Nipple surgery can make you feel more comfortable and less embarrassed about your nipples

nipple surgery before and after

You’ve been looking forward to the tropical beach holiday for months now. And with only a few weeks to go, it’s time to be brave and head to the swimwear shops.

Looking through the brightly coloured racks of swimwear, you find your size and head to the change rooms.

You hate trying on bathing costumes but know it’s going to be even more challenging with your 4 year old child with you. As they sit on the change room floor playing with your iPhone you get out of your jeans and slip on the bikini bottoms. They fit well, so now it’s time to try on the top.

As you slip your bra off and try on the bikini top you hear your child giggling loudly before they say loudly, “Mummy, why do your nipples look so funny?”

Mortified you decide to buy it and hurriedly get back into your clothes. At the cash register your child has decided to ask you again, “Mummy one of your nipples is so long and the other one hides away…why?”

The sales assistant looks at you and then says something you didn’t expect to hear…“I couldn’t help but overhear and my child did the same thing…I struggled for years feeling upset and embarrassed with my nipples, but then I did something about it”

And from your child making a loud comment about your nipples you find out that nipple surgery can increase, decrease and change the shape of your nipple and areola area.

What does nipple surgery involve?

The nipple comprises of the areola, the pigmented circle of skin around the nipple and the central nipple, where all the milk ducts from the breast lead. Nipples can develop abnormally, become unsightly after breastfeeding or because of large breast development. Common conditions that females and males want to correct through nipple surgery include:

  • Large and/or stretched areolas,
  • Inverted nipples,
  • Stretched and long nipples after piercings or breast feeding, and
  • Asymmetric nipples.

Nipples can also be removed during mastectomy operations for breast cancer. The variety of procedures to correct these problems is called nipple surgery.

It can be done in combination with other breast surgeries such as a breast lift or breast augmentation.

What types of people get nipple surgery?

People who seek out nipple surgery dislike some aspect of their nipple and would like it to be corrected. It’s important to note that potential candidates for nipple surgery need to be physically healthy, psychologically stable, and have realistic expectations for their nipple surgery.

Male and females may be potential candidates for nipple surgery if they:

  • Believe the nipples are too large in proportion to their breasts
  • Have inverted or protruding nipples, or
  • Have asymmetrical nipples.

What are the different types of techniques performed during nipple surgery?

Nipple surgery techniques that may be used by your Cosmetic Surgeon include correcting inverted nipples, reducing long or large nipples, and reconstructing nipples.

Inverted nipple correction:

Inverted nipples affect about 2% of women and can be distressing as there is usually a hole or slit at the location at one or both nipples. Function problems can develop because of nipple inversion including rashes, irritation, and discomfort – it can even prevent the ability to breast-feed.

While inverted nipples may be a congenital problem, it can also be a result of a previous breast surgery, infection in the ducts, or scarring from breast-feeding.

To correct your inverted nipples, your Cosmetic Surgeon can use two techniques: one that divides the milk ducts and one that leaves milk ducts intact. Whichever surgery you have, the aim is to reshape the nipple and areola so the nipple projects out from your breast.

1 Milk Ducts Intact Inverted Nipple Correction:
If you have this procedure your Cosmetic Surgeon will make an incision around the base of the nipple on your areola. The nipple and areola tissue will then be lifted from your breast and stitched into a new, projecting shape. It is important to note that due to the circular shape of the nipple scars and the style of suturing, you will have increased nipple projection.

2 Milk Ducts Divided Inverted Nipple Correction:
This nipple surgery cosmetic procedure is the most common way to correct inverted nipples. An incision will be made at your nipple base to detach the milk ducts, and then is closed with sutures to create a more natural looking nipple projection. Most patients who have this type of inverted nipple correction have quick recovery and can usually return to work and life in a few hours.

Nipple Reconstruction:

Nipple reconstruction can be performed using two main methods either under a local anaesthetic with intravenous sedation as a day-surgery admission or with a general anaesthetic.

  1. The two-staged reconstruction: A nubbin is made on the reconstructed breast mound, and is then tattooed to recreate your areola. This nubbin is created with skin flaps raised from the local tissues, sutured and wrapped to create height and projection.
  2. Nipple-sharing technique: An opposite nipple and areolar is used as a graft to create a nipple on the reconstruction side. This may require a large nipple-areola complex on the normal side. This method has the disadvantage of creating scars on your donor breast.

Areola reduction surgery:

Areola reduction surgery is often performed at the same time as a breast reduction or breast lift surgery.

The areola (the circular pigmented area surrounding your nipple) has a presence of areolar glands and is marked with little projections. Some people have enlarged areolas, which can cause distress and lead to low self-esteem. Enlarged areolas may develop because of genetic disposition, ageing, heavy breasts, pregnancy or breast-feeding.

Areola reduction surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and usually takes 1-2 hours. You will need to wear dressings for at least 1 week after this surgery. Recovery varies from patient to patient, but most people return to work and normal activities within a few days.

What is the recovery process after nipple surgery?

Most Cosmetic Surgeons perform nipple surgery as a day procedure. This means you will be able to go home to recover. The amount of time taken to recover from nipple surgery varies from patient to patient. Most patients report they can resume their work and usual lives within a few days.

It is important to note that the ability to breastfeed after nipple surgery can be unpredictable. If your inverted nipples were corrected during surgery, your milk ducts will have been divided or lengthened meaning you won’t be able to breastfeed.

The skin of your breast area will be swollen and can be shiny in appearance – this is normal and will subside after a few weeks. For a few days after surgery you could experience pain. This can be relieved with pain medication.

Scarring is a normal consequence of any surgical procedure and while your Cosmetic Surgeon cannot guarantee a perfect scar-free outcome, they will do their bet to minimise scarring. After nipple surgery, your scars will usually be red. Over a few months they will fade to a lighter pink and will be barely noticeable.

The numbness you may experience around the surgical area is normal and for most patients reduces after 6 weeks. Your breasts can heal at different rates with one breast swelling and the other breast feeling okay.

How do I find the best Australian Cosmetic Surgeons that perform nipple surgery?

While nipple surgery is usually safe and effective, complications and risks can occur. This type of cosmetic surgery improves the shape, size and symmetry of your nipples. It is important to consider all your options carefully and have realistic expectations about the results.

The benefits of having nipple surgery include:

  • Feeling more comfortable with the size and shape of your nipple, and
  • Increased self-esteem and confidence.

To understand if you are a suitable candidate for nipple surgery, your Cosmetic Surgeon will carry out a detailed assessment. The type of nipple surgery technique your Cosmetic Surgeon uses will depend on your desired final outcome.

You can find the best Australian Cosmetic Surgeons specialising in nipple surgery here.

 

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