Plastic Surgery

Nipple Reduction Surgery

Nipple reduction surgery is a plastic surgery procedure that involves the use of various surgical techniques to reduce larger-than-normal nipples. The procedure that can be performed alone under local anesthesia can also be performed in conjunction with other mammoplasty procedures.

What Is Nipple Reduction?

Larger-than-normal nipples in both men and women may cause psychological problems due to the undesirable perception of body image as well as difficulties with the use of clothes in daily life.

While large nipples in women can be concealed by wearing appropriate bras, they exist as a problem that prevents men from wearing tight-fitting clothes. This issue is more obvious, particularly when accompanied by gynecomastia.

The size and shape of the nipple, into which 18 lactiferous ducts (colloquially known as milk ducts) open on average, are determined by genetic factors, but they can also change after pregnancy, breastfeeding, hormonal diseases or traumas. In a breast that is considered aesthetically normal, the nipple and the pigmented area (areola) around it are expected to be of appropriate size and proportion.

nipple reduction surgery

What Is The Ideal Or Normal Nipple Size?

In a study that involved 600 female breasts, the mean nipple diameter was found to be 1.3 cm, while the mean nipple projection was 9 mm. (References 1) Another study conducted on 100 men in 2021 revealed the nipple sizes in men, where the mean nipple base diameter was found to be 6.9 mm while the mean nipple projection was 2.7 mm. (References 2)

Nipples in different shapes that are too larger than normal that may cause discomfort to people can be reduced and reshaped by plastic surgeons using various surgical techniques. The surgical techniques used for this purpose can basically be divided into two groups: The techniques that involve cutting the milk ducts opening to the nipple, and the techniques that preserved these milk ducts.

This is especially important for women who plan to breastfeed their babies; so unless absolutely necessary, they should postpone nipple reduction until after childbirth and breastfeeding. If it is too big, the nipple base diameter can also be narrowed while reducing the projection of the nipple in the nipple reduction procedure.

Removing the excess nipple tissue as a wedge-shaped part and then bringing together the remaining tissues with the help of sutures is one of the most practical and effective techniques. In particular this surgical technique is commonly used for men and women who have completed the breastfeeding period. In this technique, the milk ducts are not preserved.

How is Nipple Reduction Surgery Performed?

More complex surgical techniques, on the other hand, aim at reshaping nipple three-dimensionally while preserving the milk ducts. (References 3) In another technique that is relatively less complicated than these, the excess nipple tissue is removed in the shape of a donut and the remaining dome-shaped part is re-sutured to the base. In this technique, the milk ducts are preserved.


Nipple reduction surgery that can be performed alone under local anesthesia an also be performed in conjunction with other mammoplasty procedures such as gynecomastia, breast reduction, or breast augmentation.

Preoperative Preparations for Nipple Reduction

Drugs and foods that have blood thinning effects should be discontinued 2 weeks before the surgery. There should be no active infection or another pathologic condition in the breast or nipple.

After Surgery

The nipples are dressed at the end of the surgery, and the sutures are removed after 7 days on average. Patients can return to their daily lives on the same day after the operation that is performed under local anesthesia.

Risks and Complications of Nipple Reduction Surgery

  • Scar
  • Suture dehiscence
  • Infection
  • Sensation alterations in the nipple
  • Circulatory disorder in the nipple tissue
  • Aesthetically unsatisfactory results

Is Non-Surgical Nipple Reduction Possible?

It is not possible.

Costs of Nipple Reduction In 2024

The cost of nipple reduction surgery varies depending on the hospital where the procedure will be performed, the surgical technique to be used, and the surgeon who will perform the procedure. By contacting our office you can learn the current surgery price specific to you.


  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18626683/
  2. https://www.zora.uzh.ch/id/eprint/110776/1/00006534-200112000-00015.pdf
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352587819300269

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who Are Candidates For Nipple Reduction?

It is performed on people with larger-than-normal nipples, particular on men. When men wear tight-fitting clothes, they feel extremely uncomfortable if their nipples are visible from the outside, giving them a feminine appearance. Women, on the other hand, are more tolerant in this regards because they breastfeed their babies and wear bras. However, women with extremely large nipples also have nipple reduction surgery for cosmetic reasons.

Can I breastfeed my baby after nipple reduction surgery?

To preserve the breastfeeding function after the operation, a surgical technique that doesn’t involve cutting the milk ducts should be used. The techniques mostly preferred for men and women who have left the breastfeeding period behind are those more practical and easy to use but do not preserve the orifices, into which the milk ducts open. One of them is the technique that involves removing a wedge-shaped tissue. Techniques that preserved the milk ducts are a bit more complex and require experience. In these techniques, while only donut-shaped skin is removed from around the nipple, care is taken to preserve the integrity of the milk ducts. In my practice, I advise young expectant mothers to postpone their operations until after the lactation processes, if the nipples are not deformed and excessively large enough to weaken their self-confidence.

Is nipple reduction surgery a painful procedure?

No significant pain is felt after a nipple reduction operation performed under local anesthesia. I recommend my patients to take a tablet of paracetamol on the day of the surgery. There is no need for any painkiller in the following postoperative days.

How does the healing process after nipple reduction progress?

A waterproof dressing is applied to the nipples and kept in place until the end of the first postoperative week, when the sutures are removed. Daily activities can be continued during this one-week period. There is no need for dressing or special care after the removal of the sutures

What should I do after having nipple reduction surgery?

Care should be taken to protect the integrity of the dressings in the surgical areas. If the dressing gets opened or contaminated for any reason, the plastic surgeon that performed the procedure should be contacted for the replacement of the dressing.

Does Nipple Reduction Surgery Involve Any Risk?

The risks include infection, suture dehiscence, permanent obvious scarring, inverted nipple, nipple deformity, temporary or permanent loss of sensation, tissue loss due to circulatory disorders and aesthetically unsatisfactory results.

Does Nipple Reduction Surgery Cause Cancer?

It is out of question that nipple reduction surgery causes cancer. However, care should be taken and a doctor should be consulted when the signs of breast cancer in the nipple are observed such as inverted nipple, change in the color and appearance of the nipple’s skin, pain, and discharge from the nipple. If there is any doubt, it should be investigated to determine whether there is an underlying pathology before the nipple reduction operation.

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