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Nipple Reconstruction & Correction

While much of the focus on breast procedures is on your breasts’ shape and size, your nipples and areolas also matter in the overall look and function of your breasts. If you have a breast reconstruction after mastectomy, a new nipple creates a powerful new self-image that you’re not afraid to share with your partner. Visit the facility of Rowe Plastic Surgery in Manhattan, Long Island, New Jersey and the Hamptons and talk to a board certified cosmetic surgeon who specializes in cosmetic breast procedures. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Home » Procedures » Breast » Nipple Reconstruction & Correction
Page Updated on May 31, 2022 by Dr. Norman Rowe (Plastic Surgeon) of Rowe Plastic Surgery

How Are Nipple Reconstruction and Nipple Correction Different?

Nipple reconstruction is a surgical procedure that rebuilds or recreates a nipple on a reconstructed breast. Many cancer patients get nipple reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy as part of a breast reconstruction procedure. Once the breast mound is completed, a top cosmetic breast surgeon offers different procedures to create a new nipple, from forming the button of the nipple to tattooing to create a natural-looking color. Some patients prefer just a tattoo.

Nipple correction is a surgery that modifies complications associated with the nipples in both women and men. Such problems include enlarged nipples, asymmetrical nipples, protruding nipples and inverted nipples. Nipple correction surgery goes beyond aesthetics to improve the function of your nipples, which are critical in breastfeeding. If they’re improperly shaped, your child can experience problems feeding.

Nipple surgery is necessary in different situations. During your consultation at Rowe Plastic Surgery> in New York City and New Jersey, your cosmetic breast surgeon discusses the options available for your nipples. You may also want to recreate, reduce or enlarge the surrounding darker area known as the areola.

Who Needs Nipple Surgery?

Women and men opt for nipple reconstruction for varying reasons. When you consult a top breast surgeon in NYC or NJ, expect the doctor to perform a thorough examination of your breasts to determine if you’re a good candidate for the surgery. Some reasons for nipple reconstruction or nipple correction surgery include:

  • Inverted nipples correction. If you have nipples that turn inward instead of outward, doctors classify your condition as inverted nipples. At grade 1, your nipples are inverted underneath the areola, which you have to manipulate to protrude. This is usually an annoyance, but not a serious medical issue. Grade 2 is a similar condition, but you have to use force to get the nipples to come out. For a grade 3 condition, you have permanently inverted nipples, and surgical correction is necessary to reveal the nipples.
  • After breast reconstruction surgery. Your surgeon often carries out nipple reconstruction as the final stage of your breast reconstruction. The goal is to top your rebuilt breast with a real-looking nipple.
  • After gynecomastia surgery. Men sometimes acquire large breasts, a condition called gynecomastia. They can opt for gynecomastia surgery, which is a cosmetic procedure to reduce their breast size. After the surgery, these men may want smaller nipples as well.
  • Areola reduction. If you feel self-conscious about the enlarged dark pigment area around your nipple, your cosmetic surgeon recommends areola reduction surgery to make your breast more aesthetically appealing. You can also reduce your nipple size.
  • Extra nipple removal. Supernumerary nipples are actually common, but most people hide their shame and suffer silently. You don’t have to. Your doctor leverages advanced nipple surgery techniques to remove the extra nipple. The effect produces a better self-image and no fears of intimacy.
  • Nipple enlargement. Nipples are the focal point of your breasts. If you have unusually small nipples, you may not like the minimal impact they have. Ask your plastic surgeon about nipple enlargement.
  • Enhanced self-image. If your nipples are perfectly centered on your breasts, enhancing their look can give your self-image a much needed boost. Whether you want them bigger or smaller, or if you want your areolas larger and smaller, cosmetic surgery can improve on your natural look.

If you have a defective nipple or you feel the size of the areola affects your breasts’ appearance, talk to a board certified plastic surgeon at a New York City or New Jersey breast surgery center. The Rowe Plastic Surgery doctors have performed many nipple reconstruction procedures for many satisfied patients. With their state-of-the-art facility and detailed knowledge, they help you achieve the look you want through a safe nipple reconstruction procedure.

What Can I Expect from a Nipple Reconstruction or Nipple Correction?

Everyone goes to a breast surgeon with high hopes for the outcome of the surgery. During your initial consultation, the surgeon listens to your hopes and dreams before discussing what the reconstruction can and can’t do. You must have realistic expectations heading into surgery. By the time of your procedure, you understand what to expect during and after a nipple reconstruction or nipple correction surgery, such as:

  • Your initial consultation. The surgeon carries out a breast examination and requests any diagnostic tests, if necessary. A review of your medical history is also necessary to ensure you’re a good candidate for the procedure.
  • Better-looking nipples. Whether your nipples are asymmetrical, too small or too large, nipple correction surgery makes the necessary adjustments. If you want a nipple on your reconstructed breast after a mastectomy, nipple reconstruction surgery creates the nipple.
  • Immediate results. You should expect some numbness, mild pain and soreness after your nipple correction surgery, including some pain on your breasts at the site of the incisions. All this pain is normal and temporary.
  • Final results. For the ultimate results of what your nipple will look like, you have to wait until you’re fully healed. Right after the surgery, your nipple and areola look nothing like you wanted because of the swelling. You may not see the final results until after several weeks of healing, when your nipples settle into their new shape.
  • Improved self-esteem. If you had esteem issues because of your nipple concerns, you can enjoy more confidence in public and during intimate moments after your nipple surgery. Breast surgery can overcome your body image problems and allow you to interact positively with people.
  • A better quality of life. Nipple reconstruction can improve different aspects of your life, including pain reduction for inverted nipples and body image problems. Nipple reconstruction on a reconstructed breast makes it look natural.

When you meet your plastic surgeon at the state-of-the-art facilities in Manhattan, Long Island or New Jersey, you can ask any question you wish about nipple reconstruction or nipple correction. The consultation focuses on whether you qualify for the procedure and how your expectations align with reality. Also, you can review some of the doctor’s before and after photos in the office.

What Are Different Techniques for Nipple Surgery?

During your initial consultation, which may come before your mastectomy, your cosmetic surgeon listens to your goals about your nipples. After a mastectomy, you may be satisfied with just having nipples, but you don’t have to settle for that. A top breast surgeon develops a custom treatment plan for you. Common nipple surgery techniques include:

  • Nipple reconstruction with surrounding skin. In this nipple surgery technique, your surgeon raises skin flaps around the location of your new nipple on your reconstructed breast. The doctor makes incisions to form the tissue into a nipple shape. Next, the surgeon folds and closes the skin flaps to create a bump that grows into a nipple.
  • Skin grafting for nipple reconstruction. Grafting is one of the most revolutionary medical procedures. A breast surgeon can use the procedure to reconstruct your nipple. The process involves harvesting a small piece of skin, the graft, from another part of your body for the areola and nipple creation. The procedure is ideal if you don’t have enough tissue on your breasts to create a nipple mold.
  • Medical tattooing. Three-dimensional nipple tattoos can reconstruct an areola. The tattoo artist uses needles to insert pigment into the breast skin to create a realistic image of a nipple and areola. You can opt for this procedure after a nipple reconstruction or instead of the surgical procedure.
  • Nipple sharing. If you can have a mastectomy on a single breast, your surgeon can use part of your other nipple to create a new one on your reconstructed breast. The nipple sharing procedure entails cutting out a portion of the healthy nipple and using it to build a new nipple on the reconstructed breast. The surgical procedure can produce a more natural-looking nipple in size and color. Medical tattooing then aids with the areola reconstruction.
  • Mastopexy revision. After a breast lift, you may not get the desired results. A mastopexy revision helps correct any complications, including any issues with your nipples.

No matter what type of procedure you need or want, choose a cosmetic surgeon who is skilled and experienced in nipple reconstruction and nipple correction techniques. The surgeons at Rowe Plastic Surgery are board certified in New Jersey and in New York City. The nipple reconstruction surgery technique chosen for you depends on your needs and your budget.

What Does Nipple Surgery Involve?

During a nipple surgery, your surgeon focuses on both the nipple and the areola. The best breast surgeon creates a tailored surgery plan to achieve the desired results. Your nipple reconstruction procedure may differ in the details, but all nipple surgeries follow similar steps, including:

  1. Outpatient planning. Nipple surgery is usually an outpatient surgery, meaning you get to go home to recover. If you pair nipple reconstruction with another procedure, you may need an overnight hospital stay. It’s recommended that you arrange for a friend or relative to drive you home.
  2. Preparation. Your doctor lets you know in advance which medications you must stop taking before the surgery. You may even be instructed not to eat or drink for several hours before the procedure. On the day of your surgery, don’t use deodorant, lotions or any scented products. Wear loose-fitting clothes to the practice.
  3. Anesthesia. An anesthesiologist working with your cosmetic surgeon administers general anesthesia or local anesthesia to make you comfortable during the procedure. Depending on the type of surgery, local anesthesia may be all you need, which means you’re awake during the procedure, but you can request to be put under general anesthesia, which puts you to sleep during the surgery.
  4. Nipple and areola reconstruction. Your surgeon uses the most effective technique to get the desired results. The surgery may involve the use of skin grafting to create the nipple, or it may create the nipple molds from existing breast skin. The length of surgery depends on the complexity of the reconstruction. Each nipple may take as little as 15 minutes or as long as over an hour.
  5. Post-procedure monitoring. Your doctor checks your condition immediately after the surgery. If you had general anesthesia, you can expect to rest for about an hour before being released into someone else’s care. In the case of local anesthesia, you’re released sooner, after the doctor checks your vital signs. You’re given specific care instructions before you leave.
  6. Post-surgery care. Your reconstructed nipple and areola require proper care. The surgeon uses a nipple shield or a protective dressing. For enhanced protection, your doctor provides you with an antibacterial ointment to prevent infections.

A nipple reconstruction or nipple correction seeks to crown your breasts with the best-shaped nipples for maximum effect. Your nipples and areolas are as unique as a fingerprint. Whether you come in for nipple reconstruction after a mastectomy or for an improved body image, visiting Rowe Plastic Surgery is the best decision you’ll make.

How’s the Recovery After Nipple Reconstruction

Before you leave the doctor’s office after a nipple correction, you receive a set of instructions to follow to ensure a speedy recovery. Depending on the procedure you had done, your recovery period may be longer or shorter than average. Some helpful notes on recovery after a nipple reconstruction include:

  • Expect some pain, numbness and soreness around the incisions on your breasts for a week or two. Your doctor can provide pain medication or anti-inflammatory drugs as needed to ease your short-term discomfort.
  • • Your plastic surgeon dresses your nipples or uses a nipple cover to promote fast and effective healing. Keep the dressing in place and clean for seven to 10 days or until you’re directed to remove it.
  • The reconstructed area takes about to 10 days to heal fully.
  • Avoid tight bras and clothing over your nipple to ensure it doesn’t change shape or get infected.
  • You can take a shower two days after your surgery, but avoid washing the surgery area.
  • Avoid heavy lifting for several weeks until fully healed to avoid damaging the sutures.
  • Depending on the nature of your occupation, you can return to work the next day, but avoid any strenuous tasks or heavy lifting.
  • Your reconstructed nipples may look red and swollen with visible scarring. Let them heal gradually and fully, and you’ll be rewarded with nipples you’ve always wanted.

The surgeons at Rowe Plastic Surgery are available for virtual calls during your recovery period. Because you’ve chosen the best breast surgeons in the New York City Metropolitan area, they minimize any possible side effects and post-care complications with their attention to detail. Nipple reconstruction surgery has minimal risks, as the tissue used for the new nipples comes from your own body.

How Much Is Nipple Reconstruction?

The cost of nipple reconstruction varies, depending on the type of surgery technique used. After your examination, your surgeon can estimate the reconstruction costs. Some factors that can affect the cost of your nipple reconstruction include:

  • Combining multiple breast procedures — such as breast lift, breast augmentation or breast reduction  — with your nipple reconstruction
  • The expertise of your surgeon
  • Where your surgeon is located
  • The surgery technique required

According to the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHCRA), insurance plans must cover the cost of breast reconstruction after a mastectomy and other reconstructive procedures. Your doctor works with your insurance provider to confirm whether your plan covers the procedure.

Nipple Reconstruction FAQs

  • What are the different types of nipples? Women have different types of nipples, such as bumpy, flat, inverted, supernumerary (an extra nipple), hairy, protruding or puffy nipples. If you don’t feel comfortable about your nipples, you may be a good candidate for nipple correction.
  • What are inverted nipples? Inverted nipples are a common problem. Fixing them requires a nipple correction procedure. Your nipples look inverted or flat because of shorter breast ligaments and ducts. Nipple reconstruction surgery helps make your nipples protrude, making it easier to breastfeed, and improves your confidence during intimacy.
  • Who’s a good candidate for nipple surgery? If you have completely inverted nipples that cause breastfeeding or intimacy problems, nipple correction may be the answer. Other candidates for nipple surgery include women who’ve had a mastectomy, want to increase or reduce their nipples or areolas, and desire overall improvement of the appearance of their breasts.
  • Is nipple reconstruction permanent? Nipple reconstruction is a procedure that takes tissue from another part of your body to make new nipples. The tissue continues to grow and makes the nipples form the desired shape. The effect is permanent, but if you experience drastic changes in weight, you may see corresponding changes in your nipples.
  • Is nipple reconstruction available for men? Men can also suffer unique problems that require nipple reconstruction or nipple correction surgery. For instance, a man who has had a mastectomy can benefit from nipple reconstruction for an improved body image. A man who had gynecomastia surgery may opt for a nipple correction. And of course, men can suffer inverted nipples as well as women.
  • Can I breastfeed after nipple reconstruction? After you heal from nipple correction surgery, you can comfortably breastfeed because breast surgeons take care not to affect glands responsible for milk production or the milk ducts that supply milk to the nipples. A nipple reconstruction, however, creates a nipple in appearance only, usually on a reconstructed breast after mastectomy. You can’t breastfeed with this type of nipple.
  • Can I combine inverted nipple surgery with other procedures? Inverted nipple correction surgery provides better results when combined with other breast procedures, such as a breast lift, augmentation or reduction. Your surgeon advises you whether other breast procedures work well with your nipple surgery.

Don’t let your nipples keep you from enjoying life or intimacy. Don’t let your mastectomy and breast reconstruction alter your opinion of yourself. Nipple correction and nipple reconstruction surgery at Rowe Plastic Surgery can be a life-changing procedure. Contact the team for professional breast procedures, including nipple reconstruction, nipple correction and other cosmetic breast surgeries. You can find an office in Red Bank or Montclair, NJ or in Manhattan, Plainview or Water Mill, NY.

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I had an amazing experience with Rowe Plastic Surgery. Dr. Pierce, Lisa, and his staff were PHENOMENAL. I am thrilled with the results! Lisa helped tremendously with billing as well. My recovery was also great. I highly recommend Rowe's Plastic Surgery to anyone looking for a transformation that will change their life 🙂

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Dr Rowe and his staff are so professional and friendly and helpful!I just had a breast reduction yesterday and I feel great considering I just had surgery. In a little pain but not much.
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