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How Will Breast Augmentation Affect The Nipple?

How Will Breast Augmentation Affect The Nipple? Alberta Plastic Surgery Dr. Adil Ladak
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  • March 09, 2018

You want perkier breasts. But in addition to achieving an improved appearance, you want to still be able to feel sensation in your nipples and breasts. Will surgery fix one problem while causing another?

Breast augmentation surgery is performed to either enlarge or reduce the size of the breast. It can be accompanied by a breast lift (mastoplexy) or performed alone. Our Edmonton specialists explain the likely outcomes to the nipple across procedures.

Reminder: the “nipple” is the skin that protrudes. The areola is the darker skin around the nipple, and what most people refer to when talking about nipples generally. We use “nipple” here to refer to the entire nipple areolar complex. In most cases, the nipple won’t be affected, with the most likely cause for changes in reductions in particular that require a major repositioning.

Breast Augmentation (Implants)


After surgery, the areola and nipple will sit higher on the breast in many cases. It’s also possible the skin could be stretched, however, it will likely go back to its original shape. Sometimes the areola ends up larger but less visible.

If you are concerned your nipples will remain hard, while some people report that their nipples become erect more often after surgery, it generally fades after around six months and is not permanent.


Likely you will experience some soreness in the nipple following surgery, or even a prickling or tingling feeling. This is especially true if your incision was around the areola. Your nipple may be overly sensitive or alternatively almost numb after surgery, but long-term sensitivity is typically average.

The likelihood of losing sensation increases with the size of the implant due to pressure on the nerves.


Functionality is usually maintained, but if you plan on breast-feeding in the future make sure to talk to your surgeon. They can choose a different incision sight to minimize impact on the nipple.


Breast Reduction


During a reduction the nipple will need to be completely repositioned, making it more likely to be affected. Your nipple may even need to be grafted completely back onto the breast depending on the original breast. It is possible to make the areola smaller if desired.

Sensation & Function

As with augmentation, after the surgery it is possible you will experience soreness, tingling, prickling, throbbing, etc. as you heal.

The further a nipple needs to be repositioned, the greater the likelihood of complications to the blood and milk supplies and nerves. Therefore there is no one answer to how a reduction affects these things, it will depend.


Inverted Nipples

Often when nipples are inverted or sunken, it is due to the ducts attached underneath. This can be resolved by separating the ducts, but doing so is more likely to cause issues related to sensitivity and function, though fixing an appearance issue.


Book A Consultation

If you’re interested in breast augmentation or reduction, but are concerned about your nipples, talk to our experienced Edmonton plastic surgeon for reassurance. We’re happy to answer any questions you have. Book a consultation online or call 780-407-6691.

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Dr. Ladak has been great. From the consultation to the recovery period he remained friendly, helpful and professional. Would highly recommend.

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