procedure called areola tattooing does exist to give the affected area back its dark pink color.

Before you decide to have nipple reduction surgery, keep in mind that the results are often permanent and that there is no such thing as a nipple implant to replace a nipple that “once was too long, but now is too short.” This is why it is so important for you to discuss the results of your nipple reduction surgery with your doctor beforehand to make sure that you are aware of the cosmetic anomalies that can occur as a result of the operation.