Many people suffer from enlarged nipples. And that “suffering” can be both physical and psychological. For instance, chafing is one consequence of large nipples, which can cause irritation and even an infection.
Additionally, however, it causes embarrassment and discomfort, especially when you’re not wearing clothes. This can also happen if you’re wearing light clothes because the outline of the nipples can show through.
It’s a problem that both men and women can struggle with, which is why they look for ways to fix it. Since there’s no non-surgical way to do this, many wonder if it’s possible to have a nipple reduction surgery.
Fortunately, it’s possible for you to have a nipple-tucking procedure. But there are some things you should know about before you actually go under the knife.
Can You Get Nipple Reduction?
Nipple reduction is a cosmetic procedure that you can undergo to reduce the height (projection) and diameter (width) of your nipple(s).
Keep in mind that a nipple refers to the small projection at the centre of the areola – the dark skin that surrounds the nipple. So, it’s not the same as an areola.
There are different factors that can affect the size of your nipples. For instance, it can be due to your genetics (nipple hypertrophy), or it can also happen due to pregnancy or breastfeeding.
But those who feel physical or emotional discomfort with their nipples can undergo a reduction surgery to make them more proportional (to the breasts), symmetrical and/or aesthetic.
What Is The Procedure For A Nipple Reduction?
Your surgeon will begin by administering local or general anaesthesia. If you’re getting other procedures with it, it’s more likely for you to be given general anaesthesia.
Once the anaesthesia takes effect, your surgeon will remove excess tissue from the nipples and suture them back.
This can be done through different techniques, some of which are:
- Wedge Resection – A wedge of tissue is removed from the nipple(s) to reduce their height and diameter.
- Circular Flap – A piece of tissue is removed from the nipple base while the remaining nipple tissue is sutured to the base.
- Chullo-Hat – Chullo-hat design (with crown and triangles on the sides) is drawn, and the top part of the nipple is removed. The remaining tissue is sutured together.
According to a study published in the Canadian Journal of Plastic Surgery, the ideal height of a nipple and its diameter should be 8 mm.
Keep in mind this procedure will give you permanent results since the tissue is removed from the body.
Can You Breastfeed After Nipple Reduction?
There’s a small risk that you might have problems with breastfeeding after a nipple reduction. Your nipples contain milk ducts, which can be affected during the surgery.
However, there are techniques in which the tissues can be removed without any harm to the milk ducts. It’s important that you find a qualified and experienced surgeon to minimise this risk.
You can also consider delaying this procedure until after you’re done breastfeeding.
Do You Lose Nipple Sensation With Nipple Reduction?
There’s a small risk of loss of sensation after nipple reduction.
However, you can have this surgery without this happening as well. Some people only experience this problem temporarily.
Does Nipple Reduction Leave Scars?
Since nipple reduction involves making incisions, there’s a risk of scarring as a result of the procedure.
Normally, scars fade and heal with time. But if this isn’t the case with you, make sure to get in touch with your surgeon for scar treatments.
How Much Does Nipple Reduction Cost?
In the UK, a nipple reduction can cost anywhere from £1,500 to £4,000. The overall price depends on whether or not you’re getting both nipples treated (unilateral or bilateral).
Moreover, the type of anaesthesia (general is more expensive) will also influence the cost.
Some other factors that can cause price variations include:
- Complexity of the procedure
- Experience and qualifications of your surgeon
- Location of the clinic
- Additional procedures
Can You Get A Nipple Reduction On The NHS?
Since nipple reduction is considered a cosmetic surgery, it’s unlikely to be available on the NHS. The same goes for private medical insurance.
However, since large nipples can cause physical and psychological problems, you should still consider talking to your general practitioner (GP) about it.
How Long Does It Take To Heal From Nipple Reduction?
In general, nipple reduction requires minimal downtime since it’s a small procedure. Still, you can experience:
While you can notice a difference immediately, keep in mind that swelling can take more than a month to go away. So it can take some time for you to see the final results.
As far as physical activity is concerned, you’ll probably be advised to avoid it for some time. Consult your doctor about when you can resume it.
In the meantime, you might be given a surgical bra. Make sure to wear it for as long as advised.
Is Nipple Reduction Risky?
Nipple reduction is considered a safe procedure when performed by a board-certified, qualified and experienced medical professional.
However, since it’s a surgical procedure, like any surgery, it can carry certain risks, such as loss of sensation, asymmetry, infection, scarring, etc.
It’s important that you’re aware of all the risks involved before you have this surgery.
On its own, a nipple reduction is a small and safe procedure (when done by an experienced surgeon). It can be especially helpful in making you feel more comfortable in your skin.
However, just like any other surgical procedure, it also carries certain risks. For instance, there’s a small chance that it may affect your ability to breastfeed, or it can change your nipple sensations.
It’s important that you’re aware of what you’re getting into before you have this surgery. And even so, you must find a surgeon who can do a good job reducing your nipple(s).
Reviewed and approved by Prof Dr Fuat Yuksel
Can you get a male nipple reduction on the NHS?
Since nipple reduction is considered a cosmetic surgery, it might be difficult for you to get it on the NHS. Still, you should further consult your GP.
Does nipple reduction take place in breast reduction?
It’s possible for you to get a nipple reduction together with breast reduction surgery. However, if it’s just breast reduction, the nipple can be repositioned but not reduced.
Is nipple reduction painful?
The nipple reduction surgery is not painful because of the anaesthesia. However, you might experience discomfort after the procedure. Your doctor might prescribe painkillers for this.