Nipple / Areola Reduction Surgery

Nipple or areola reduction surgery is a popular procedure which reduces the appearance of enlarged areolas or elongated nipples.

The nipple-areola complex is made of two parts: the nipple and the areola. The nipple is the projecting part while the areola is the dark pigmented skin that surrounds the nipple. Nipples that are large either in circumference/diameter or in length can affect a woman's appearance. The nipples may get enlarged due to genetics or develop after childbirth and breastfeeding. For any of these conditions, nipple reduction surgery may be the answer.

The first step to nipple reduction surgery is consulting a doctor who will determine which part of the nipple needs to be reduced. Depending on the shape of the nipple, the doctor may reduce the length, width, or both. This is often performed under a local anesthesia.

Nipples that are too long droop down or project too far out. This needs to be shortened. To create a shorter nipple length, Dr. Davidson will remove the tip of the nipple and close it with sutures. At times, the skin along the neck of the nipple may also be removed. In such cases, the tip of the nipple is sutured to the bottom of the nipple to create a shorted nipple length.

If the nipple is too wide but not too long, a pie-shaped wedge is removed from the undersurface of the nipple. This allows the nipple to take in and reduce the circumference. Here, dissolving sutures are used.

For people who have too wide and too long nipple may require both procedures to be performed. The recovery time in such procedure varies from patient to patient, but most patients can resume their normal activity within a day or two. Patients can shower the day after surgery.