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Nipples and breast reduction

Posted by Dr Jamie Burt on 1 June 2017

The major motivation for all women considering breast reduction is reducing the symptoms caused by the excessive weight of their breasts.

This is a given but it doesn't mean you will not have other important questions to ask your Plastic Surgeon about the procedure.

Today I thought we should deal with the common questions in relation to your nipples and breast reduction surgery procedures.The commonly asked questions I have listed below:

Are my nipples removed during the procedure?

Your nipples are never removed during a breast reduction procedure they always remain attached to your body via the breast tissue we are keeping during the procedure which is what forms your new breast going forward.

Can I have the size of my nipples reduced?

Most women considering breast reduction have overly large nipples which are stretched as a result of the excessive weight of their breasts and the stretching of the breast skin. Most women choose to have their nipples reduced in size to be in proportion to their new breast size.

My nipples have drooped way below the breast fold . Will they be moved back onto my chest during the procedure?

All breast reduction techniques will move your nipples back "uphill" to the level of the breast fold.

Will my nipple sensation be affected by breast reduction?

There are varied potential effects of breast reduction on nipple sensation.

a) If you currently have very large, drooping breasts with very stretched nipples you may have poor nipple sensation . If this is you, sometimes you can get increased nipple sensation after a procedure (this can either be perceived as good or bad thing by the individual). Usually it settles down over time (months).

b) There is a risk you could totally or partially lose sensation in one or both of your nipples as a result of breast reduction. Sometimes this is short lived (weeks) and resolves with time. Sometimes this is permanent (your nipple can look normal but you do not have any sensation in it ).

Could my nipple die as a result of being moved during a breast reduction procedure?

It is possible for the blood supply to your nipple to be damaged during a breast reduction procedure. If the damage to the blood supply is significant enough a part or all of the nipple skin can die following the procedure . If this occurs it happens in the first days following the procedure. Fortunately this problem occurs very uncommonly (possibly around 1/425 cases) but it is one of the reasons you need to think very carefully about the risk of the procedure before you decide to proceed.

For further information about breast reduction, plastic surgery or to make an appointment contact Dr James Burt - Plastic Surgeon at The Breast Reduction Clinic in Malvern, Melbourne.

Dr Jamie BurtAuthor:Dr Jamie Burt
About: Dr Jamie Burt was born and educated in Melbourne, attending the University of Melbourne and graduating with MBBS in 1998. He is a member of the Senior Medical Staff at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, and was Head of Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute until 2004. Known for his respectful, informative, and caring approach, Jamie has been caring for women with breast reduction concerns for over 15 years. During this time, one moment stands out as defining what he aims to achieve with The Breast Reduction Clinic.
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