Specialty Breast Procedures are cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, which are designed to correct specific breast abnormalities. They encompass a wide variety of cosmetic surgery, from common to rare, from simple to complex. Each of these procedures is individualized to maximize the results.
This page reviews some of the most common specialty breast procedures: Inverted Nipple Correction, Nipple Reduction, Areola Reduction and Tubular Breast Deformity Correction. A brief synopsis of each procedure is provided, along with a link to specialty pages. The specialty pages provide additional details, explore more of the options available, and provide before and after pictures.
General information is provided with many details; however, the information cannot substitute for a private consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. If you are interested in learning more about what a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon can do for you, give us a call at (925) 943-6353.
Inverted Nipple Correction
Correction of Inverted Nipples is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic plastic surgery procedures of the breast. Inverted nipples can occur in both women and men. It can effect one side or both.
Inverted Nipples tend to be more noticeable, and are more often a problem, for women, and one in five women are born with an inverted nipple. The severity of Nipple Inversion can range from slight retraction to inversion so severe that the nipple is never seen.
Fortunately, correction of inverted nipples is available. The procedure is often performed in our San Francisco Bay Area office, under local anesthesia, and recovery is usually brief.
Nipple Enlargement frequently occurs with pregnancy; however, large nipples can develop at puberty for both women and men. When the nipples are too big, they can be a source of embarrassment. They may require padding to remain hidden in clothing, and can become irritated from rubbing. Because the ducts within the nipple are necessary for breast feeding, nipple reduction surgery is usually delayed until after childbirth.
Nipple Reduction is an outpatient surgical procedure that can reduce the diameter, the projection or both diameter and projection of the nipple. This is most frequently performed under local anesthesia, though it can also be performed under local with sedation or general anesthesia. Nipple Reduction Surgery can be combined with other breast procedures including: breast augmentation, breast lift and breast reduction surgery.
Areola Reduction is a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure which reduces the diameter of the areolae, plural for areola. The areola is the pigmented skin that surrounds the nipple. Areola Reduction does not reduce the nipple, or the rest of the breast, and by itself, should not interfere with breast feeding.
Areola Reduction is performed most frequently for women as part of a Breast Lift or Breast Reduction. For men, Areolar Reduction is most often incorporated into the surgery for Gynecomastia Reduction. While the procedure is technically similar for both sexes, the size, shape and location of the areolae are different for women and men.
Congenital Abnormalities – Tuberous or Tubular Breasts and the ”Snoopy Nose“ Deformity
Tubular Breasts come in many shapes and sizes. Even on a single patient, Tubular Breasts are often asymmetrical in both size and shape. Because of this, the method for correction for one side may differ significantly from the other side. Common in all Tuberous Breast is a lower pole that is tight. It is the constriction of skin that contributes to the tubular shape of the breasts.
Moreover, the breast tissue often pushes into the areola, filling it, causing the areola to protrude on the breast, and forming the classic “Snoopy Nose” deformity. The excess fullness of the areolae is made more obvious by the fact that tubular breasts are usually smaller than average. Breast Augmentation and Areola Reduction are frequently part of Tubular Breast Deformity Correction. Breast Augmentation combined with Breast Lift is necessary in more severe cases.
Tubular Breast Deformity Correction requires careful preoperative evaluation and counseling.
Congenital Abnormalities – Poland Syndrome
Poland Syndrome can present as absence of the nipple, areola, breast, and the sternal head of the pectoralis major muscle. Sometimes the fingers on the affected side are webbed (ipsilateral syndactyly). Poland Syndrome goes by many names including: Poland’s syndrome, Poland sequence, Poland’s anomaly and Poland’s syndactyly.
Poland Syndrome is more common in men than in women, and more frequently affects the right side. The absence of the breast causes significant asymmetry, which for young women, may not be completely apparent until after the breast begin to develop. Both the breast and hand deformities associated with Poland Syndrome can be significantly reduced with plastic surgery. The treatment is tailored to each patients specific problems.
When the nipple is absent it can be reconstructed. Most commonly, the skin of the chest is used for the Nipple Reconstruction. Absence of the nipple can be congenital or acquired. Congenital absence of the nipple occurs when someone is born without a nipple. Sometimes the areola is present, though usually it is reduced in size and may be located higher and more laterally on the breast. Congenital absence of the nipple can be an isolated finding, or it can one aspect of a larger syndrome. One example is Poland Syndrome detailed above.
Absence of the areola, like absence of the nipple, can be congenital or acquired. Areola Reconstruction can be performed non-surgically with tattooing, or surgically with a skin graft. The skin graft gives a three dimensional result. The skin graft may still require tattooing to match the color of the contralateral areola of the other breast.