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What Can You Expect Before And After Nipple Reduction?

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There is arguably nothing more valuable than feeling comfortable and confident in your own skin. Having a boosted self-esteem can lead to better relationships, a more successful career, and a happier life overall. The caring and compassionate team at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery fully understands the dramatic impact that physical appearance can have on people's lives – both negative and positive – and is dedicated to helping their Northern Virginia patients look and feel better than ever with a variety of cosmetic treatments and therapies. 

One of the most problematic concerns for men and women alike, though one that is rarely talked about publicly, is the appearance of their nipples. Some common complaints regarding the nipples include the size or diameter of the areola, a puffy areola, the position of the nipple on the breast, and the length to which the nipple protrudes. While breast and nipple surgery are often thought of as being exclusive to women, these procedures can actually be equally, if not more, beneficial for men. Certain social situations require or expect a man to go shirtless, such as swimming, and men cannot conceal many nipple concerns under the padding of a bra like women can. Regardless of your gender, or specific concerns about your nipples, the talented and exceptional board-certified plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery are here to help.

What is a nipple reduction? 

Nipple and areola revision, which are technically two different procedures, are surgeries designed to enhance the overall appearance of the nipple by reducing the size of the areola and/or reducing the length or protrusion of the nipple itself. Nipple and areola reduction surgery can be beneficial for men and women of all ages who are embarrassed by the appearance of their nipples. In some cases, patients pursue nipple revision due to changes in their nipples associated with pregnancy, weight gain/loss, or aging, while others have had lifelong concerns about their nipples. 

How is nipple revision surgery performed? 

The specific technique used during your nipple surgery will depend on the procedure being performed and your individual concerns, complaints, and goals. 

During an areola reduction, the surgeon will likely make a circular incision around the perimeter of the areola and a smaller circular incision inside of that. This donut-shaped piece of tissue will then be removed, and the incision will be closed, resulting in a smaller areola. 

For patients undergoing a nipple reduction, the surgeon will make an incision on the nipple itself in order to excise tissue and place sutures that will help reshape the nipple and hold it in place. 

Whether you undergo nipple reduction or areola reduction, the procedure typically takes about an hour and, in some cases, can be performed under local anesthesia. When nipple surgery is combined with breast augmentation, breast lift, or other procedures, general anesthesia is used.

What is the recovery like after a nipple reduction? 

The majority of patients tolerate nipple reduction surgery relatively well. Immediately following the procedure, patients can expect some grogginess and discomfort. Your surgeon will prescribe you medications to help relieve your symptoms, and it is important that you get plenty of rest and allow yourself time to recover and heal properly and completely. You will also be given a special surgical bra to wear during your recovery, and you should avoid sleeping on your back or otherwise applying direct pressure to the breasts and nipples.

The majority of the swelling, bruising, and discomfort should resolve within about two weeks, though you will likely have some numbness and/or a tingling sensation that may last for up to six weeks or longer. 

What do nipple reduction scars look like? 

Many patients, whether they are men or women, are understandably concerned about the level of scarring they’ll have after nipple surgery. Fortunately, most patients are left with scars that are barely visible and can be easily concealed. However, it is critical that patients follow their doctor’s postoperative guidelines closely in order to ensure the most complete healing and the least amount of visible scarring possible.  

How long do the results of nipple reduction surgery last? 

One exciting aspect of nipple revision surgery, both in the case of nipple reduction and areola reduction, is that the results are relatively permanent. However, patients should understand that the aging process, gravity, and other forces will still be at work. Furthermore, future weight fluctuations, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and other life events can compromise or affect your results. 

If you are ready to finally feel more confident about your body and stop being embarrassed by your large, droopy, or asymmetric nipples, call Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery in Northern Virginia today to schedule your consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons. We can’t wait to help you look and feel better than ever!  

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.