How Is Nipple Reduction Surgery Done In Men?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am considering getting nipple reduction surgery if this is possible. I am a 19 year-old male college student who has a very athletic body type. I suspect I have always had nipples which stuck out and they didn’t used to bother me. But now they do and it has been giving me self-esteem issues. What type of surgery do I need to correct this problem, how is it done, and how long is the recovery?

A: When I get requests for ‘nipple reduction’ surgery, it is important for me to discern exactly what the problem is. Nipples can stick out from two causes and the difference is in understanding the anatomy of the nipple-areolar complex.. The first is true nipple protrusion or hypertrophy. This is where the small central raised nipple sticks out too far, either all the time or when it becomes temporarily erect. This creates a small almost sharp point that can be seen through shirts or makes for a non-smooth chest profile. Nipple reduction is essentially a wedge amputation, is done in the office under local anesthesia, and will produce a permanently flat nipple. There is no recovery at all. The other cause of the entire nipple-areolar complex sticking, also mistakenly called a protruding nipple, is gynecomastia. When the size of the gynecomastia is small, it can push out the entire nipple-areolar complex. This makes a ‘nipple mound’. This areolar gynecomastia reduction is removed through a lower areolar incision and is done in the operating room under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. The enlarged and firm mass of breast tissue is removed to bring the profile of the nipple-areolar complex back to a smooth chest contour. There is about 7 to 10 days of recovery in which the patient wears a circumferential chest wrap to reduce the chance of any fluid collection in the space where the breast tissue was removed.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana