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Nipple and Areola Correction

The nipple is the protruding portion in the centre of the areola that carries the lactiferous (milk) ducts. Nipple correction surgery is often used to correct inverted, droopy, long, or large nipples. The surgery involves removing excess tissue in the region to create a size, shape and orientation that is considered more aesthetically pleasing for the patient.

The areola, the darker pigmented circle of skin around the nipple, may become enlarged or puffy. In an areola reduction, excess pigmented skin is trimmed and removed to create a more symmetrical, sculpted appearance.

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Causes of an Inverted Nipple

Inverted nipples are usually a result of an undeveloped, short or thickened lactiferous duct or milk duct. When these milk ducts are shortened they pull on the nipple and cause it to retract inwards. Inverted nipples are usually genetic.

A nipple can be permanently inverted, or a nipple may be temporarily inverted and can reverse itself with stimulation or changes in temperature.


  • Grade 1: The nipple can be pulled out and easily maintain projection.
  • Grade 2: The nipple can be pulled out but can’t maintain projection.
  • Grade 3: The nipple cannot be pulled out.
inigo blog image | Inigo Cosmetic

An areola or nipple correction may be performed on its own or combined with other procedures, such as Breast Augmentation or Breast Lift.

Correcting Inverted Nipples

Depending on the degree of inversion, Dr Ian Chinsee may cut around the milk ducts, or they may need to cut through the milk ducts. If the milk ducts are cut, it will usually have an impact on your ability to breastfeed.

While an inverted nipple is not dangerous, if you have a nipple that suddenly inverts for no reason, be sure to visit your doctor. In rare cases, this may be a sign of breast cancer.

Recovery from Nipple or Areola Correction Surgery

While recovery varies from patient to patient, most patients describe the sensation as mild aches and pressure rather than pain. Weendeavour toensure your post-operative comfort with oral pain medication prescribed after the procedure.

Following the operation, patients will require a dressing change at one week and two-week intervals. We provide Out of Town Patients with a letter containing detailed dressing change instructions to give to their GP if you cannot attend dressing change appointments at the Brisbane clinic. 

Most patients should expect to take around one to two weeks off work. Patients with office jobs can usually return to work after one week; however, more physically demanding jobs may require a longer recovery period. You can usually resume normal activities, including gym exercises by six weeks. 

Patients will experience swelling, and there may be bruising after the procedure. Major swelling usually subsides by three months, and the results are noticeable at around the one-year mark. A compression bra will need to be worn continuously for six weeks following surgery. 

We will schedule post-operative appointments throughout the following year. These appointments can be conducted via our Virtual Clinic or in person at our James St clinic. 


0.5 – 1 hours


Day surgery


General or local


Required at weeks 1, 2, & 3


2 – 5 days


None for 6 weeks


Worn for 6 weeks


6 weeks

Scarring from Nipple or Areola Correction Surgery

With the aim to minimise scarring as much as possible, the incisions are placed discreetly around the outer edge of the areola to help blend in with the pigmented skin and natural skin of the breast. Most scarring will fade over time with appropriate postoperative care.

Please visit Scarring After Surgery for more information.

Not sure where to start? Request a complimentary, obligation-free quote from one of our doctors.


Yes. Depending on the degree of inversion, the implant may push and stretch the nipple into an erect position.

Breastfeeding may be more difficult because the baby might have difficulty latching on to the nipple despite the milk ducts working properly. However, pregnancy may reverse nipple inversion.

Although an inverted nipple isn’t generally dangerous, if you have a nipple that suddenly inverts for no reason be sure to visit your doctor – in rare cases this may be a sign of breast cancer.

Getting your nipple pierced can sometimes correct an inverted nipple – the jewellery may help stretch the ducts and may keep your nipple in an erect position. This isn’t always permanent, and the nipples will usually retract once the piercing is removed. Additionally, the trauma of the piercing may create additional scar tissue that which may make the inversion worse.

If you also have breast implants, please keep in mind that piercings and breast implants are not a recommended combination. Read our blog post on Nipple Piercings and Breast Implants.

The cost of your areola/nipple construction can be broken down into three main components: the operating doctor’s fee charged by Dr Ian Chinsee, anaesthetist fees and hospital fees. At Inigo Cosmetic, we customise our surgeries to each patient. To receive a detailed cost breakdown, please get in touch to book a consultation with Dr Chinsee.