Both men and women can feel self-conscious about their nipples. Certain conditions can cause changes in the appearance of the nipples. From cosmetic problems to functional issues, there are different types of nipple procedures to address your concerns. 

Cosmetic Procedures for the Nipple

Nipple Reconstruction

Nipple reconstructive surgery either restores an existing nipple or creates a new nipple entirely. It’s typically performed following a mastectomy or part of breast reconstruction surgery. Some male patients may request a nipple reconstruction after a botched surgery for gynaecomastia.

Nipple Reduction

Nipple reduction surgery is to correct enlarged nipples. Enlarged nipples can be a problem for both men and women. It can make you feel self-conscious especially wearing tight clothing or topless. Nipple reduction is a simple and straightforward surgery that can reduce prominent nipples. 

There are several techniques you can use to correct enlarged nipples. You can have a nipple reduction as a standalone procedure or alongside other treatments like breast augmentation, breast lift, or breast reduction

Nipple Inversion

Nipple inversion surgery is also known as inverted nipple surgery. During the procedure, your surgeon will correct inverted nipples to a more natural outward position. When you have inverted nipples, the nipple is either pulled into the breast or flat. 

Your surgeon will either cut or stretch the milk duct to remove the tension pulling the nipple inward. This pushes the nipple to face outward. It’s a straightforward procedure and a simple fix for inverted nipples. 

Nipple Repositioning

This type of nipple procedure lifts the nipples into a perkier position. Weight loss, pregnancy, and childbirth can all change the nipple position and cause sagging. You often see low nipples with enlarged breasts. During the procedure, the nipples are lifted into a perkier, younger-looking position. A nipple lift is part of both breast reduction and breast lift surgery. 

Areola reduction

The areola is the darker skin around the nipple. If you feel that this area is too large, you may be a good candidate for areola reduction surgery. The procedure is usually performed under local anaesthetics. Your surgeon removes excess pigmented skin and brings the skin surrounding the nipple inward. The result is a smaller areola more in proportion with your nipple and breasts. 

Depending on your individual situation, the benefits of nipple procedures include: 

  • Improved confidence and self-esteem 
  • Potential to breastfeed following nipple inversion surgery 

Who is the Ideal Candidate for Nipple Surgery?

The ideal candidate for nipple surgery is a healthy patient and non-smoker. They don’t like or have a problem with their nipples. Maybe they have sagging nipples and stretched breast skin or depressed or flat nipples. The patient needs to have realistic expectations of the results of the nipple procedure and fully understand the process. 

How Long Does it Take to Recover from Nipple Procedures?

The recovery timeline is dependent on the complexity and range of surgeries you undergo. For standalone nipple surgeries, there is usually minimal downtime and a short recovery period. With inverted nipple surgery, the recovery is about 4-5 days. This is when the sutures are removed, and you can return to normal activities. But if your surgery is part of a bigger procedure like breast reduction, breast augmentation, or a breast lift, there will be a longer recovery. Your surgeon will discuss your recovery during your consultation that fits your specific needs. 

What are the Potential Risks and Side Effects of Nipple Procedures?

Like all surgery, nipple procedure carries their own potential risks and side effects, including: 

  • Breastfeeding issues 
  • Numb/loss of nipple sensation
  • Scarring 
  • Bleeding 
  • Infection 
  • Swelling 
  • A nipple that inverts again 

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