Nipple correction? Restoration of the nipple? Questions for PD Dr Mathias Tremp

A symmetrical and proportional nipple is an important element in breast aesthetics and harmony. A nipple correction is therefore often performed on both men and women with asymmetrical, too small or too large nipples or inverted nipples.

Patients often also want a nipple correction after they have lost a significant amount of weight or with a simultaneous reduction in the size of the male breast. Nipple reconstruction can also be performed after surgical treatment for breast cancer (after mastectomy).

Read also: Reconstructive breast surgery to restore the breast, Reduce male breast size surgically (gynaecomastia)

What forms of nipple correction are there?

The nipples can either be enlarged, reduced or also symmetrised if the nipples are very unevenly shaped. The treatment of inverted nipples is also common, as about every 10th woman is affected.

Retracted nipples (also called flat nipples) are caused by a shortening of the milk ducts that lead from the glandular body to the nipple. Nipple augmentation can be performed either with autologous tissue or with an artificial filler. In the case of nipple reduction, the excess skin is surgically removed accordingly.

Nipple shortening and nipple reduction

Nipple reduction can be performed for aesthetic or medical reasons. Medical factors often underlie this procedure, because large nipples can rub more against clothing, which can cause painful inflammation or infection. In a nipple reduction, the specialist first makes a wedge-shaped incision in the nipple. In doing so, he removes excess tissue and at the same time creates the desired shape.

What treatment methods are available for nipple enlargement?

Longer breastfeeding periods and also genetic predisposition can cause the nipple to appear too long. The aesthetic problem can be corrected with a small operation and local anaesthetic. In this procedure, the excess tissue of the nipple is marked and the skin is carefully "peeled off". The shortened nipple is then sewn back to the areola. Sensitivity and the ability to breastfeed are retained.

Shortening of the nipples

How is the operation performed?

Aesthetic nipple correction (enlargement, reduction, treatment of inverted nipples) can be performed on an outpatient basis under local anaesthesia and takes about one hour. You do not have to come fasting for the operation, I recommend a light meal 2h before the procedure.

Reconstruction of the nipple and areola, e.g. after surgical treatment of breast cancer, is performed on an outpatient basis either in twilight sleep or under general anaesthesia. For nipple reconstruction I recommend a so-called "S-flap" using autologous tissue. The areola can be restored either with a skin graft from the groin or with a medical tattoo.

Nipple correction (Feng S., Zhang B., Kappos EA, Tremp M, Yang C, Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2017 Apr;41(2):312-317).

Can a nipple correction be combined with other operations/treatments?

A nipple correction can be combined well with other operations. For example, a breast augmentation can be combined with a nipple enlargement, reduction or even symmetrisation in the case of nipples of different sizes. Often a nipple correction can also be performed with a reduction of a man's breast.

An atrial reduction can also be performed at the same time as, for example, a breast reduction or breast lift for women. Complementary to the treatment, a medical tattoo can also be performed to achieve a natural pigmentation.

What are the advantages of a nipple correction?

A nipple correction can lead to improved symmetry and harmony of the breast and thus to an improved attitude to life.

What are the risks of treatment?

When treating inverted nipples, it may be necessary to cut the milk ducts to achieve a satisfactory result. Thus, the procedure is not suitable during pregnancy or before breastfeeding. A temporary reduction in sensitivity is also possible, but this will usually recover.

Infections or bruising are very rare after a nipple correction. Temporary hypersensitivity is also possible. Excess scarring can usually be treated well with good scar care. Circulatory problems are very rare after nipple reconstruction.

Is a nipple correction painful?

The procedure is hardly painful and you can go about your daily life and return to work immediately after the procedure. You will only need painkillers for the first 24 - 48 hours at the most.

Are the results of nipple correction permanent?

After nipple augmentation with autologous fat or cartilage transplantation, a part will dissolve again. The procedure can then be performed again and must be checked individually. The result after a treatment with collagen stimulation or hyaluronic acid is temporary, a follow-up treatment varies individually and can be performed again after 6-24 months.

Surgical reduction of a nipple is permanent. When a nipple is restored, the volume of the nipple will decrease somewhat over time.

What do I need to keep in mind after nipple surgery?

No pressure or water should be applied to the wound for 2 days and the wound must be well padded. After the operation, you should refrain from physical exertion for about 2-3 weeks.

What are the costs of a nipple correction?

As the procedure is often an aesthetic treatment, health insurance companies do not usually cover the applications. An exact cost estimate can only be provided after a personal consultation. The restoration of the nipple and areola after surgical treatment for breast cancer is covered by the health insurance.

Do you have any questions?

Make an appointment for a consultation.

Contact us during office hours to arrange a no-obligation consultation with PD Dr. med. Mathias Tremp in Cham near Zug.

Our offer for aesthetic medicine and plastic reconstructive surgery

Our range of treatments covers the entire spectrum of aesthetic medicine and plastic-reconstructive surgery. Each treatment is an individual procedure that is precisely tailored to your wishes, needs and prerequisites.

We stand for transparent and fair prices. The costs include all measures such as preliminary consultation, operation, anaesthesia, stays and follow-up checks. The costs for cosmetic surgery treatments are only covered by health insurance in exceptional cases. Contact us for your questions about the treatments.

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