Male Areola / Nipple Reduction


A male nipple/areola reduction is a procedure that surgically corrects enlarged nipples and areolas in men. The condition results from hormonal changes, heredity conditions, disease, or use of certain drugs and is common in men of any age. It may cause emotional discomfort and impair self-confidence. This may discourage men from participating in certain physical activities and intimacy in order to hide their condition. An enlarged nipple may be unilateral (one breast) or bilateral (both breasts).

Male areola / nipple reduction is a good option for anyone who

  • Is physically healthy and of relatively normal weight
  • Has realistic expectations

The causes for enlarged nipples in men are not well known. They may be a result from medications such as anti-androgens, AIDS medications, anti-anxiety medications, tricyclic antidepressants, antibiotics, ulcer medications, cancer treatments, heart medications, anabolic steroids, alcohol, amphetamines, marijuana or heroin.

Some diseases may also cause nipples to enlarge. This includes conditions that interfere with normal testosterone production, tumors involving the testes, adrenal glands or pituitary gland, hyperthyroidism, kidney failure, liver failure and cirrhosis, or malnutrition.

During your consultation, Dr. Davidson will thoroughly review your medical history. He will also perform a physical exam to estimate the extent of excess fat and glandular tissue.  A diagnostic test can also be used to determine the underlying cause of enlarged breasts.

Prior to surgery, Dr. Davidson will give you preoperative instructions. This may include lab testing such as routine blood work or a cardiac workup. He is likely to ask you to stop taking certain medications, including aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and blood thinners. These medications can increase the risk of bleeding. Most surgeons, including Dr. Davidson, expect their prospective patients to quit smoking for a month before and after surgery.

Male areola / nipple reduction may be performed under either general anesthesia or local anesthesia. If enlarged breasts consist of excessive fatty tissue, liposuction alone may be used. For excess glandular tissue, the tissue is cut out with a scalpel or an electrocautery device. The incision is made along the edge of the nipple (areola). Dr. Davidson then removes the excess glandular tissue, fat and skin from around the pigmented area surrounding the areola and from the sides and bottom of the breast.

For liposuction, Dr. Davidson will make a half-inch incision around the edge of the areola or in the underarm area. After surgery, a small drain may be inserted through a separate incision to remove excess fluids. Once closed, the incisions are covered with a dressing.