What is a Nipple Reduction?

Nipple reduction is a surgical procedure correcting puffy, drooping, long, or large nipples, enhancing the shape, size, and overall appearance of the breast. Ideal candidates for this procedure are in general good health and have an understanding of the limitations, risks, and results associated with the surgery. There is no alternative to this procedure. Problematic nipples must be surgically repaired to achieve the desired look and results. Nipple reduction surgery is a fairly simple and straightforward procedure. Performed using local anesthetic, the procedure takes about an hour, in most cases, and it is an outpatient procedure, meaning you will leave the hospital or clinic the same day. The surgeon simply makes a small incision in the nipple, and then removes excess tissue to achieve the desired results. The incision, which should heal quickly, is then stitched shut and covered with gauze. Patients must wear a special surgical bra for optimal positioning for healing.

What to Expect After Nipple Reduction Surgery

During the first couple of days following your nipple reduction procedure, you will be somewhat drowsy and sore. These sensations will soon fade and you will be able to resume your normal routine in no time. Your stitches will be removed within five to seven days. Shiny skin, bruising, numbness, and tingling are common. This should disappear within the first few weeks following surgery.

For optimal healing, patients should sleep on their backs, and wear the special compression bra constantly during the first few days post surgery. Patients can then switch to a more comfortable bra that should be worn even when sleeping until the healing process is complete (about six weeks). Take note that tight bras can impede the healing process, so ensure that the bra you choose is loose and comfortable but capable of holding the breasts in position. You breasts may not heal at the same rate; this is perfectly normal.

You can resume most normal activities within a day or two of surgery – driving, working, going to school, showering, etc. Sex should be avoided for the first week, strenuous exercise for two or three weeks, and scars should not be exposed to sunlight for the first year. The results of a successful nipple reduction are permanent. Any drooping or sagging of the breast is a part of the natural aging process, and not a result of the procedure. Like any surgery, nipple reduction carries some possible risks and side effects, the majority of which are minimized by following the post-surgical care instructions given by your doctor. Infection, scarring, and loss of sensation can occur.

Nipple surgery can be performed alongside other breast surgeries, such as breast lift, breast augmentation, or breast reduction. An elective cosmetic procedure, patients should expect to pay out-of-pocket for this procedure, as most insurance companies will not pay for this surgery. During your initial consultation, your doctor will discuss the specifics of the procedure, as well as costs and payment plans, ensuring you have a full understanding before you commit to nipple reduction surgery.

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