Reduction of Protruding Nipples – Will I Lose Feeling?

Q : I am bothered by the size of my nipples. They stick out too far. It is embarrassing in shirts. They are even noticeable in bras unless they are padded. I often wear nipple pads or ‘dimmers’ so they are not so obvious. I am interested in having them reduced but am afraid of losing all my feeling in them. Can you tell me how this procedure is done?

A: There is no standard size or length for what a nipple should be. But when its length becomes a socially embarrassing issue, then nipple reduction should be considered. Reducing the length of the nipple is a simple procedure that can be done under local anesthesia. It can be done alone or in combination with most forms of breast surgery, most commonly breast implant augmentation.

The nipple can be reduced two different ways depending upon its size, how much reduction one wants to achieve, and if as much feeling as possible wants to be maintained. A wedge excision of the nipple can be done which will reduce its length by at least half if not more. (depends on the size of the wedge) This will eliminate the possibility of breast feeding and some feeling will definitely be lost. (how much can not be predicted) The other option is a circular or donut reduction where a ring of nipple tissue is removed at its base. Breast feeding will still be possible and the least potential for feeling loss is the benefit of this approach.

Either method uses dissolveable sutures with only a band-aid for a dressing. One can shower the next day. There are no restrictions after nipple reduction surgery.   

Dr. Barry Eppley