Nipple and Areola surgery, also known as Nipple and Areola Reduction is a cosmetic surgical procedure that may be performed for a number of reasons. Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery offers these surgeries only when done in conjunction with Breast Surgery procedures like Breast Augmentation (Augmentation Mammoplasty), Breast Lift (Mastopexy) and Breast Reduction Nipple Surgery.
Breast Anatomy – the Nipple and Areola Complex
A common misconception is that the nipple is the whole frontal part of the breast. However, the nipple is at the very centre portion of the breast, it is linked with the mammary glands which produce milk. On the other hand, the areola is the darker coloured area that surrounds the nipple. Areolae vary in size and they tend to be round or oval in shape. The entire area is called the Nipple Areola Complex.
Am I a Suitable Candidate for Nipple and Areola Surgery?
Generally, a suitable candidate for Nipple and Areola Surgery is someone who has;
- Dissatisfaction with the appearance of their nipples and areolae, including size, shape, projection, asymmetry, or other aesthetic characteristics.
- Male Gynaecomastia (enlarged male breasts)
- Realistic expectations about the potential outcomes of the surgery.
- Generally good physical and mental health.
- Stable body weight, as significant weight fluctuations can affect surgical results.
- No active breast infections or diseases.
- Nonsmoker or willingness to quit smoking, as smoking can negatively impact healing and surgical outcomes.
- No underlying medical conditions or medications that could increase surgical risks or complications.
- Willingness to follow the surgeon’s pre-operative and post-operative instructions for proper care and recovery.
- Good communication with the surgeon, including a thorough discussion of goals and expectations during the consultation.
- Adequate time for recovery, as downtime and limitations on physical activity are typically required after the procedure.
Potential Outcomes of Nipple and Areola Surgery
Nipple and Areola surgery may have many potential outcomes including;
- Changed Aesthetics: Nipple and Areola Surgery can change the overall appearance of the breasts by addressing concerns such as inverted nipples, over sized or asymmetrical nipples and areolae.
- Symmetry: For individuals with noticeable nipple or areola asymmetry, surgery may help achieve the desired appearance.
- Correction of Gynaecomastia: In cases of Gynaecomastia (enlarged male breasts), nipple and areola surgery may be part of the treatment plan to reduce the size of the areolas.
- Post-Mastectomy Reconstruction: Nipple and areola surgery is often part of breast reconstruction after mastectomy surgery for breast cancer patients.
- Customisation: Nipple and Areola Surgery can be tailored to each patient’s specific desires and concerns. This allows for a personalised approach to address unique aesthetic goals.
It is essential to have a thorough consultation with a qualified Plastic Surgeon experienced in Nipple and Areola Surgery to discuss your specific concerns, goals, and expectations. The surgeon will assess your eligibility for the procedure and help you understand the potential outcomes, risks, and limitations associated with Nipple and Areola Surgery, allowing you to make an informed decision about whether it may be the right option for you.
What to Expect during Nipple and Areola Surgery
Nipple and Areola Surgery, whether for reduction, enhancement, reconstruction, or correction of other concerns typically follows a general process. Here’s what you can generally expect during Nipple and/or Areola surgery.
Before the surgery, your surgeon will provide specific pre-operative instructions, which may include refraining from smoking, avoiding certain medications, and fasting before the procedure.
Nipple and Areola Surgery can be performed under local anaesthesia with sedation or general anaesthesia depending on the extent of the procedure. Your surgeon will discuss the anaesthesia options with you during the consultation.
The surgeon will make precise incisions based on the planned surgical technique. The type and location of incisions will depend on whether the surgery involves nipple reduction, areola reduction, augmentation, reconstruction, or correction of asymmetry.
Depending on the surgical goal, the surgeon will remove or reshape the nipple or areola tissue as needed. For nipple reduction, excess tissue is typically removed. For augmentation or reconstruction, tissue from other areas of the body may be used.
The surgeon will close the incisions with sutures, which may be dissolvable or require removal in a follow-up appointment.
Dressing and Bandaging:
Sterile dressings and bandages will be applied to protect the incisions and promote healing. In some cases a surgical bra may be recommended for support and comfort.
Recovery: After the surgery you will be monitored in a recovery room until you are awake and stable. This is also a time when you can ask questions and receive post-operative instructions.
It is crucial to communicate openly with your surgeon throughout the process, follow their recommendations diligently and allow adequate time for recovery. By doing so, you can achieve the desired aesthetic outcome and minimise the risk of complications. Keep in mind that recovery experiences can vary, so it’s essential to consult with your surgeon for personalised guidance and expectations specific to your case.
Risks and Complications
Like all invasive surgery Nipple and Areola Surgery has several risks and potential complications. These can include but are not limited to;
- Changes in sensation
- Poor wound healing
- Allergic reactions
- Over correction or under correction
- Anaesthesia complications
- Unsatisfactory results
- Revision surgery
To minimise the risks and complications associated with Nipple and Areola Surgery it is crucial to choose a fully qualified Plastic Surgeon with expertise in these procedures, follow their pre-operative and post-operative instructions diligently and maintain open communication throughout the process. Additionally, discussing your medical history and any concerns with your surgeon prior to surgery can help identify and mitigate potential risks specific to your case. Please visit the risks of surgery page.
Follow your Surgeon’s instructions for wound care, including changing dressings and cleaning the surgical site as directed. It is essential to avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting during the initial recovery period. Maintain proper posture to minimise strain on the surgical area. Keep the surgical site dry and avoid submerging it in water until your Surgeon gives you clearance to do so and wear a surgical bra if your Surgeon has requested you to.
Swelling and bruising are common after surgery but should gradually improve over the first few weeks. Elevating your head and upper body while resting can help reduce swelling and applying cold compresses as instructed by your surgeon may also help alleviate swelling and discomfort. Take any prescribed pain medication as directed by your surgeon to manage post-operative discomfort.
Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon. These appointments are crucial for monitoring your progress and addressing any concerns. If your surgery involved non-absorbable sutures, they will typically be removed during one of your follow-up appointments. Your surgeon will provide guidance on when it is safe to return to regular activities, including work and exercise. This timeline can vary depending on the extent of the surgery and your individual healing process.
Follow your Surgeon’s instructions for scar care which may include applying scar creams or silicone sheets to reduce the appearance of scars. The final results of Nipple and Areola Surgery may take several weeks to months to fully manifest as swelling subsides and the tissues settle into their new shape.
FOUR Most Common Procedures for Nipple Surgery and Areola Surgery
The following procedures are only available at Coco Ruby Melbourne when done in conjunction with Breast Surgery.
Nipple Correction Procedure – Inverted Nipple Correction
Inverted nipple correction is a procedure that corrects the nipple. An inverted nipple happens when the nipple is pulled inward into the breast instead of pointing outwards. The condition happens due to a number of reasons. In most cases it is due to the milk ducts that connect to the nipple. The ducts are overly tight and pull the nipple in.
Some of the biggest causes of inverted nipple include:
- Congenital Cause (was present at birth)
- Disease or trauma (any condition that involves inflammation may pull the nipple inward)
- Complications of breast surgery
- Breast duct ectasia (benign breast condition wherein a milk duct widens and its walls thicken)
- Breast cyst
- Benign breast tumour
- Subareolar abscess
- Mastitis (inflammation of breast tissue sometimes accompanied by infection)
- Fat necrosis
The operation involves placing an incision along the edge of the nipple. This is to release overly tight milk ducts. The nipple projects out to its desired position almost instantly. You may notice the improvement right away. The recovery process is simple, you can even start showering the day after the procedure, but keep in mind some bruising and swelling after the surgery is normal and it may last a few days up to a week.
Nipple Reduction Surgery for a Protruding Nipple
Nipple reduction surgery aims to decrease the size of the nipple. Enlarged nipples or nipple hypertrophy happens when milk ducts develop in an enlarged way. Nipple reduction surgery also includes nipple enlargement caused by breastfeeding due to repetitive suction. They may also lead to irritation and chafing from constant rubbing against clothes, thus causing discomfort.
The procedure includes removal of excess parts of the nipple that pose as deformities or contribute to undesirable appearance. The main goal of the surgery is to decrease the projection or diameter of the nipple. The recovery process is usually a couple of weeks.
Nipple Lift Surgery is a key part of Breast Lift (Mastopexy) and Breast Reduction Surgery
A Nipple lift surgery addresses a common concern where the position of the nipples is too low. This usually happens with enlarged or heavy breasts. With time, as the skin ages, the nipples start pointing downward.
During the procedure, the nipples are lifted to the desired position. It may also include repositioning nipples that are too narrowly or too widely located from one another. Nipple lift is also an important part of breast reduction and breast lift procedures. The most essential aspect of the surgery is to preserve the nerves and blood vessels that supply the nipples. This helps maintain sensation in the nipple and supports its breastfeeding ability. Results are immediate, and the procedure can be done on one or both breasts.
Areola Correction Surgery – is a key part of Breast Lif) (Mastopexy0 and Breast Reduction Surgery
Areola Correction or Areola Reduction Surgery is a procedure that decreases the diameter of one or both areolae. You may also a suitable candidate for this surgery if your areolas are protruding – see tuberous breast surgery.
An Areola correction procedure is usually complete in about one hour. The procedure involves the removal of the circular area of the outer brown of the areola. The skin that surrounds it is brought inwards while stitches inside the areola serve to decrease its diameter. The new areola is secured with a permanent suture, which prevents it from stretching again.
Swelling and bruising are normal after the surgery, but they tend to go away within a day or two. It may take a few weeks for you to see the results. Once the areolas heal entirely you will notice they are smaller and more centered.
FAQs about Nipple Surgery
Who is a suitable candidate for nipple reshaping?
- If you have a congenital abnormality affecting nipples or you’re dissatisfied with their appearance.
- Significant weight loss, breastfeeding, enlarged breasts, ageing, poor skin quality & genetics can all be contributors to needing a nipple lift.
How long does Nipple reconstruction surgery take?
- The procedures may last 30 minutes to an hour.
- The exact duration of the procedure depends on the individual case and can be performed in conjunction with other breast surgery such as breast reduction, breast lift (mastopexy) or breast augmentation (implants).
Why do Nipples stay hard after breast implants?
- After breast augmentation procedure nipples may stay hard due to nerve irritation, although uncomfortable, this problem tends to go away by itself in time.
Why Choose Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery?
Not all Surgeons have the same experience or intensive training and testing qualifications. Be sure you learn the differences between a Plastic Surgeon, a General Surgeon, a Medical Practitioner or other types of Surgeon. Also, when choosing a Plastic Surgeon word of mouth is always a great way to gain further knowledge.
Choosing a Specialist Plastic Surgeon means you are choosing an accredited recognised plastic surgeon that performs surgery in an accredited hospital. Look for members of FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons), ASPS (Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons), ASAPS (Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) or ISAPS (The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) as some of the Qualifications of your Plastic Surgeon.
Our Surgeons, Dr Craig Rubinstein, Dr Patrick Briggs, Mr Gary Kode, Dr Broughton Snell are all highly experienced, fully qualified specialist plastic surgeons with current FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) memberships.
Dr Craig Rubinstein, Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Melbourne, Victoria.
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery Melbourne
Master of Plastic Surgery (Melbourne)
FRACS (Plast) Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
Dr Craig Rubinstein is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over 20 years of surgical experience.
If you want to find out more about a procedure book a consultation.
Dr Patrick Briggs, Specialist Plastic Surgeon, Melbourne MED0001537010
FRACS, Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
FRCSI, Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland
FRCS, Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons
Dr Patrick Briggs is an internationally trained, Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over 20 years’ experience.
If you want to find out more about this procedure book a consultation.
How to Book your Initial Consultation
- Email us below or Call on 1300 599 990 to arrange your surgeon consultation appointment OR
- Book a FREE 15-minute Phone Chat with our Patient Liaison Manager. Book Now
- A Referral from your General Practitioner (GP) or from your Medical Specialist is required (as of 1st July 2023).