Nipple Reduction - Cosmetic Surgery Guide

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Nipple reduction is a surgical operation used to help with long or over sized nipples, which can be a big source of embarrassment for men and women alike. Although this procedure deals only with the shape and size of the nipple, due to it's relative simplicity the operation is fairly quick and is often performed alongside other cosmetic procedures such as areola (the dark area around the nipple) reduction, breast lifts and breast augmentations. Nipple reduction can help with large or droopy nipples and often helps patients regain self-confidence.

The Procedure

Nipple reduction surgery can be performed using either a local or general anaesthetic, your surgeon will take you through the options available. Your surgeon will make a small incision on the nipple, which will be well hidden. The procedure will involve several tiny incisions to remove excess nipple, but sensation and the ability to breastfeed won't be affected. In certain cases a cylinder of skin from around the neck of the nipple will be removed, allowing the outer portion to be pushed back and then sutured.

Aftercare and recovery

The operation can generally be performed at an outpatient surgery centre, meaning you will be able to return home the same day. It's usual to feel tired and sore for a few days following surgery and there may be some bruising and swelling but this should subside quickly. Any pain should be easily treated by over-the-counter medication. There's usually a light dressing kept in place for around two weeks after surgery and it's important to keep this dry. This dressing will later be removed and the treated area cleaned to help prevent infection and promote healing. It's usual for any scars to be pink and firm for upto six weeks after the procedure and in some cases can remain for a few months afterwards. It's normal to have follow-up visits with your surgeon to monitor your progress and make sure you are healing well.

The Risks

Although the results of surgery are permanent they can't help prevent against any changes that your body goes through as you age. As with any surgical procedure there is a chance of infection developing, so it's usual to be prescribed antibiotics to help promote healing and prevent this. Other rare complications include a loss of sensation in the nipple and permanent scarring. You can help the healing process along by carefully following all aftercare advice and maintaining a healthy diet. If you are unsatisfied with the initial results of your treatment you may require more surgery or a different type of treatment in order to achieve the desired results.