Nipple Reduction


Your nipples serve a very important function (breastfeeding!) but if they’re uneven, droopy, or wider than you might like (an issue known as nipple hypertrophy), it can cause you to be uncomfortable. In some cases, there can be extra skin hanging from the nipples or cases where the nipples project out greatly from the breasts. Men may also choose to have nipple reduction surgery. Luckily, a surgical procedure known as nipple reduction can help give you symmetrical, smaller, or less protruding nipples.


Nipples are the raised area in the middle of your breasts not to be confused with your areolas which are the darker, pigmented circular area around your nipples. Though both can be reduced, a nipple reduction surgery concentrates on decreasing the size of the nipple. A nipple reduction in surgical procedure removes extra skin and tissues and gives the nipples a smaller procedure. The surgery isn’t as common as other types of breast surgery but makes a nice addition to breast augmentation, reduction, or a breast lift procedure. You can also have a nipple reduction as a solo procedure. When performed by itself, a nipple reduction is a simple, outpatient procedure that yields great results and less recovery time.

There are choices available for your nipple reduction surgery. Depending on your specific case, you can have a vertical or horizontal incision made for your surgery. You can choose to have your nipple reduction surgery as a solo procedure. You may elect to have your surgery in conjunction with a breast augmentationbreast reduction, or breast lift. You may decide to have nipple surgery and areola surgery to correct the overall size of both.


You may be unhappy with your current nipples for several of reasons. If any of the following issues apply to your situation, nipple reduction surgery may be the perfect fit for you.

  • You’ve recently lost a lot of weight
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding affected your nipple size
  • Your nipples are too wide or too long
  • Your nipples project too far from your breast
  • Certain clothing is hard to wear or doesn’t look right
  • Droopy nipples
  • Nipples with extra skin
  • Your nipples are uneven
  • Your nipples cause you to worry about or think about them constantly
  • If you’re self-conscious about your breasts and nipples in the bedroom


At your nipple reduction consultation, you’ll meet with your surgeon and discuss the details of the procedure and if you’ll be a good candidate for the surgery. Your surgeon will ask you what bothers you most about your nipples and check to see if the procedure will benefit you for the future. Your surgeon will take measurements and discuss the best options available.

You’ll also be able to go over any questions you have for your surgeon. Don’t forget to make a list of your health history and any questions you want to go over. Having a real list on hand can help you remember to ask everything you need to calm your nerves before surgery. 


Prior to your surgery, you’ll want to ensure all the following things are true:

  • You’ve had a consultation with your surgeon
  • Take care of medical procedures before surgery, like having a mammogram  or physical
  • Try to lose weight before having your procedure
  • Finish having children or breastfeeding to get the best results
  • Right before surgery, pack a day bag with hairbows, lip gloss, comfy socks or anything else you’ll need for the procedure

Once your surgery date has been confirmed, you’ll be given specific instructions to follow in the days before your procedure. Make sure to follow all of your surgeon’s instructions so that you don’t have a delay in your surgery or have to reschedule for another day. Nipple reduction surgery by itself is a simple procedure that can be done in an outpatient surgery center and sometimes in the office setting. 

You’ll be given local anesthesia if having only nipple reduction surgery. General anesthesia will be given if having more than one procedure at a time. Horizontal or vertical incisions will be made on the nipple using special advanced tools that require minimal cuts and scarring. Extra tissue and skin will then be removed and the nipples arranged, shortened or tightened. Your incision will then be closed with a suture or stitch. Your nipples will be covered with a bandage much like a band-aid on both sides. Nipple reduction and revision surgery is typically minimal and will take less than an hour to complete

After your surgery, you can expect the following:

  • Recovery time to let anesthesia wear off
  • Instructions from your nurse or doctor regarding your healing, wound maintenance and recovery 
  • You may want someone to go with you to drive you home from surgery 


Results will be visible right after surgery and you’ll be able to see your nipple reduction right away. You’ll most likely come in the first week after surgery to make sure your healing is going as planned. Then you’ll see the doctor a few months later and then no more than once a year.


You should recover very well after nipple surgery. You’ll be given pain medication to help with the soreness you may feel and can take it up to a few days after surgery, though most patients find their pain responds well to over-the-counter medicines. You may have slight bruising as well. You’ll have some pain and swelling for a few days after surgery. Recovery should take 7 to 10 days. During that time you’ll want to avoid exercise, sexual activity, and lifting. Your doctor will give you any extra instructions for special care.

Though your procedure is minimal, you’ll still want to monitor for various side effects from surgery like:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Excessive pain
  • Pus or weird drainage
  • Incisions that don’t heal completely



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