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Large nipples may be long and protruding or merely have a very wide diameter. In either case, such prominent nipples are bothersome to women or men because they can be seen through clothes. Whatever the cause, correction is done for cosmetic reasons and to look a chest or breast look that does not stand out in clothes. Enlarged nipples rarely cause pain or any nipple discharge issues.


Nipple reduction can be done by several different simple methods, depending upon the shape and length of the nipple and to what degree of reduction that the patient wants. One method involves removal of the top of the nipple in a v-shaped wedge and then closing it with small dissolveable sutures. Another method involves removal of a strip of skin around the neck of the nipple which when sutured closed, reduces the height of the nipple by pushing a portion of the nipple back into the breast tissue. With either method, feeling in the nipple is not usually changed and the ability to breast feed is possible. The top reduction method can reduce the length of the nipple the most while the strip reduction method is designed to have the least potential for any effect on nipple function. Once reduced, the shortened nipple length will be preserved forever.


Nipple reduction surgery is a simple procedure that can be done under local anesthesia in the office. Once injected, the procedure is painless and done in less than one hour. Small incisions are made right on the nipple and the excess nipple tissue removed. Dissolveable sutures are used so there is no need for suture removal later. Band-aids are used for dressings. While easily done alone in the office, nipple reductions can also be done with other breast procedures such as breast augmentation, breast reduction, or breast lifts. When combined with these procedures, they are done in the operating room with the main breast procedure.


There really is no recovery with nipple reduction. One can return to work or any other physical activity the same day. Showering and getting the nipples wet can be done the next day. Other than some mild nipple sensitivity, there is no swelling or bruising of any consequence.

Nipple reduction produces a very natural appearing nipple that causes less protrusion in clothes while maintaining feeling.


Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

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