Nipple Reduction

Nipple ReductionUsually when we think of enhancing the breasts we think about breast lifts, reductions and enlargments. However, for some women, their concerns are much more localized: they are unhappy with their nipples. Whether they are inverted or protrude too far or are too big or too puffy, these women are always excited to hear how simple it is to enhance just the nipple. And more beautiful nipples mean more beautiful breasts.

What many women think of as “the nipple” is actually made of two parts: the nipple and the areola. The nipple is the projected part and the areola is the dark pigmented skin that surrounds the nipple. This page discusses options to reduce enlarged nipples. If you are interested in solutions for enlarged areolas, read more.

If you’re uncertain about how to describe the look you’d like to have, visit our photo gallery and select your perfect nipple. Then go Inside Online and request an appointment to discuss your options with Dr. Stevens.

Large nipples – either in circumference or in length – can affect a woman’s appearance both nude and in clothing. Sometimes nipples are enlarged simply due to genetics or develop after childbirth and breastfeeding. Nipple reduction is also done in conjunction with breast augmentation, breast reduction, and breast lift surgery. Reducing a nipple’s size can be done right in the doctor’s office, as an out-patient. The surgery usually takes less than one hour and the patient can return to their normal activities within a day or two. Healing is fast and scarring (if any) is rarely visible. Sensitivity is usually maintained and the visual results are beautiful.

Surgical Reduction of the Nipple

First, the doctor will determine which part of the nipple needs to be reduced. Depending on the shape of the nipple this could be a reduction in length, a reduction in width, or both. This is often performed under a local anesthesia.

Length reduction

Nipples that are too long either droop down or project too far out can be shortened. Usually, to create a shorter nipple length, the tip of the nipple will be removed and sutured for closure. Sometimes the skin along the neck of the nipple will be removed. In those circumstances, the tip of the nipple is then sutured to the bottom of the nipple, creating a shorted nipple length.

Width reduction

If the nipple is too wide (or thick), but not too long, a pie-shaped wedge will be removed from the undersurface of the nipple. This allows the nipple to be “taken in” and the circumference reduced. Dissolving sutures are used.

Length and Width reduction

For some people the nipple may be too wide and too long. In those cases, both procedures are performed.


Recovery time will depend on the patient, but most patients can resume their normal activity within a day or two. Patients can shower the day after surgery. Dissolving sutures are used.

This treatment does not usually affect the ability to breastfeed. Some women are unable to breastfeed even without surgery. For more information, please see the La Leche League web site.

Plan to come in and talk with Dr. Stevens soon. To request a consultation, go Inside Online. The Los Angeles plastic surgeons offer free appointments at select times.