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Nipple Reduction

Although infrequently mentioned in the lay press and media, prominent nipples are in fact common. Occurring most commonly in Asians, but also in other races, they can be uncomfortable and painful. Women with prominent nipples may restrict their choice of bathing suits and clothing to avoid embarrassment.

The prominent nipple can project like a peg or droop like ball in a sock, and the contour can range from uniformly smooth to globular. Chafing, especially in the winter, can lead to bleeding of the top of the nipple, while drooping of the nipple can result in skin breakdown within the crease.

Because so there is so little information in the media about prominent (or “hypertrophic”) nipples, women who would benefit from nipple reduction often don’t know that such a procedure is even possible. Fortunately it is!

When nipple reduction surgery is done by itself, it can easily be performed under local anesthesia. Because a topical anesthetic does such a great job of numbing the area, most patients don’t feel a thing when local anesthesia is injected. In our practice, we perform nipple reduction surgery by removing the extra skin from the sides of the nipples, and then bringing the wound edges together with absorbable sutures. There is very little pain after surgery, and the recovery is easy.

Nipple reduction surgery can be performed alone or in combination with other procedures. Those who are interested can discuss this possibility at the time of the consult.

We love doing nipple reduction surgery in our practice because patients are so happy with the results. After surgery they are more comfortable physically, and they can finally wear the clothes they used to avoid.

Dr. Heather Furnas

About Dr. Heather Furnas

Inspired by watching her plastic surgeon father operate in African bush hospitals, Dr. Heather Furnas followed in his footsteps, training at Stanford and serving on the Harvard clinical faculty. She and her husband, Dr. Paco Canales, practice together in Santa Rosa, California, where they raised their two children. (To learn more about their practice, visit She believes an informed patient is more likely to be a happy patient and is committed to providing that education. If you have any suggestions for topics you'd like to learn more about, she would love to hear from you!

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