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Nipple Reduction

Nipple reduction surgery is sought after by women who have overly large nipples or areolas. Overly Nipple reduction surgery large nipples can cause embarrassment when erect as well as make the fitting of bras uncomfortable. A smaller nipple as well as a less prominent areola is preferred as both are less noticeable under clothing.

Nipples can be enlarged, swollen or prominent in appearance, through prolonged stimulation or sexual practices which may involve pinching or pulling, tugging and piercing. Previous breast surgeries and nursing can also produce enlarged nipples. Many women request a nipple reduction because breast feeding has permanently altered the shape and size of their nipples, making them longer and somewhat droopy. Nipple reduction surgery 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.

There are a few factors that needs to be looked into to assertain whether or not a nipple is too large. A nipple that requires reduction surgery normally is long and droopy or fat and squat, 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. Sensation is almost always normal following a nipple reduction and the ability to breast feed can usually be easily preserved.


Nipple Reduction Surgery - Procedure

There are many methods to perform a nipple reduction surgery. A few options may 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 procedure is done on an outpatient basis and is done under local anesthesia. Sedation is not required unless it is combined with other larger procedures. There may be several trips required for touch ups to attain symmetry. This procedure may also be combined with 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.


There are certain risks associated with nipple reduction surgery. Some of these include:

  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Swelling

Other potential risks associated with nipple reduction surgery include:

  • Asymmetrical results, meaning the nipples do not match in size or shape following the surgery
  • Feeling unhappy with the results because too much or not enough tissue was removed
  • Loss of ability to breast feed, though this complication is rare and should not occur unless the ducts are cut
  • Loss of sensation in the nipple or breast area

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. Since it is complex network of nerves there are chances of permanent loss of sensation as a result of surgery.

The sutures may be dissolvable or the patient may return to the doctor's office 4 to 7 days after the nipple reduction to have the stitches removed.
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 earlier shade.

This procedure cannot be reversed and hence one needs to consult with a surgeon in depth for attaining the best results.


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