Nipple or areola revision surgery may be a good fit for you, whether you suffer from physical or emotional distress related to having longer nipples or large areolas or you simply want to feel confident being naked.
The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal, and you’ll have to decide if the benefits of the surgery outweigh the risks and potential complications of surgery.
You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your surgeon.
Nipple and/or areola revision surgery is normally done under a local anesthetic. The surgery requires an incision to be made on the nipple and/or areola. A nipple or areola reduction will require surgical removal of the nipple or areola tissue. An areola reduction will require a circular scar around the areola.
Dissolvable stitches will be used on the surgical incision. Depending on the case, there may be a permanent stitch placed to help maintain the position of the nipple. A skin glue may be applied on top of the surgical incisions. Your surgeon may ask that you wear nipple guards for two weeks and be careful with wearing together clothing and bras. You will be provided with the nipple guards at the time of surgery if they are needed.
Following local anesthesia, it may take 4-5 hours for the numbing effects to wear off – similar to something you would have done at the dentist. You can even eat and drink like normal before your procedure. We just ask that you not consume alcohol 24 hour prior to surgery. You must be accompanied by a responsible adult on your way home, who may either drive you home or take a taxi with you. You may feel pain slowly increase as the numbing wears off. Please ensure you have some acetaminophen or ibuprofen at home to use for any discomfort.
Skin glue will peel off on its own within 5-7 days. You are able to shower as normal, you are able to use soap and water on the incisions. Please do not bathe or soak your incisions until all incisions have completely healed. It can take up to four weeks for dissolvable stitches to dissolve. Swelling and bruising is common following surgery and is to be expected. The bruising should subside within 2-4 weeks after surgery.
Patients are able to get up and walk around right after surgery. However, it is important to reduce pressure to the nipples/areolas during recovery. Most patients are back to normal daily activities the next day. However, there should be no heavy lifting for 4 weeks following surgery to ensure there is no separation of the surgical incisions. Most patients who have sedentary jobs do not take time off work. If your job involves a lot of physical activity be sure to speak with your surgeon during your consultation with regards to how much time off you will need for your specific daily tasks. Most patients are comfortable driving the next day. However, it is not uncommon for a spot along your surgical incisions to open up during the postoperative stages due to increased tension on the incisions with movement or poor healing. This is not a serious complication, and can be remedied with daily dressings, but it does mean a delay in your expected recovery time.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to give us a call at (403) 800-9157 and leave a message as necessary. If you are unable to reach us, and need medical advice please call 811 to speak to a nurse, the line is free of charge and available 24 hours a day. If it is a medical emergency please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital, or call the Peter Lougheed Centre Switchboard at (403) 943-4555 and ask to speak to the plastic surgeon on-call.
It is also important to note that nipple/areola surgery can interfere with your ability to breast-feed. We tell patients that there is a 50/50 chance of being able to breast-feed after surgery. If breast-feeding is very important to you, then you may want to wait until after having your children before considering surgery.
A good candidate for surgery is a patient who is relatively healthy and has realistic expectations for post-operative outcomes. It is also strongly advised that you be a non-smoker at the time of surgery. If you are a smoker we recommend you quit smoking at least 3 months prior to surgery as nicotine can interfere with blood supply and potentially cause complications with healing after surgery.