For women and men with an overly large nipple-areolar complex, nipple reduction surgery can create a more aesthetically pleasing shape and size and eliminate awkwardness and feeling self-conscious.If you feel that your nipples are too large, prominent or out of proportion with your chest, Dr. Shapiro offers a fast procedure that is performed under local anesthesia. This procedure has a very short recovery time with a very high patient satisfaction rate.
This procedure offers the following benefits:
• Corrects long or overly prominent nipples
• Improves symmetry of the nipple size and shape
• Corrects asymmetry
• Rejuvenates nipples after pregnancy and breastfeeding
Nipple Reduction Surgery
The nipple-areolar complex may be reduced using two primary methods. The first is reducing the nipple itself if it is too long or wide. The areola, or the dark pigmentation around the nipple, may be too large or puffy. The nipple and areola may be reduced together or just one may be reduced.
If the nipple will be reduced, Dr. Shapiro will remove part of the tip, then suture the skin inward to reduce length. To reduce nipple width, Dr. Shapiro will reduce the circumference underneath the skin, then suture the incision closed. Both may be performed at the same time.
The circumference of the areola may also be reduced in a simple procedure. A circular incision is first made around the areola and an even circle of the areola is removed. This will result in a circular scar that eventually fades very well. Many patients do not even have a visible scar.
Many patients choose to have this procedure performed at the same time as other procedures, such as a breast lift or augmentation. The results of this surgery are permanent, although the breasts will still be subject to aging and sagging over time.
Inverted Nipple Repair Surgery
Inverted nipples may also be corrected. There are varying stages of this issue, and each determines how inverted the nipple is and how likely a woman will be able to breastfeed in the future. With the first degree of inversion, the nipples can “come out” when cold or stimulated. In this case, milk ducts are not harmed and are easily preserved during surgery.
In the case of second degree inversion, the nipples are harder to evert but may “come out” temporarily during stimulation. There may be damage to the milk ducts, but breastfeeding is still possible. In third degree inversion, the nipples never come out. In this case, hygiene can be a problem, and the milk ducts are restrained by fibrous tissue beneath the skin.
Dr. Shapiro corrects inverted nipples by making very small incisions to free the nipple from fibrous tissue. Internal sutures prevent the nipple from inverting again, and an external “purse string” suture will give the nipple a place to rest as it heals. This surgical procedure is very straightforward and performed under local anesthetic in Dr. Shapiro’s Scottsdale office.
Recovery from Nipple Surgery
Recovery from nipple reduction or inverted nipple repair is quick and fairly painless. Dr. Shapiro may prescribe oral pain medication, but most patients do not need it. Most patients can return to work and normal activities within a couple days, although strenuous activity should be avoided for up to one month.
Some patients experience bruising, which should dissipate on its own within one to two weeks. Tingling or numbness of the nipples is fairly common and part of the healing process. These sensations typically disappear within four to six weeks.
During the first week, it is best to sleep on your back to help the healing process. Dr. Shapiro may have you wear a surgical bra for the first few days to hold the breasts in the correct position.
Are You a Candidate?
If you have long, asymmetrical, or overly large nipples, and you feel self-conscious and want to change the appearance of your nipples, you may be a good candidate for this procedure. Good candidates should be in good physical health with no history of breast disease and non-smokers. If you are concerned about the size or appearance of your nipples or areolas, schedule a consultation with Dr. Shapiro to find out if you are a good candidate and discuss whether this procedure is appropriate.