Nipples are not the first thing that people think of when they think of cosmetic surgery, but for patients who are unhappy with the shape, size, or projection of their nipples, cosmetic improvement is important. Both men and women have questions about nipple enhancement, and relatively simple procedures can provide the answers!
-Andrew Barnett, MD
What is the anatomy of the nipple?
The breast is a specialized organ composed of glandular material. In men, the glands are non-functional – in women, they function primarily for milk production following pregnancy. If you picture the breast as a cluster of grapes, the individual grapes are individual glands, the stems are the ducts, and where the main stem ends are analogous to the nipple. The nipple is surrounded by pigmented skin called the areola.
What are the common cosmetic concerns?
Patients commonly are concerned about the size, shape, and projection of the nipple.
- Nipples are occasionally quite large.
- This is seen both before and after breastfeeding.
- The nipple may have a narrow base and a broad top, similar to a mushroom.
- Projection issues are divided into
- Inversion (This is when the nipple is actually below the level of the areola)
- Long The nipples may be excessively long, with a tendency to droop or hang
How are these problems corrected?
Generally, the procedures are performed in the office or in the operating room if performed in conjunction with other procedures such as breast enlargement. The nipple is reshaped, reduced, or released to produce a more attractive appearance. Local anesthesia is used, and you may return to normal activities quickly. The nipple must be protected while it is healing, so this may limit things such as swimming or strenuous activity for one to two weeks.
Does the surgery affect sensitivity or breastfeeding?
This is a major issue. Both sensitivity and the ability to breastfeed may be affected. Patients who are unable to accept these risks should not elect to have nipple enhancement surgery. These are the most common problems related to surgery; other risks will be discussed with you at your consultation.
Should I have nipple enhancement surgery?
That’s a question that only you can answer. At your consultation, we will discuss the procedure in detail, including the risks and potential complications, recovery time, and anticipated results. Together, we will find the answer that’s right for you!
To learn more about what you can expect during a Nipple Correction, or to schedule your consultation with Dr. Barnett at either his San Francisco or Walnut Creek office, please complete the form on this page or call 415-362-1221