Common Cosmetic Procedures for the Nipples

Many individuals decide to undergo aesthetic surgery to improve the appearance of their nipples and areolas. The three most common procedures for nipples include: inverted nipple correction, nipple reduction, and accessory nipple removal. Dr. Hutchinson often performs nipple correction surgery and aesthetic areola surgery either alone or in conjunction with other aesthetic breast surgery, such as breast augmentation, breast lift, and breast reduction in women, and gynecomastia correction in men. During your consultation, she will discuss the various options available for areola and nipple surgery and determine which surgical plan offers the best possible results for you. 

Key Benefits of Nipple and Areola Surgery

  • Improvements are immediate
  • Nipples are reduced to their correct size and shape
  • Can be performed as a standalone procedure
  • Results are long-lasting
  • Self-image and confidence are boosted

Dr. Hutchinson spent a lot of time with me before my surgery. She answered all my questions, and I felt very comfortable with her. She really cares about her patients and I am very lucky to have found such an awesome doctor. 

MJ K.

Inverted Nipple Correction

Inverted nipples may occur on one or both breasts and are the result of shortening or tightening of the ducts that run within the nipple. The condition can be classified as follows:

  • Mild cases (in which inversion is minimal and the nipples are still capable of becoming erect in response to stimulation) 
  • Severe cases (in which the nipples remain retracted, despite stimuli such as touch or cold)

    Inverted Nipple Correction Procedure Details

    Plastic surgery to correct inverted nipples involves creating a small incision across the base of the nipple, releasing the duct contraction, and suturing the nipples in a normal, everted, or erect position. When part of other breast surgery, it does not incur significant additional downtime or recovery. If performed on its own, inverted nipple correction can be carried out under local anesthesia alone or using only minimal intravenous sedation.

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    Nipple Reduction

    Nipples may become enlarged and appear droopy, floppy, or hanging.

    This condition occurs either in conjunction with or separately from breast enlargement and may also be seen in patients with very small breasts who wish to undergo breast augmentation.

    Hypertrophic nipples may be present on one or both breasts and may exhibit different degrees of enlargement.

    Nipple Reduction Surgery Details

    Plastic surgery to correct enlarged nipples involves measuring the desired new height of the nipple, placing a small incision at the appropriate level to excise the redundant tissue, and using sutures to recreate a normal nipple contour. Recovery is short, and there is no significant additional downtime necessary when nipple reduction is performed along with other breast procedures such as breast reduction, a breast lift, or breast augmentation. As a single and separate procedure, nipple reduction surgery can be carried out under local anesthesia alone or using only minimal sedation.

    Accessory Nipple Removal

    Some people have extra nipples and areolas. These are called “accessory nipples” or “supernumerary nipples,” and are usually seen on the breasts, torso, or in the underarm area. They are characterized by isolated nipples with or without areolas, and occasionally with additional breast tissue underlying the pigmented skin. These accessory nipples often lie as 1-4 lesions along the mammalian milk line, from up just in front of the underarms and inferiorly diagonally across the chest and upper abdomen. Depending on the size and associated tissues, accessory nipples may respond to hormonal stimuli similarly to normal breast tissue.

    Accessory Nipple Removal Surgery Details

    Removal of accessory breast tissue involves a skin incision around the pigmented nipple and areola, including any underlying breast tissue. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia alone and results in permanent removal of the excess tissues.

    Recovery is rapid and discomfort is minimal. Patients are usually extremely satisfied with the results, and most derive both physical and emotional benefits from accessory nipple removal surgery.

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    Plastic Surgery of the Areola

    In some women, the areolae may occasionally be enlarged or misshapen. This may be a normal congenital variant, a result from overall breast enlargement or pregnancy, or due to prior breast surgery.

    Either one or both areolae may be affected, and plastic surgery to improve the appearance of the areola may be performed on either one or both breasts. Areola reduction is possible during concurrent breast enhancement procedures such as breast lift, breast augmentation, and breast reduction surgery.

    In these cases, it may be performed using the incisions necessary for the breast enhancement procedure. Plastic surgery on the areola may also be performed uniquely as a separate procedure, in which case it most often requires a periareolar or circumareolar incision made circumferentially around the areola, producing a circular scar around the periphery. When performed on its own without additional breast enhancement procedures, areola reduction only requires local anesthesia (although sedation may be administered for patient comfort.) Results are immediate, and recovery usually requires minimal downtime.

    Ideal Candidates for Areola and Nipple Surgery

    The best candidates for areola and nipple surgery are patients with the following concerns:

    • Enlarged areolas
    • Sagging or droopy nipples
    • Nipples that are too large, too prominent, or too wide
    • Inverted nipples that may become erect when stimulated
    • Irregularly shaped, bifid, or bilobed nipples
    • Asymmetric nipples with different sizes or shapes
    • Irregularly shaped, elongated, or non-circular areolas
    • Asymmetric areolas whose appearance do not match
    • Extra nipples (with or without underlying breast tissue)
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    Getting Ready for Nipple and Areola Surgery

    Dr. Hutchinson will recommend any necessary breast imaging such as a mammogram, sonogram, and/or MRI before your procedure and will indicate any requirements for medical clearance and bloodwork. She will also provide you with detailed and precise instructions to be followed before surgery that will help your recovery go smoothly, including maintaining a healthy lifestyle, avoiding smoking, and discontinuing medications that can increase your risk of complications.

    What To Expect During Your Consultation

    Before your areola and/or nipple surgery, you will have a comprehensive in-person consultation with Dr. Hutchinson at her Upper East Side office. During this consultation, she will take your medical history and closely listen as you explain what you dislike about your nipples and areolas, as well as what you hope to achieve with plastic surgery. 

    After your conversation, you will be seen in a private treatment room where she will perform a detailed physical examination and assess your unique physical characteristics. She will also take medical photographs, which provide additional information when discussing your nipple and areola surgery.

    Every patient has a unique nipple and areola anatomy and each has her own wishes for how she would like to look after her plastic surgery.

    In order to help you understand what results can be achieved with your areola and nipple surgery and what is the best possible option for you, Dr. Hutchinson will discuss specific details of your current breast, nipple, and areola characteristics.

    Factors that may affect your results include:

    • Nipple size and contour 
    • Degree of nipple protrusion or sagging
    • Extent and reversibility of nipple retraction or inversion
    • Symmetry between nipples
    • Number, size, and location of any accessory nipples
    • Size, shape, and symmetry of areolas
    • Skin characteristics, such as laxity, elasticity, and tone
    • Scarring from prior surgery
    • Plans for future pregnancy and breastfeeding

    Following your examination, Dr. Hutchinson will discuss your surgical options and will determine the ideal surgical plan for you to achieve your goals. She will also inform you of what is required from you before and after your surgery to ensure a successful operation and smooth recovery.

    During this meeting, you will also be encouraged to ask any questions you may have for the doctor.

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    Why Choose Dr. Hutchinson?

    Dr. Olivia Hutchinson is a Fellowship trained, board certified aesthetic surgeon who has cared for patients from Manhattan’s Upper East Side and beyond for 20 years. The cornerstone of Dr. Hutchinson’s practice is built on a desire to ensure the finest surgical results for her patients along with strict adherence to the highest standards of safety and quality of care. Patients are seen in an elegant, quiet, and unhurried ambiance and are the central focus of all members of our staff. Dr. Hutchinson’s extensive experience and skill allow her to deliver natural, elegant, and long-lasting results. She offers outstanding concierge services for ultimate convenience and privacy. To discover more about what areola and nipple surgery can do for you, contact us online or call us at (212) 452-1400.

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