Nipple & Areola Surgery
Nipple correction surgery addresses the problems associated with enlarged, asymmetrical, protruding or inverted nipples
If you suffer from any of these problems, you may have both functional and cosmetic concerns.
Nipple correction surgery may be performed as an isolated procedure or in combination with other breast surgeries. In most cases surgery involves minimal scarring.
Areolar issues general involve being too large. This is typically associated with breast sagginess that requires surgery to perform a breast lift or conditions such as tuberous breasts that requires reconstructive surgery including reducing areolar size.
YOUR CONSULTATION WITH DR DONA
During your first visit, Dr Eddy Dona will take a careful history and find out what you desire from your nipple correction surgery. He will then perform a physical examination to assess and advise you on your options, taking into consideration your desires and expectations.
You will also have the opportunity to discuss with Dr Dona any questions you have in relation to your nipple correction surgery.
PREPARATION FOR SURGERY
You will need to disclose your complete medical history to Dr Dona, including all health problems. You will be given the opportunity to discuss your medical history and concerns in your initial consultation, and are asked to disclose all relevant details in your “Patient Registration Form”. Do not take any blood thinning medications such as aspirin or any medicine containing aspirin, large amounts of vitamins or anti inflammatory drugs for 2 weeks prior to any surgery. Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery, as smoking increases surgical and anaesthetic risks and can lead to serious complications.
TYPES OF NIPPLE AREOLAR PROBLEMS
A. Inverted Nipples
There are different degrees or grades of nipple inversion possible. The nipples can be inverted intermittently or constantly and can vary from being simply flat to a slit like depression. For women, this can at times mean difficulty with breastfeeding. The surgery required to correct inverted nipples depends on the severity of the problem. Any scars are very small and concealed within the nipple areola region.
Mild Inversion – The nipples are intermittently inverted but can evert in response to temperature or stimulation. With mild inversion the potential to breastfeed is generally not affected following corrective surgery.
Moderate Inversion – The nipples are constantly inverted and if they do evert, return almost immediately. The potential to breastfeed following corrective surgery can be reduced as surgery often affects the milk ducts.
Severe Inversion – The nipples are severely inverted and by no means evert. Breastfeeding is typically not possible following reconstructive surgery as milk ducts are in most cases divided to achieve the correction.
B. Enlarged Nipples
Women may have nipples that become long, dark or sometimes wide in girth. This can be a result of prolonged breastfeeding or part of the normal development of the breast. With nipple correction surgery, nipples can be reduced in length and/or girth. After undergoing nipple correction surgery you can expect your nipples to project normally, proportionate to the size of your breasts.
Length – To adjust length, a circumferential excision of skin around the nipple is removed. The deeper structures including milk ducts and nerves are left intact. The nipple is then sutured to its shorter, predetermined length.
Girth – To adjust the girth, a wedge incision is made on the underside of the nipple and the nipple is then “taken in”.
C. Enlarged Areolars
The pigmented area around the nipples is also known as the areola. In some people, the circumference of the areola can be very large. Although there are no functional concerns, people may seek surgical intervention for aesthetic purposes.
The required amount of pigmented area is removed by one of 3 methods – An incision can be made around the outside of the areola; around the base of the nipple; or in severe cases, a lollipop incision is required.
D. Puffy Areolars
This is caused by an amassing of glandular and or fatty tissue beneath the areola causing the areola to appear “cone shaped”. The appearance can change when the nipple is stimulated or with a cold temperature change, but will revert back almost immediately. The surgery required to correct this is either liposuction or glandular excision. This is achieved via an incision made around the outside of the pigmented area or around the nipple. The puffiness is then removed by one of the above mentioned techniques.
WHEN CAN YOU EXPECT YOUR FINAL RESULTS?
You’ll typically see the results of your surgery within a few weeks. However the full results won’t be appreciated for up to 6 months. After undergoing nipple correction surgery you can expect your nipples to project normally, proportionate to the size of your breasts.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS?
As with any surgery, there are always possible risks and potential complications. However, they are generally rare and if they occur are detected and managed during your post-operative follow-up. They include wound infection, bleeding, poor scarring and blood clots.
Other potential complications include:
Nipple Sensation – Changes in sensation (increase or decrease) can occur after any breast surgery but normal sensation should return over the course of 6 – 12 months.
Permanent loss or alteration of sensation is not common.
Nipple Loss – If the blood supply to the soft tissues underlying the nipple/areola is compromised, partial or complete loss of the nipple/areola is possible. Cigarette smoking will greatly increase the risk of this occurring.
Breastfeeding – As previously mentioned, some corrective nipple surgeries can reduce your potential ability to breastfeed.
Scarring – Incision lines are permanent, but scars will fade over time. We will advise you on ways to reduce scarring, such as massage, use of silicone strips and scar cream.
Longevity – The results of your nipple correction surgery will be long lasting but, over time factors such as childbirth, breastfeeding or hormonal factors will continue to affect the size and shape of your breasts and therefore possibly nipples just as they did before surgery.
WILL PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE COVER COSTS?
Nipple correction surgery may be partially covered by your private health insurance. Dr Dona will advise whether this applies to you.