Nipple Correction 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 Correction Boston

What is Nipple Correction?

Nipple correction surgery can correct issues in the appearance of nipples, address their projection, or repair 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 correction 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 nipple correction 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 correction 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.


Please take your medications as directed by Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan to manage discomfort or symptoms. You are likely to be given:

  •  Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 1000 mg every 8 hours, space doses 4 hours after Ibuprofen so one or the other is taken every 4 hours
  •  Ibuprofen (Motrin) 800 mg or Colecoxib (Celebrex) 200 mg every 8 hours, space doses 4 hours after Acetaminophen so one or the other is taken every 4 hours


  • You may shower or sponge bath the day of the procedure and wash your skin as you normally would with soap and water. Avoid soaking the incision, although It will not hurt to get a splash of water from the shower on the wounds. Gently pat dry after washing.
  • You may wear a camisole, soft supportive bra, or no bra after surgery.
  • Most wounds will be closed with absorbable sutures that are buried and skin glue. The skin glue forms a barrier to water. Please do not remove the glue, it will fall off on its own after a few weeks. Do not apply any lotions, potions, ointments, creams or solutions (e.g. no hydrogen peroxide or alcohol) as they can be harmful to the fragile healing tissue.
  • You may apply ice packs to the nipple and areola for the first 48 hours to reduce swelling and bruising. Bags of frozen peas and corn make for excellent ice packs and can be held in place with a bra. Apply the ice packs for 20 min of each hour while awake.
  • A small amount of bleeding from the edges of the incision is normal.
  • Do not smoke or expose yourself to smoke, smokers or nicotine as wound healing will be compromised.


  •  For the first few days following inverted nipple correction or areola reduction, avoid raising your blood pressure or heart rate as it can cause bleeding. You may otherwise carry on with all your normal activities of daily living and work routine.


  • Mild swelling is to be expected. Please be patient.
  • The incisions often appear lumpy and bumpy. This is normal and the incisions will flatten over a few weeks.
  • The areola can appear asymmetric or irregularly shaped. This is normal and is due to the dissolving suture - similar to the way a draw string works on a garbage bag. Please be patient, the irregular shape and asymmetry will resolve over a few weeks.
  • Sensations like numbness, shooting pain, and burning are common during the healing process, may last several weeks, and gradually disappear. If the nipples are sensitive, it is best to desensitize them with gentle touch.
  • Scars take one full year to mature. You may notice that they become red, raised and firm for several weeks to months before becoming soft, flat and pale. Avoid Vitamin E as it can irritate the scar. Mederma has no proven benefit and is likely not worth the expense. All incisions will be sensitive to sunlight during the healing phase. Direct sun contact or tanning booths are to be avoided. Silicone cream or skin moisturizer with sunscreen and gentle massage may be helpful.
  • Please call our office (617-492-0620) if you have:
    •  Continuous bleeding (a small amount bleeding from the incision is expected)
    • Significantly more swelling on one side when compared to the other
    •  Worsening pain
    • Fever, spreading redness or irritation of the skin

It is important to be seen by Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan after your operation. They will see you in follow-up appointments at regular intervals, typically 1 week, 3 months, and 1 year or as often as needed post-op. Call to schedule your appointments at Taylor & Sullivan Plastic Surgery office at (617) 492-0620 between the hours of 8:30 – 5:00 or visit our webpage at We are always available for postoperative concerns or emergencies and can be reached through our paging service 24 hours per day at (617) 492-0620.


Consultation for Nipple Correction in Boston

Boston Nipple Correction

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

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Taylor & Sullivan Plastic Surgery Boston
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300 Mount Auburn St. Ste 304, Cambridge