What is nipple reduction?
We often get patients enquiring at the clinic about nipple reduction and it can mean a number of things.
What is commonly referred to as the nipple, in medical terms it is made up of what we call the nipple areolar complex (NAC).
This comprises the actual nipple itself which is the bit that sticks out in the middle and the areola which is the pigmented area around the outside.
When patients talk about a nipple reduction it can mean different things for females and males.
For a female, it can often mean areolar reduction where the pigmented area around the nipple is too large, and so this can be reduced by removing a doughnut of skin, and in fact it is not the nipple itself that is the problem at all.
It is less common for the actual nipple to be enlarged.
Of course, it is possible to reduce the nipple if this is the problem.
Men who complain of enlarged nipples are often suffering from gynaecomastia which may manifest itself as puffy nipples, and again it is usually the areola that is being referred to.
However, an areolar reduction is not normally the best treatment because it is caused by the tissue behind the nipple pushing the nipple forward and making the areola look more prominent, and the best way to address this is by gynaecomastia correction which will remove that puffy tissue and once the tension has gone from the nipple it will shrink back and look normal again.
Again it may actually be an enlarged nipple that can be a problem, although this is less common, but if this is the case it can be addressed by taking a small piece of it away so that it is not so prominent.
When people talk about a nipple reduction it is important to be clear about what part of the nipple areolar complex needs to be reduced and what is causing the enlargement, so that this can be addressed.
A picture tells a thousand words and you are always welcome to send us a photo if you are not sure what the problem is, and of course, you would be welcome to come to the clinic for a consultation to speak to one of our surgeons in order to get an more accurate idea about what treatment might be right for you.
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