Nipple Reduction Is Possible

Those who are unhappy with their nipples have options beyond typical breast augmentation. Nipple reduction surgery is an increasingly popular procedure that gives solace to men and women who find flaws in their nipples. Made up of two parts, the nipple contains the areola, which is the colored surface around the nipple, and the actual nipple, which is the part of the breast that protrudes outwards. The type of nipple reduction surgery mentioned here focuses on the actual nipple alone.  

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The Surgery

Patients can choose to undergo nipple reduction when they wish to alter nipple length, width, or both.
When adjusting length, there are two typical methods:

  • Removal of skin from the tip of the nipple
  • Removal of the skin along the neck of the nipple, where the location of incision can then be sutured back to the remaining piece of the nipple

Adjusting nipple width involves:

  • Creating a wedge-shaped incision from the undersurface of the nipple

Both procedures take 30 to 60 minutes and are generally performed under local anesthesia at an outpatient surgical center.

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Because the nature of the procedure is less intensive than most breast augmentations, the recovery period for nipple reduction is fairly moderate. What you can expect during the following days of the operation:

  • Immediately After Surgery: Make arrangements for someone to drive you home after the surgery. Soreness and drowsiness may result.  
  • 24-48 Hours After Surgery: If there are no complications, you can return to work the following day. You can also resume driving at this time.
  • Two Weeks After Surgery: Sexual activity should be avoided during the first week after surgery. At the two-week mark, patients can begin strenuous exercise. Bruises from operation will begin to fade.

Side Effects and Complications

Like any surgical procedure, there are a few physical side effects, and for some extreme cases, complications, that can occur after a nipple reduction.

  • Side Effects: Shiny skin over the area of your breasts may result. This is due to swelling that occurs post-operation. Numbness is a common result of this procedure and will be experienced within the first six weeks after surgery.
  • Complications: Like any surgery, nipple reduction involves a risk of infection. If you believe you have contracted an infection after your operation, consult a doctor immediately. 
    • Scarring around the nipple area and loss of nipple sensation is also possible, however, both are unlikely. 
    • Ability to breastfeed is typically undisturbed by this treatment, but it is not advised to undergo the process while you are nursing or expecting to within a year.

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