Breast Areola Surgery
Women sometimes present for correction of only nipple and/or areola issues.
For many women, having two projecting nipples is considered the aesthetic ideal. Some women have naturally inverting nipples however and are “inside” all the time. Still others have nipples that project normally when erect and only retract under the skin when relaxed.
The most common reason for nipple inversion is simply being born this way. The ducts draining through the nipple are too short, pulling the nipple inwards. This is a developmental occurrence and is considered entirely normal. Some woman develop inverted nipples following breast surgeries such as breast reduction, breast lifting and in procedures related to the management of breast cancer like lumpectomy and radiotherapy. Women whose nipples invert slowly over a period of weeks to months should have an examination by a qualified breast specialist to make sure a growth within the breast tissue is not the cause.
Nipple inversion can be easily managed with a simple outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. The nipple is carefully lifted into its erect position and small incision is made at its base. The ducts within the nipple are then carefully divided allowing the nipple to remain in the outward position. This procedure usually takes between 10 -20 minutes and can be combined with other breast procedures.
One important issue to consider before having inverted nipple surgery is that breast feeding will no longer possible from this breast. Most patients can return to normal activity and work immediately following the procedure. Return to aggressive physical activity, including contact sports, is permitted after 4 weeks
Some women have large areolas and find them not proportional to the size and form of their breasts. Fortunately, the diameter of the areola is easily adjusted under local anesthesia. This is routinely done as a quick 30-45 minute outpatient procedure. Under most circumstances, the scar from this adjustment is around the circumference of the areola itself – at the margin between the darker areola and the surrounding skin.
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