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Breast Surgery for
Nipple Prominence

Chicago, Illinois

In terms of aesthetics and function nipples are potentially the most important part of the breast. For both men and women, nipple problems can lead to self-consciousness and reluctance to let people see one unclothed. For women, inverted nipples can make them feel sexually unattractive, and can cause anxieties that interfere with arousal and sexual enjoyment. Men, on the other hand, can be embarrassed by prominent nipples, especially when the nipples are enlarged. Fortunately, both men and women can receive surgical correction to make their nipples more aesthetically pleasing, creating confidence and self-assurance that can significantly increase your quality of life.

Source of Nipple Prominence

The prominence of the nipples is related to many important factors, including:

  • Heredity — Nipple prominence is governed by genetics in a fashion similar to many aspects of our body. If your family has a history of large, puffy nipples, you are likely to have them, but if your family has a history of inverted nipples, you are likely to have them as well.
  • Hormonal imbalance — Sex hormones, especially estrogen, have a significant effect on the development and condition of breast tissue. A hormonal imbalance is responsible for gynecomastia in men, although gynecomastic breasts — often without prominent nipples — are sometimes related to weight gain. Women or men taking hormones or steroids can see changes in the prominence of their nipples.
  • Breastfeeding — During breastfeeding, most nipples emerge, or evert, in response to the stimulation of the baby’s mouth, but for some women damage or scarring to the milk ducts during breastfeeding can lead to a retraction of the nipple either before or after weaning.
  • Mammary Duct Diseases — Diseases such as mammary duct ectasia and mastitis can cause the nipples to invert.
  • Injury — Scar tissue can sometimes cause a nipple to be inverted following an injury to the breast.
  • Breast diseases — Some diseases of the breast can damage the tissue beneath the nipple and cause it to invert, such as:
    • Breast Cancer
    • Breast Abscesses
    • Fat Necrosis (Fat Death)

As you can see, nipple prominence is not necessarily constant throughout the life of a man or woman. Men or women who experience a dramatic change in the prominence of the nipples can feel especially self-conscious about their appearance.

Types of Abnormal Nipple Prominence

There are many variations of nipple prominence that can make a woman or man self-conscious, including:

  • Inverted nipple, in which the nipple is turned inward
  • Shy nipple, in which the nipple is sometimes turned inward, but will often easily evert
  • Puffy nipples including the areola can make both men and women self-conscious
  • Prominent nipples and areolas can make both men and women self-conscious
  • Multiple nipples are found on both men and women

Fortunately, whether you have inverted or over-prominent nipples, they can be corrected surgically. Sometimes, if nipple prominence is the result of surplus breast tissue, it can be reduced with liposuction. Other times, the nipple itself will be modified, which can be performed simultaneously with a breast augmentation or surgery to correct breast malformity such as breast asymmetry or tuberous breast.

If you feel self-conscious about your nipples, contact our cosmetic surgery for a breast surgery consultation with Chicago Breast Surgeon Dr. Otto Placik today.

Nipple Prominence Correction Questions

Do both men and women seek breast surgery for nipple prominence?

Yes, both men and women pursue cosmetic solutions to address undesirable nipple prominence.

Can nipple prominence change over time?

Yes. In fact, most people will experience a change in nipple prominence over their lifetime. As nipples become more or less prominent, self-consciousness may arise and considerations of pursuing a surgical solution increase.

Am I a candidate for plastic surgery to reduce my nipple size?

If your nipples lead to self-consciousness or interfere with arousal and sexual enjoyment, then you may be a candidate for a cosmetic solution to address your nipple prominence.

Nobody needs to bear the burden of embarrassment due to prominent nipples. A cosmetic solution will increase your quality of life and self-confidence by increasing the aesthetic appeal of your nipples.

Why have my nipples not returned to their previous appearance since breastfeeding?

While many women are fortunate enough to have their nipple appearance return to normal after breastfeeding, occasionally nipple shape irrevocably changes before or after weaning. This is due to damage or scarring of the milk ducts during breastfeeding.

What are the causes altered nipple prominence?

Irregular nipple shapes can be caused by numerous factors, including:

  • Genetics – Hereditary factors greatly govern nipple form and shape
  • Hormones – Hormones heavily influence breast tissue development. If a hormonal imbalance exists, then nipple prominence may increase or decreases
  • Injury – If a breast has been injured, scar tissue development may result in an inverted nipple

Do non-surgical options exist to address nipple prominence?

Non-surgical solutions are available for women with mildly inverted nipples, including:

  • Stimulating procedures to coax the nipple out, such as icing the nipple
  • Breast shells, which are plastic discs that are implemented for women who wish to breastfeed but have inverted nipples. These are adapted with suction devices that can pull the nipple out.
  • Alternatively, some individuals find that placement of a nipple piercing which is left in place for several months can correct mildly inverted nipples.

What surgical solutions are available to change nipple shape?

Regardless of whether your nipples are overly prominent or inverted, Chicago Breast Surgeon, Dr. Otto Placik, can surgically correct your undesirable nipple shape. Surgical options include:

  • Release of tethered tissues causing nipple inversion – If tight or restricting ducts has resulted in nipple inversion, these can be surgically treated to allow greater nipple prominence. However, this may have the potential to interfere with the future potential to nurse.
  • In the event of prominent nipples, Dr. Placik will excise the excess nipple tissue.
  • Breast augmentation – Nipple modification can be performed simultaneously with a breast augmentation

Enduring embarrassment for prominent nipples is not a burden you must bear. Please contact the plastic surgery office of Chicago Breast Surgeon, Dr. Otto Placik, today for a breast surgery consultation.

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