Many people feel less than completely happy or confident about their nipples. Men and women alike may suffer from perceived abnormalities such as low, inverted, or overly prominent nipples. Others may have lost their nipples to a chest injury or breast cancer that required surgery.
Some nipple problems actually affect important functions such as breastfeeding, while others simply cause self-consciousness. No matter which camp you fall into, you can pursue cosmetic surgery to change the shape, size, or appearance of your nipples. Depending on your needs, you may benefit from any of the following four options.
1. Nipple Reduction
People may develop enlarged nipples, also called nipple hypertrophy, for a variety of reasons. It may occur as a side effect of puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or traumatic injury to one or both nipples. Plastic surgeons can correct oversized, protruding nipples that make you feel self-conscious about your chest.
You can schedule a nipple reduction either as a standalone procedure or in conjunction with another surgery, such as a mommy makeover. However, plastic surgeons don’t recommend this procedure for pregnant women or women who wish to breastfeed, since both situations can impact the success of the final result.
In a typical nipple reduction procedure, the surgeon simply trims away the excess flesh to achieve the desired size. You can resume most aspects of your daily routine within a couple of days of the surgery, although complete recovery may take a couple of weeks. Your surgeon will advise you of any recommended activity restrictions.
2. Nipple Lift
Some people experience ptosis of the breasts and nipples. In this condition, the nipples hang unusually low on the breast or droop downward instead of pointing forward. Women with especially large, heavy breasts may suffer from this issue, especially as age permits the breast tissue to sag.
Surgical responses to ptosis can vary according to the severity of the problem. If you have relatively small breasts or nipples that droop only slightly, a breast lift or augmentation procedure may automatically correct your nipple position. A more serious case of ptosis may call for a procedure called a nipple lift.
In a nipple lift, the plastic surgeon makes an incision around the areolas and then repositions these areas of tissue higher up on the breasts. You can also get this surgery to correct nipples positioned too close or too far away from each other.
3. Inverted Nipple Correction
Up to ten percent of women’s nipples point inward instead of outward. Although nipple inversion can also occur in men, it potentially poses more of a challenge for women by making breastfeeding more difficult. Some inverted nipples will reverse themselves in response to pressure or stimulation, while others will not.
If you undergo corrective surgery for this issue, the surgeon may either detach the nipple’s milk ducts or leave the milk ducts partially in place. Although milk gland detachment often solves the inversion problem, your surgeon can also leave the milk glands partially in place and simply sew the nipple tissue into a forward-facing orientation.
4. Nipple Reconstruction Surgery
Breast surgery to treat cancer or a breast injury doesn’t always require the removal of nipple tissue. However, if you had to undergo a total mastectomy, you may want to replace the nipple lost to that procedure. Modern cosmetic surgery offers several techniques for accomplishing this goal.
The two primary ways to reconstruct a nipple include skin flaps and skin grafts. In the former, your plastic surgeon frees flaps of skin on the breast and sews them together into an artificial nipple. In the latter, the surgeon shapes tissue from another part of the body and attaches it to the breast.
A nipple created by either of these methods may not look like a real nipple without some permanent pigmentation to create the illusion of an areola. Your cosmetic surgeon can use medical tattooing to produce a realistic final result.
Jaibaji Plastic Surgery knows how to restore your nipples to their previous appearance, correct a lifelong abnormality, or improve your nipples’ functionality. Contact our office to set up an initial consultation.