Nipple Surgery in Boston

Named Among the Best Plastic Surgeons in Boston

Helena O. Taylor, MD, PHD, FACS & Stephen R. Sullivan, MD, MPH, FACS

Dr. Taylor & Dr. Sullivan, Nipple Surgery Specialists. Board-certified Reconstructive, Aesthetic and Plastic Surgeons in Boston, Massachusetts

Nipple Surgery Boston

What is Nipple Surgery?

Nipple surgery can correct issues in the appearance of nipples, address their projection, or repairs developmental anomalies or asymmetries. It can also address the areola, the pigmented area around the nipple.

Nipple and Areola Correction At A Glance


  • Inverted or enlarged nipple
  • Enlarged areola


  • Removes excess skin and fat
  • Youthful appearance




1-2 hours


  • Local, Sedation (sleepy) or General Anesthesia


  • Comfortably at home


  • None


  • Activities of daily living – 1 day
  • Light exercise – 2-3 week
  • Full exercise and contact sports – 6 weeks

Common Types of Nipple and Areolar Procedures

There are various ways you can address a nipple issue depending on the specifics of the condition you are seeking to correct.

  • Areola Reduction eliminates excess pigmented skin and can change the shape and size of the areolae. This is suitable for patients who feel their areaolae, the pigmented areas at the base of the nipples is too large for their breast or nipple. This is considered a cosmetic procedure, unless it occurs as part of a medically indicated breast procedure, such as breast reduction.
  • Extra Nipple Excision removes extra nipples that occur along the mammary milk line. These are surprisingly common, and may occur as just an extra nipple (polythelia) or as an extra nipple and breast (polymastia). Some insurance plans will cover removal of these developmentally anomalous nipples.
  • Nipple Reconstruction is typically performed after mastectomy when the nipple is removed for cancer reasons. During breast reconstruction, after the breast mound has been reconstructed small flaps of tissue can be used to make a new nipple. This increases the projection of the nipple, which can then be tattooed to add pigment or color to the nipple and areaola.
  • Nipple Inversion is surprisingly common. This is thought to occur because the milk ducts are tethering the nipple and pulling it inwards underneath the surface. These tethering bands can be released and the nipple can be brought back out with a small incision at the base of the nipple. While this can normalize the appearance of the nipple, it is not a functional reconstruction, meaning it does not improve the ability of a patient to breastfeed, and might actually compromise the connections between the nipple and the milk glands. It is not therefore recommended in women who hope to breastfeed after surgery, and is considered a cosmetic procedure. It can be performed under local anesthetic in the office, or as part of another procedure in the operating room.
  • Nipple Reduction gets rid of excess portions of an enlarged nipple, corrects deformities, and can modify an elongated or sagging nipple.
  • Gynecomastia Surgery, or male breast reduction, corrects extra breast tissue over pectoral muscles in teenage boys or older males. The position of the nipple may need to be adjusted to accommodate the change in mass of the breast tissue.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a candidate for nipple surgery?

If you are bothered by the shape, size or position of your nipples you could consider surgery on your nipple or areaolae. Commonly these are performed at the time of other breast surgeries, but may also be performed on their own when the breast is otherwise not of concern. Some procedures are considered cosmetic (nipple or areolar reduction, or inverted nipple correction), while some may be considered part of medical care (nipple reconstruction after mastectomy). During your consultation with Dr. Taylor & Dr. Sullivan, we will discuss what you hope to achieve and the best course of action specific to your situation.

When can I resume my exercise routine?

You can go for a walk and perform light activities soon after your nipple correction surgery. When performed in isolation these are often small procedures and you can go back to exercise within a few days. If they are performed as part of a bigger breast procedure, it may be several weeks before you can ramp up to full activity.

Will I lose sensation in my nipples?

It is normal to lose some sensitivity in your nipples after nipple correction surgery. Sensitivity should return to normal within a few months.

Is there a scar with nipple surgery?

There can be a scar around the circumference of the areola or at the base of the nipple, but the nipple and areola are typically a favored places for making good scar, and often they are hard to see.

What can I expect during recovery from a nipple surgery?

We will continue to be closely involved in your care during your recovery. We want to ensure you have a quick and effective recovery after nipple surgery. When performed in isolation these are small procedures, and typically not very painful. Following your surgery, you can expect to experience sensitivity in your nipples for a few days. Most of our Boston nipple surgery patients do not require narcotic pain medications, but over the counter Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen usually suffices. Most commonly we use dissolving sutures underneath the skin, and you can shower within a day of surgery.

Consultation for Nipple Surgery in Boston

Nipple Surgery Boston

If you are interested in learning more about nipple correction or areaolar surgery, please contact us to set up your consultation with Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan.

During your consultation for nipple correction Boston plastic surgeons Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan hope to provide you with a thoughtful and honest evaluation. Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan have both been named among the best Board-certified Plastic Surgeons in Boston by Boston Magazine each year since they began practicing in the area. Excellence with compassion is the motto of Mount Auburn Hospital, which we aspire to achieve with each patient.

Call Today 617.492.0620

To schedule a private consultation with Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan, please call the office or request an appointment using our form. We welcome your visit and your questions.

300 Mount Auburn St. Ste 304, Cambridge, MA 02138

Taylor & Sullivan Plastic Surgery Boston
American Society of Plastic Surgeons American Board of Plastic Surgery Fellow American College of Surgeons American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons America Association of Plastic Surgeons Sigill Massachusetts


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300 Mount Auburn St. Ste 304, Cambridge