Nipple Surgery: Candidates, Procedure, Risks & Costs

Nipple augmentation is a plastic surgery procedure for improving nipple size and appearance in men and women.

This surgery is often a follow-up procedure performed after breast augmentation, a breast lift or reconstructive surgery.

Is Nipple Surgery Right for Me?

The best candidates for nipple surgery include people with the following characteristics:

  • Asymmetric nipples: Caused by breast surgery or the natural aging process that changes the shape of the breast and the location of the nipple; or nipples with uneven lines.
  • Inverted nipples: A lack of tissue that shows as an indented appearance of the areola.
  • Enlarged nipple: Excessive tissue in the areola that may protrude above the skin or nipple. The areola size may appear too large or long for the rest of the breast.

Nipple surgery may be needed after a breast augmentation or reconstruction procedure. The nipple can also be affected during breast lift surgery. Candidates who plan to breast feed may not be indicated for certain techniques.

The surgical procedure and technique recommended can vary among treatment providers. For example, one surgeon may consider repair for herniation of the nipple an extensive procedure, while another may not. Your surgeon may also recommend less invasive procedures. For example, micropigmentation may be recommended to refine the uneven appearance or discoloration of a nipple. A consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the most effective way to decide if nipple surgery is the right choice.

During your consultation, the surgeon will complete a medical evaluation. You will receive a list of instructions to follow before the procedure. These instructions may include no eating or drinking after midnight, an antibiotic for before and after the procedure, temporarily stopping certain medications, and having someone drive you home after the procedure. (Read our preoperative and postoperative checklist.)

The Nipple Surgery Procedure

The procedure may be performed at a surgeon’s office, outpatient surgery center or hospital. Time in surgery is about one hour. The procedure may be performed under local anesthesia (you are sedated, numbed and awake) or general anesthesia (you are asleep). Normally you will return home the same day.

During the procedure, an incision will be made in the nipple itself or in the areola. In some cases (such as an enlarged nipple), excess skin may be removed before the incision is closed. In other cases, the surgeon will lift the area around the incision and reposition it. A bandage will be applied to reduce swelling and discomfort.

After Nipple Surgery

The recovery time for nipple surgery is usually short. Most procedures use local anesthesia, which minimizes recovery time. Some swelling and bruising may occur, but the discomfort usually subsides within a few days. You may experience pain in the nipple area, which can be treated with oral medications. Many patients need medication for only a day or two.

You may experience hypersensitivity after surgery, but this usually resolves itself during the months after the surgery. You will probably be advised to refrain from strenuous activity for two or more weeks after the procedure. Your surgeon should provide a postoperative instruction list to reduce the risk of complications. The results of the procedure may not be apparent for several months.

Complications and Risks

Complications can occur with any medical procedure. The technique used in surgery and the type of anesthesia can have an impact on risk. Complications from nipple surgery are infrequent, but one of the most common is infection that requires antibiotic treatment. Bleeding may produce excessive bruising or a hematoma (blood clot), which requires physician intervention and leads to longer recovery.

Nerve damage is one of the worst complications, but it is rare. Often, nerve damage is temporary and resolves itself in six months or more. Scarring may occur. The surgeon may prescribe medication to reduce scarring.

There may be other risks that you should discuss with your surgeon.

Nipple Surgery Costs in Dubai

Fees for nipple surgery in Dubai can range from 8,000 to 13,000 AED.

If the cost of nipple surgery is difficult for you to manage, ask your surgeon about payment plans and medical finance options. Most cosmetic plastic surgery practices provide consumer-friendly payment plans that allow you to make monthly payments.