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What happens to your Nipples During Breast Surgery?

What happens to your Nipples when you have a breast lift (mastopexy) 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. 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 (mastopexy), 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 different 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

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 address the balance on the breast tissues (optional)
  • REPOSITION the nipples more centrally on the breast mound
  • 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 (03) 8849 1400 and ask for Lyshai for information.

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.

Communication with your Selected Breast Surgeon is a recommended way to start the discovery process. Find out what YOUR breasts and nipples can look like after surgery by arranging a consultation today – phone (03) 8849 1400 and ask to see one of our Melbourne Breast Surgery Surgeons.

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?

  • 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 general practitioner is NOT a plastic surgeon so be sure you know the difference).

Although no guarantee nipple function will remain intact, a Plastic Surgeon will aim to minimise changes to your nipple function during Breast Reduction or Breast Lift (Mastopexy) 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 honest 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 desire.

  • 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

NAC Incisions: suturing around the nipple after surgery

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.
  • Remember, your results and scars may 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.

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

Dr Craig Rubinstein

Visit our Breast Reduction pages for details.

Further Reading about Breast Surgery

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.

Dr Craig Rubinstein
Dr Broughton Snell
Dr Stephen Kleid
Dr Gary Kode

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001124843

Dr Craig Rubinstein

Dr Craig Rubinstein is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon based in Hawthorn East, Melbourne. With over 20 years of surgical experience especially in all areas of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, but particularly in breast surgery. These include Breast Augmentation and Breast Reduction as well as Breast Surgery Revision.

Furthermore, he believes that surgical customisation, precision planning and technical expertise help him to provide optimal surgical outcomes for his patients.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001190266

Dr Broughton Snell

Dr Broughton Snell is a Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. His training in Plastic Surgery took place in Australia and the United States of America (USA).

Dr Snell is a fully qualified specialist plastic surgeon having completed his Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon MED0001052799

Dr Stephen Kleid

Dr Stephen Kleid is an experienced Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon (Otolaryngologist) based in Melbourne with a passion for Septo-rhinoplasty, Septoplasty, as well as, a strong interest in Rhinoplasty Revision.

Dr Kleid trained at Melbourne University, then completed surgical training at various hospitals including Royal Melbourne, Royal Children’s, The Eye and Ear and St Vincents. He worked as a surgeon at the University of Florida Medical school for further experience.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001405964

Dr Gary Kode

Dr Gary Kode is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, with experience in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as non-surgical treatments.

Dr Kode is a member of several organisations, including the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), The International Confederation for Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, and he holds a Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

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 - Friday.

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.

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