When people think about surgery to enhance the appearance of the breast, they usually think about enlargement, reduction or uplift.
However, for many women it is the appearance of their nipples that concerns them most. These women are pleased to learn that there are cosmetic procedures to enhance just the nipple and surrounding area.
To understand these procedures, it is important to remember that what most people think of as “the nipple” is actually made up of two parts: the nipple, which is the area that protrudes, and the dark pigmented skin around the nipple, which is called the areola.
Correcting inverted nipples
A nipple is said to be inverted if it points inward. Depending on the degree of inversion it may look flat or like a slit-like depression or a hole at the normal nipple location.
Approximately 2% of women have inverted nipples. In most cases, this condition has existed from birth and is caused by the nipple being tethered to shortened underlying milk ducts. The condition may also be caused by scar tissue beneath the nipple from previous surgery or infection.
Inverted nipples can be repaired by surgically releasing the tethering structures and using a suturing technique that keeps the nipples facing outward. This surgery can be performed at the same time as other breast surgery, however if there is any doubt about the appropriateness of doing this, the nipple repair surgery should be performed at a later date.
Reducing large nipples
Large nipples may be inherited or they may develop after childbirth and breastfeeding. Either way, nipples that are too large - either in circumference or length - can affect a woman's appearance both in and out of clothing.
If you are considering surgery to correct this condition, your surgeon will first determine which part of the nipple needs to be reduced. Depending on the shape or your nipples, a reduction in length, width or both may be appropriate.
- If your nipples are too long and either droop down or project too far out, your surgeon will create a shorter nipple length by removing the tip of the nipple and suturing for closure. Occasionally the skin along the neck of the nipple will also be removed. In those cases, the tip of the nipple is then sutured to the bottom of the nipple, creating a shorter length.
- If your nipples are too wide or thick, but not too long, a pie-shaped wedge will be removed. This allows the nipple to be “taken in,” reducing its circumference. Dissolving sutures are used.
Surgery to reduce nipple size can be performed on an out-patient basis, often using local anaesthesia, and usually takes less than an hour. You can expect to return to your normal activities within a day or two.
Healing from this procedure is rapid and scarring (if any) is rarely visible. In most cases normal sensitivity is maintained.
If you'd like to know more about inverted nipple surery, download our inverted nipple treatment brochure.
To book your consultation get in touch online or call our office on 01803 321631.
Pre and post operative information for Inverted Nipples
Avoiding drugs & foods that cause bleeding or do not mix with other drugs:
- Aspirin, Ibuprofen (or other similar drugs called NSAIDs) or medication containing such drugs should not be taken within a minimum of seven days prior to surgery.
- Vitamin E tablets or moisturisers should not be used a minimum of seven days before surgery.
- Alcohol, particularly red wine, should be avoided for 2 days prior to surgery.
- Dietary Supplements such as garlic tablets & powder, ginkgo biloba, willow bark extracts, feverfew (Chrysanthemum/Tanacetum parthenium) and St Johns Wort should be avoided for at least 4-5 days before surgery.
Arnica Tablets (a homeopathic remedy that will help to minimise bruising and swelling) should be taken. Two tablets three times per day sucked or chewed (not swallowed) for seven days prior to surgery and seven days after surgery. Please purchase 84 tablets (6X 14 days) from your chemist.
- Sunbathe for one week prior to surgery.
- Smoking. If you smoke we recommend that you stop before your surgery. Nicotine reduces the healing process by encouraging infection and poor circulation.
- Have anything to eat or drink for at least 6 hours before surgery. Anything by mouth could cancel or postpone your surgery.
- Tell us of any medications you are taking.
- The morning or evening prior to surgery you are requested to wash your hair and take a shower.
- Arrange for transport to and from the hospital. Perhaps include a pillow and blanket in the car for your comfort postoperatively.
- Arrange for someone to stay with you at home for 24 hours after your surgery.
- Prepare for your return to your own home
- Remove any potential obstacles from bed to bathroom.
- Choose your favourite magazines or book for your bedside table.
- Gather extra pillows for comfort and / or elevation.
- Remove nail polish, contact lenses, jewellery and all makeup whilst at home.
- Bring loose fitting, front opening, and comfortable clothing to wear home.
Day of surgery
- Please arrive at your specified admission time and make allowances for traffic delays.
- You will be admitted by our nurse who will assist you with your pre operative forms.
- Mr. Yelland will meet with you to review your surgery. He will be able to address any of your concerns. Our anaesthetist will meet with you prior to surgery.
- You will be given the anaesthesia that is the most appropriate for you.
- Driving: Do not drive during the first week to ten days after surgery.
- Keep your wound dry for at least 2 days after your operation. Wounds are waterproof after this time but do not soak in a bath or use bubble bath or soap on the wounds. A shower is best after which the wounds can be dabbed dry with a towel.
- You are advised to limit your activities to avoid unnecessary bleeding. Avoid strenuous exercise.
- Discomfort & Tiredness. Moderate discomfort is to be expected. You can expect your most discomfort the second night and third day after surgery. Listen to your body. You have experienced a major surgical procedure. Rest when it tells you to rest.
- You will be given a course of antibiotics to combat infection. Do complete the course.
- No alcohol should be taken for 48 hours after surgery.
- We discourage smoking for 48 hours at least.
- Do not use any electrically operated machinery or appliances for first 48 hours after surgery because of the effects of anaesthesia.
- Do not take on any serious decision making for 48 hours.
- Continue taking Arnica as instructed.
- Do not sunbathe for 6 weeks postoperatively.
- Aspirin, Ibuprofen (or other similar drugs called NSAIDs) or medication containing such drugs should not be taken for seven days after surgery.
- Vitamin E tablets or moisturisers should not be used a minimum of seven days after surgery.
- Dietary Supplements such as garlic tablets & powder, ginkgo biloba, willow bark extracts, feverfew (Chrysanthemum/Tanacetum parthenium) and St Johns Wort should be avoided for at least 4-5 days after surgery.