What happens to your Nipples During Breast Surgery?

What happens to your Nipples when you have a breast lift or reduction?

First, be sure you’ve read the procedure pages for the surgery you’re considering.

This will give you details of your surgical procedure and is a quick and easy read. In general, however, what happens to your NIPPLES during reshaping and UPLIFT types of breast surgery is:

  • you’ll discuss your preferences for nipple shape and location (position) with your Surgeon
    • In a lift, the breasts are about the same size (volume) after surgery and may seem slightly smaller due to uplifted skin
    • In a reduction, breasts are smaller and lighter in weight and volume
    • Nipples in BOTH surgeries are moved to become elevated and centralised on the breast mound

You can also CHANGE YOUR NIPPLE size through NIPPLE SURGERY procedures during these breast procedures

  • The SHAPE can also be more rounded rather than oblong and you can also have surgery to correct for an INVERTED NIPPLE
  • Get PDF downloadable GUIDES to your surgery option(s) by clicking here to download the ebooks (no charge).

During nipple surgery, your Surgeon surgically re-shapes your nipples, often to a smaller or more rounded appearance; inverted nipples can also be corrected. These are then repositioned to a better location on the newly shaped breast mound.

Does nipple surgery mean I won’t feel my nipples again or be able to breastfeed?

  • Temporary disruption and sensation changes are expected; for most but not all patients, these are transient
  • Because your Surgeon is careful to avoid functional disruption to your nipple(s) and NAC
  • He or she will position your EXISTING nipples, newly reshaped and/or smaller nipples if desired, on your uplifted breast mounds (smaller if reduced, roughly the same size if just a lift, or larger and uplifted if a Mastopexy-Augmentation with implants

Remember, there ARE risks to all breast surgery AND results can vary significantly from patient to patient.

Nipple Surgery

what-happens-to-your-nipples-during-breast-reduction-surgery-melbourne - best breast surgeons in Melbourne

The main objective of most nipple surgery, performed on its own OR as part of your Breast Reduction or Uplift or Mastopexy-Aug, is to:

  • Reshape the nipples to reduce asymmetry or elongation (optional)
  • Resize the nipples to attain better balance on the breast tissues (optional)
  • REPOSITION the nipples more centrally on the breast mound (but in a natural-looking way).
  • the sutures around your nipples tend to fade into the outer ridge of the nipple, but this can vary from patient to patient
  • you’ll also have a scar down the front of your breast, if using a le jour reduction technique, and it’s important to wear the post-op garments as instructed to keep your scars as minimal as possible

Get the Guide to Nipple Surgery and Breast Shaping!

We have several surgery guides to help you learn about your procedure.


Where are your nipples positioned on the breast tissues now?

  • The primary concerns women have with their nipple appearance is typically related to ptosis (position and laxity) NOT size or shape
  • Some women have concerns about both but you DO have options to reshape and resize the nipple as it’s being adjusted

Pregnancy and breastfeeding or weight changes OFTEN elongates the nipples and they may become more uneven in appearance

Breast Ptosis (meaning skin sagging or drooping tissues) is a benign condition that may be treated surgically.

Does MEDICARE pay for nipple surgery?

If you have inverted nipples, contact us for information. If your surgery is breast VOLUME related and you have a medically warranted procedure and referral, read the next blog: Read: Will Medicare cover a breast reduction?

Not all breast surgery is cosmetic; but most are considered to be elective, and if so, insurance and medicare will NOT pay for most breast/nipple surgery. In very few cases, a small rebate might apply. Phone 1300 599 990 and Ask for Lyshai for information.

nipple surgery and inverted nipples after breast surgery Melbourne location

How nipples appear AFTER surgery will depend on your preferences for size and shape and how much the skin envelope has stretched. There may be skin-laxity related limitations to what can be achieved, but our experts can provide a nicely shaped, well balanced breast shape and nipple position during customised Plastic Surgery of the breasts.

Communication with your Selected Breast Surgeon is a great way to start the discovery process. Find out what YOUR breasts and nipples can look like after surgery by arranging a consultation today – phone 1300 599 990 and ask to see one of our leading Melbourne Breast Surgery experts.

This blog is best read in conjunction with our Breast Reduction procedure page or Breast lift page.

Nipple Reshaping Surgery RISKS

Does having breast reduction risk the Nipple Area or breastfeeding?

The nipple-areola complex area is shown in the diagram shown below. (Source: http://pubs.rsna.org/doi/pdf/10.1148/rg.292085128).

  • Nipple surgery and breast reduction IS complex
  • All invasive surgery has risks you should be aware of (visit the cosmetic surgery risks page)
  • Surgery MAY impact on nipple function, but risks of this occurring CAN be reduced (not fully prevented) by choosing the most qualified Plastic Surgeon for your procedure (a cosmetic surgeon is NOT a plastic surgeon so be sure you know the difference).

Although no guarantee nipple function will remain intact, a good Plastic Surgeon will aim to minimise changes to your nipple function during Breast Reduction or Breast Lift Surgery.

  • But if you choose a cheap surgeon who has less experience or isn’t a FRACS qualified specialist, you could end up with some serious nipple problems – and not everything can be fixed.

So choose your Surgeon wisely (our team are widely regarded Specialists in Breast Reduction Procedures including nipple reshaping) AND do your research. Be sure you read the Breast Surgery GUIDES.


Good communication with your Plastic Surgeon is required to get the nipple appearance or reshaping you seek through breast surgery.

The existing shape, size, colour AND nipple-areolar complex or “NAC” position – along with your overall chest anatomy and skin – will impact your ultimate nipple surgery results.

  • Be sure you keep your expectations realistic
  • Read up on the procedure and understand the risks
  • Ensure GOOD communication with your Surgeon about your preferences for nipple shape, placement, size and/or appearance.
  • Be honest about your medical history and smoking status

You should let your Surgeon know your preferences for nipple size, location and shape to get a result you’re happy with.

  • If you LIKE the existing shape and size of your nipples, be sure to tell your Surgeon.
  • If YES, and you want no size or shape changes, these CAN remain the same for some patients, but they will be repositioned
  • Be sure you discuss this in detail with your Plastic Surgeon
  • Once located higher on the chest wall, they may have a different appearance as well as position
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NAC Incisions: suturing around the nipple after surgery

  • Incisions around the nipples can vary depending on the type of surgery you’re having.
  • Ask your Surgeon which methods they use – the Le Jour incision technique or “Le Jour Lollipop” Breast lift and Breast Reduction incision strategy is a great technique to minimise scars after Breast Reduction and gets excellent results for most patients.
  • The nipple area will have a scar after surgery. However, for many women, the scar around the nipple fades or blends into the outer edge of the NAC.

What SCARS will I have around my nipples?

  • Scars after nipple repositioning surgery are aimed to blend around the outer edge of your nipple-areola complex.
  • The image shown below is of well-matured scars. This is a particularly exceptional scar healing result by Dr Rubinstein.
  • Remember, your results and scars can vary.

But be sure you take advantage of the RAPID RECOVERY PACK and healing aids, and the right post-op garments are imperative to reduce breast and nipple scars after uplift types of breast surgery.

Most patients sharing their experiences on public forums rate their satisfaction with Breast reshaping surgery as very high to extremely high.

Breast Surgery is actually one of our Surgeon’s Areas of expertise for Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery in Melbourne.

Our Team’s top Specialist Plastic Surgeons for Breast Lift and Breast Reduction Surgery include:

Dr Craig RubinsteinDr Patrick Briggs

Visit our Breast Reduction pages for details.



Further Reading about Breast Surgery

Last updated: 12/09/2023
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Lyshai Brombara
Lyshai - Patient Liaison Manager at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Lyshai appreciates the organisation required to get things done in today’s hectic life. Her role as Patient Experience Manager Lyshai is a great guide for your plastic surgery journey.

Specialist Plastic Surgeons and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeons are dedicated to best-practice patient care and education, customising Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday.

Phone 1300 599 990, Email us: enquiries@cocoruby.com.au or Book a FREE 15-minute Phone Chat with our Patient Liaison Manager or a Consultation with a Surgeon.

Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.