Nipple Enhancement
- This Quarterly July 2013 -

Patients with hypertrophic, enlarged or elongated nipples may feel that their nipples are too conspicuous and visible even through clothes. While patients with inverted nipples may become extremely embarrassed leading to problems with intimacy. In all of these cases, nipple enhancement surgery will restore their sense of normalcy and give them a boost of self-confidence.

As a general rule of thumb, nipple enhancement surgery is a minor surgical procedure that takes anywhere between one to two hours and can either be performed independently or together with other breast enhancement procedures.

For patients with hypertrophic, enlarged or elongated nipples – a fairly common condition, especially after childbirth or breastfeeding, the length or girth of the nipple may be reduced as per the patient’s customised request. The same goes for patients who have enlarged areolae (the darker patch of skin around the nipple); areolar reduction surgery is frequently combined with its nipple counterpart. Both procedures retain the sensation in the nipple as well as the patient’s ability to breastfeed, making them extremely safe and functional.

Patients who have inverted nipples may be divided into three grades of severity: grade one, where the nipple can be easily pulled out with manual pressure around the areola; grade two, where the nipple can be pulled out but will retract after pressure is released; and grade three, where the nipple can only be pulled out with great difficulty or cannot be pulled out at all.

Patients with grade three inverted nipples often have constricted milk ducts making breastfeeding impossible. During inverted nipple correction surgery, the surgeon will release the scarred ducts which are tethering the nipple inwards. As long as the central duct is not affected, there is a good possibility of future breastfeeding after surgery.

After nipple enchancement procedures, there is usually mild pain, swelling and occasional bruising. The majority of these effects fade quickly within the first few days. Most patients are able to return to work within one to three days.

Dr Tham trained extensively in nipple enhancement surgery during his 6-month government scholarship to Taiwan’s famous ChangGung Memorial Hospital.