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. There are two main types of nipple reconstruction:

  • Skin graft reconstruction – for this type of surgery, skin will be removed from another part of the body like your buttocks, thighs, or stomach and used to create a new nipple. 
  • Skin flap reconstruction – during this type of reconstruction, your surgeon will raise small skin flaps from around the area to create a new nipple. They will then sew the flaps of skin together over the skin to create a bump that will be your brand new nipple. 

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. A nipple reduction is a straightforward procedure that can reduce the width and height of the nipple. You can also reshape the nipple and treat asymmetries. 

Third Nipple Removal

In some cases, people have more than 2 nipples. If you don’t like the appearance of an additional nipple, you can have third nipple removal or extra nipple removal. The procedure is relatively straightforward and involves a small incision to allow your surgeon to remove the additional nipple. The incision site is then closed. 

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. Your surgeon will preserve the nerves and blood vessels during the procedure so that you retain sensation in the nipples and the ability to breastfeed. A nipple lift is part of both breast reduction and breast lift surgery. Any procedure that moves the position of the nipple will leave a small scar around the circumference of the nipple.  

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 and takes 1 hour. 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. 

A small reduction will leave a slightly visibly scar around the base of the nipple. But larger reductions will leave a bigger scar around the edges of the areola.  

What are the Benefits of Nipple Procedures?

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

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

What Happens During Your Consultation?

During your consultation, you will talk about concerns and medical history. Your surgeon will advise you on the best procedure for your specific concern and talk you through what to expect from the entire process. They will then determine if you are suitable for the 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. 

Who is Not a Suitable Candidate for a Nipple Correction Procedure?

Nipple correction procedures may be suitable for everyone. You are likely not suitable for these procedures if any of the following apply:

  • Smoker’s who don’t want to quit
  • Unstable weight 
  • Unrealistic expectations 

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. 

When Will You See the Results from Nipple Procedures?

In most cases, you will see results immediately after your surgery, but there will be some swelling for several weeks after the procedure. Depending on the type of procedure you have, you can expect to be fully healed between 5-10 days. 

Are the Results Permanent?

Yes, nipple procedures provide permanent results. In the case of a nipple lift within a breast lift, some patients find they need a touch-up procedure to maintain the results. Breast lifts can last as long as 10-15 years but are still eventually affected by the ageing process. 

Are Nipple Procedures Painful?

All procedures use a local anaesthetic, so the procedure itself is painless. There may be some mild pain after the surgery, which can be easily managed with over-the-counter painkillers. 

Can You Breastfeed After Nipple Procedures?

The primary aim of the surgeon is to retain the ability to breastfeed. However, your surgeon cannot guarantee that you will be able to breastfeed after surgery. Patients who have undergone nipple inversion correction surgery have gone on to breastfeed. 

What is a Puffy Nipple, and How Can You Fix It?

A puffy nipple occurs when there’s a mound that forms around the nipple away from the chest. They can occur in both men and women and are caused by genetics, hormones, diet, steroid use, and medications. A nipple reduction can fix a puffy nipple. 

What Are Inverted Nipples and What Causes Them?

Inverted nipples are nipples that point inward or flat on the chest. They can occur in one breast or both and affect men and women. Inverted nipples can be caused by several factors like genetics, breastfeeding, age, and injury. The most effective treatment for inverted nipples is inverted nipple correction surgery. 

How Can You Fix Protruding Nipples?

You can fix protruding nipples with nipple reduction surgery.

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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