At South Coast Plastic Surgery, we offer several surgical options to correct and contour nipples and areolas. Whether you experience inverted, enlarged or extended nipples or puffy, enlarged or discolored areolas, you may find that a nipple repair is the best choice for you.
Performed alone, procedures specific to nipples and areolas are relatively simple surgeries, and are almost always performed under local anesthetic on an outpatient basis. You may require prescribed sedatives which could briefly limit activity, but most patients will find they are able to return to normal activity within just a few days after surgery.
If you are unsatisfied with the appearance or function of your nipple, please call and schedule a consultation. Dr. Song will work closely with you to develop a surgical plan that will help you achieve your desired appearance, restore regular breast function and bring you the confidence and comfort you deserve.
NIPPLE REDUCTION & CONTOURING
While there is no ideal size for an areola, contouring the areola can help you achieve the look you want. This procedures is often performed along with breast reduction.
Some women suffer from “puffy” areolas, were the skin of the areola is not as thick as surrounding skin. This allows the underlying breast tissue to push through, causing the areola to protrude unnaturally. This can be remedied by reducing the areola’s overall size and tightening up the underlying tissue.
Other issues women experience include excessively long nipples, irregularly shaped areolas, discolored nipples and areolas, and bumpy or pock-marked areolas.
Inverted nipples are a common problem among women. The cause of nipple inversion is usually a congenital shortening of one or more milk ducts that run from the breast tissue to the nipple. Sometimes the shortening is caused by an infection or a previous breast surgery. Yet other times, the problem presents at birth. The shortened milk duct or ducts tether the nipple and pull it inward, resulting in an inverted appearance.
While inverted nipples can lead to problems with self-consciousness and embarrassment, they can also cause issues beyond aesthetic concerns. Inverted nipples can create frustrating issues with breastfeeding, infections and other physical discomfort.
Surgery involves exposing a dividing the shortened duct through a small incision located at the junction of the nipple and the areola. This procedure is done under local anesthesia and is an outpatient surgery. There is minimal pain and swelling and women can often return to work in a couple of days.
For women who have undergone a mastectomy, nipple reconstruction is the final touch for achieving a more natural appearance. Nipple reconstruction will typically be performed once your breasts have healed from your previous surgery.
There are several methods used to recreate a nipple and areola. Grafting is one of the most common procedures, which takes donor skin and tissue to rebuild the nipple. If there is enough skin and underlying soft tissue, you may be a suitable candidate for a flap reconstruction wherein a series of small incisions are created to allow for elevation of two or three small flaps of tissue to be raised and sutured together to create a nipple.
Dr. Song will be happy to discuss the options available and help determine the best method for you anatomy and goals.