The breast is an important organ, and the nipple is its most important central feature. A number of common nipple deformities that compromise the overall breast aesthetic can occur naturally or after breast surgery. Fortunately, these can be corrected with an eye for detail and good technical skill.
Four common treatable nipple problems include:
The aesthetically pleasing nipple areola complex is about 4 cm in diameter, is round, and smoothly transitions from nipple skin to breast skin as seen in this unoperated nipple. The nipple diameter is 1 cm with a height of 7-9 mm. Of course there is some variability in these numbers, and nipple should exist in harmony with the chest size and breast shape. Ideally the nipple is positioned on the most projecting part of the breast.
Nipple deformities result from an uneven distribution of skin tension during suture placement. With proper surgical technique and attention to detail the postoperative nipple should have the same characteristics as the ideal nipple, as seen in the four examples above. Fortunately, most nipple deformities can be corrected by a skilled plastic surgeon.
In most cases the procedure can be performed under local anesthesia in less than one hour. The patient can expect to return home the same day, and to normal activities in one day. The sutures that are used are dissolvable, which eliminates the need for suture removal.
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