By Emel Gerdaneri • Medical review by Sevgi Kurt, MD on September 11, 2023

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& All About Nipple and Areola Surgery

Nipple and areola surgery, or nipple-areola complex (NAC) surgery, refers to a group of cosmetic or reconstructive procedures performed on the nipple and the surrounding pigmented area known as the areola.

These procedures can address various aesthetic concerns or correct abnormalities in the appearance of the nipples or areolas.

The procedure is typically done for cosmetic reasons, such as when a person is unhappy with the size, shape, or projection of their nipples.

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Some people may have naturally large or elongated nipples, or their nipples may have become stretched or enlarged due to factors like breastfeeding, weight loss, or aging.

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There are different techniques used for nipple reduction, and the choice of method depends on the specific concerns and desired outcomes of the individual.

The most common techniques involve removing the excess tissue from the nipple or areola, reshaping the nipple through suturing techniques, or combining both.

Here are some common types of nipple and areola surgeries:

Nipple Reduction: This procedure is performed to decrease the size of the nipple, which may be overly long, protruding, or asymmetrical. It involves removing a portion of the nipple while preserving its functionality.

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Areola Reduction: Areola reduction aims to decrease the diameter of the areola, which may be larger than desired. The excess pigmented tissue is surgically removed, and the incisions are closed with fine sutures.

Nipple Augmentation: Nipple augmentation is typically performed to enhance the size or projection of the nipple. It involves using surgical techniques or injectable fillers to increase the volume or shape of the nipple.

Areola Enlargement: Areola enlargement is a procedure that increases the size of the areola. It can be done using techniques such as tissue grafting or injecting fat or dermal fillers.

Nipple Reconstruction: Nipple reconstruction is often performed after breast reconstruction following mastectomy or in the congenital absence of the nipple. It aims to recreate a natural-looking nipple using surgical techniques like skin grafting or local tissue rearrangement.

Areola Tattooing: Areola tattooing is a non-surgical option that involves the application of medical-grade pigments to create the appearance of a natural areola and nipple. It is typically performed after breast reconstruction or in cases where the color or shape of the areola needs improvement.

It's essential to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast and nipple surgeries to discuss your specific concerns, goals, and available options.

They will be able to provide you with personalized advice and guide you through the most suitable surgical approach for your needs.

Determining whether you are a good candidate for nipple reduction would require a consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon. They will evaluate your nipple size, shape, and specific concerns to determine whether you would benefit from the procedure.

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Generally, individuals with good overall health and realistic expectations are considered suitable candidates.

Yes, nipple reduction can be performed on men as well. Men may opt for the procedure if they have enlarged or protruding nipples that cause self-consciousness or discomfort.

The cost of nipple reduction surgery can vary depending on factors such as the surgeon's experience, geographic location, facility fees, anesthesia fees, and other associated costs. It is best to consult a plastic surgeon to get an accurate cost estimate for your case.

Recovery time can vary from person to person, but generally, it takes about 1-2 weeks to heal the incisions. You may experience some swelling, bruising, and discomfort during this time.

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Strenuous activities and exercise should be avoided for a few weeks, and you will likely be advised to wear a special dressing or compression garment to support the healing process. Complete recovery may take several weeks to a few months.

During the procedure, local or general anesthesia is typically used to ensure you are comfortable and pain-free. Some discomfort and soreness can be expected during recovery, but pain can usually be managed with prescribed pain medications.

The goal of nipple reduction is to achieve a nipple size, shape, and projection that is aesthetically pleasing to the individual.

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The procedure aims to address any dissatisfaction or self-consciousness caused by the size or appearance of the nipples and to enhance overall breast aesthetics.

Nipple reduction surgery can affect breastfeeding, as some milk ducts may be disrupted or removed during the procedure. If maintaining the ability to breastfeed is a concern, it is important to discuss this with your surgeon during the consultation.

They can provide specific information about the potential impact of the procedure on breastfeeding.

A nipple reduction is not typically necessary after a breast augmentation unless the patient explicitly desires a change in the size or shape of the nipples.

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Breast augmentation primarily focuses on enhancing the size and shape of the breasts, and the nipples are usually not directly affected.

In some cases, a nipple reduction may be performed with a breast reduction procedure. Suppose the size or projection of the nipples is a concern for the individual undergoing a breast reduction.

In that case, the surgeon may include a nipple reduction to achieve the desired breast and nipple proportions. This decision would be made based on individual circumstances and goals and discussed during the consultation with the plastic surgeon.

Written on 16/06/2023


Last Update: 11/09/2023

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