What happens to your nipples during a Breast Reduction?


Are your breasts too large or heavy for your comfort?  Do you wish you had perkier, more uplifted nipples and breasts?  You may be a good candidate for Breast Reduction Surgery – or a Breast Lift procedure – to position your nipples more centrally on the breast mound. But what ARE your OPTIONS for nipple reshaping, exactly? What happens to your Nipples during Breast Reduction Surgery?

Before we talk about what happens to your nipples during Breast Reduction surgery, do you know the difference between a Breast Reduction and a Breast Lift?

Both surgeries involve “lifting” the nipple and breast tissues to a more central location. The difference is in the residual breast VOLUME or breast weight.

  • One surgery keeps the breast volume intact (a Breast Lift); but re-positions the nipples.
  • The other surgery reduces the volume and weight of the breasts (Breast Reduction), as well as relocating the nipples.

Breast Lift AND Breast Reduction Surgery give a firmer, higher breast appearance (both surgeries involve repositioning the nipples).

  • Breast Reduction surgery helps create less-cumbersome breast volume
  • Breast lift surgery keeps the breast volume approximately the same, but repositions the nipples and skin to reduce ptosis.
  • What will suit you best is determined by your level of breast ptosis, your skin health (laxity or resiliency), and size preferences.

What happens to your Nipples During Breast Reduction Surgery:

Pregnancy, Breast Feeding and Weight Change can ALL impact where your nipples sit on your breasts. Surgery can reshape and resize your nipples to make them more symmetrical, rounder or smaller if they currently appear misshapen or overly enlarged.

The main objective of most Nipple Surgery, on its own or included with a Breast Reduction, is to reposition the nipples more centrally on the breast mound (but in a natural looking way).

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  • If you are considering breast reduction surgery, you probably know that your breasts will be reduced, including surgically and via liposuction breast reduction for selected patients.
  • Your breasts will also be uplifted and this means your nipples will be relocated higher on the reduced chest mound.

This gives your breasts an enhanced appearance where they otherwise would sag, droop, flop or or spray out to the side when you’re lying down.

  • You WILL have some options for resizing and reshaping your nipple aerolar complex (your Surgeon will call this the “NAC”).
  • Even the colour may be changed with certain procedures (your Surgeon can discuss your options for non-surgical changes in terms of colour, but the reshaping can be done through surgery as part of a Breast Lift or Breast Reduction procedure).

Sagging nipples give an indication to JUST HOW MUCH your breasts are suffering from ptosis.

What is Breast Ptosis?

Breast Ptosis is a benign condition that may be treated surgically. It does, however, often lead to chronic skin infections, back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, bra strap dig-ins to the skin surface and other discomforts. For many women wanting to reduce their breast size, their motivations are health related. Depending on the degree of breast ptosis and whether or not you meet certain eligibility criteria, corrective breast surgery to remedy Breast Ptosis may even qualify for a small rebate from Medicare in Australia.  Often, Breast Lift Surgery with Nipple Reshaping is part of a Breast Reduction procedure. For some patients with breast ptosis but no excess of volume, the Breast Lift may be performed on its own or with an Augmentation using a breast prosthesis.


It all depends on your preferences for size and shape and how much the skin envelope has stretched.

Communication with your Selected Breast Surgeon is a great way to start the discovery process. Find out what YOUR breasts and nipples can look like after surgery by arranging a consultation today – phone (03) 8849 1444 and ask to see one of our leading Melbourne Breast Surgery experts. 

Technically, reducing large breasts is known as Breast Reduction Surgery (technically called a Reduction Mammoplasty).  

The highly skilled version of this surgery involves several processes.  While every surgery is fully customised to suit the individual patient, the procedure typically includes breast volume reduction (excisions), reshaping using surgical and liposuction breast reduction techniques, and nipple re-positioning. 

This blog is best read in conjunction with our Breast Reduction procedure page.

Is what happens to your nipples during Breast Reduction Surgery different to what happens in a Breast Lift?

The nipple positioning surgery is somewhat similar during a Breast Lift and a Breast Reduction procedure. However, it depends on what approach your Surgeon uses to reposition the nipples on the chest mound.  With a Breast Lift the volume stays the same; a Breast Reduction involved minimising the tissues to get a more comfortable breast size and breast weight.

There are also different incision options such as the Anchor Technique or the Le Jour (Lollipop) technique which best suits selected patients.


Why Nipple Surgery is the GO for Breast Reduction when you have Breast Ptosis (Sagging, Droopy Breasts)

It’s not just the size, it’s the direction of the nipples that bothers most women with very heavy, sagging breasts.

  • Women who have large, heavy breasts who want a Breast Reduction often have nipples that point southwards – or even in two different directions.
  • Some women also have nipple asymmetry (very different sized or shaped nipple areolar complex areas).
  • Other women have similar looking nipples but very unevenly sized breasts.

In both a breast lift on its own AND a Breast Reduction/Breast Lift combined, the nipples are relocated during surgery.

  • Nipples can also be resized and reshaped according to your preferences.
  • A careful surgeon can help protect your changes of future breast feeding during nipple relocation and protect the function of the nipples (but there are no guarantees, so ask your Surgeon for details).
  • It may be best to have your Breast Reduction after finishing your family – but for some women, large breasts makes it impossible to breast feed and they have the surgery before they have their children.
  • Find out more about how Surgery impacts the nipple area by phoning (03) 8849 1444 and scheduling a consult with a Specialist at Cosmetic Surgery for Women & Men.


Nipple Surgery in Brief

Nipple Reshaping & Positioning During a Breast Reduction: Snapshot of what happens in Surgery

  • The nipple aerolar complex or “NAC” IS surgically relocated during a breast lift or breast reduction.
  • Care is taken by your Surgeon to keep the function and skin of the nipple intact.
  • A breast reduction can include nipple reshaping when desired; and the nipple is lifted to a more central position.
  • You should let your Surgeon know your preferences for nipple size, location and shape to get a result you’re happy with.
  • Many women have been able to breast feed after surgery BUT your chances are improved when you choose a very experienced Surgeon who is careful to protect the nipple areas (such as Dr Rubinstein and his esteemed colleagues at Cosmetic Surgery for Women).

Breast Reduction Liposuction

Many Surgeons combine Reduction Mammoplasty & Breast Liposuction for better shaping results

The breast volume can also be reshaped during surgery using Breast Reduction Liposuction as an additional refinement.

Not all Surgeons offer this type of sculpting and you might not need it; but our Specialist Plastic Surgeons want YOU to get the best possible results with a Breast Reduction and/or Breast Lift.

  • Several Surgeons believe that getting the best Breast Reduction Surgery results means additional body sculpting other areas around the chest area
  • Areas for liposuction around the breast tissues might include the side breasts, upper pole of the breasts, side/back area or bra strap areas with Liposuction (customised to suit each patient)

Bra Grooves – Treatment may be an option

If you have deep grooves in the shoulder area (where the bra straps have dug in due to the weight of your breast tissues), these can be remedied as well – ask your Surgeon about reducing bra-strap grooves in your shoulder area.



Ptotic Breasts: Do your nipples point downwards or in different directions?

Time for Breast Surgery – find out if Medicare rebates apply for Breast Reduction or Breast Lift after pregnancy.

For women who want a more symmetrical, even appearance to their breasts or nipples (or both), this can be corrected for during breast surgery by a highly skilled Breast Reduction expert Specialist Plastic Surgeon.

  • But nipples are an important part of a woman’s body and breast appearance.
  • You want to be sure your Surgeon takes great care to minimise complication risks during surgery.

Does Breast Reduction Surgery risk the Nipple Area?

The nipple aereola complex area is shown in the diagram below (Source: http://pubs.rsna.org/doi/pdf/10.1148/rg.292085128).

Yes, it is complex, and surgery can impact on its function. You can readily see why you’d want a highly skilled Plastic Surgeon to perform your procedure. That’s primarily because this is such a delicate part of the body. A good Plastic Surgeon will want to minimise changes to the nipple function during your Breast Reduction or Breast Lift Surgery.  But if you choose a cheap surgeon who has less experience or isn’t a FRACS qualified specialist, you could end up with some serious nipple problems – and not everything can be fixed.

So choose your Surgeon wisely (our team are widely regarded Specialists in Breast Reduction Procedures including nipple reshaping).


Are you considering having Breast Reduction Surgery – if so, do you want your nipple area reshaping during Surgery?

Heavy, large breasts can be quite uncomfortable to carry around. It can make finding a good, comfortable bra very difficult to find,  yet alone exercise wear and swimwear fashions that don’t seemingly highlight the size of your chest. If you feel unhappy with the weight of what you have on top, our Breast Reduction Specialist Surgeons can help.

“This is life changing surgery for most patients,” notes Specialist Surgeon Dr Craig Rubinstein, a Breast Reduction expert and founder of Cosmetic Surgery for Women & Men.  “Women get tired of having heavy, sagging breasts and not feeling comfortable in their own skin. After healing from surgery, they tend to say they’d wished they’d found these freedoms earlier – it’s a very rewarding surgery for the patient and Surgeon alike because after surgery, they can suddenly move how they want to, wear what they want to, and be free of the pains of carrying very heavy weight in the chest area. And many patients are elated at what can be done to improve the appearance and location of their nipples as well as firming up the breast tissues.”

Breast Reduction Surgery INCLUDES a Breast Lift and Nipple Reshaping to Suit Your Preferences

Note: this varies depending on what you’re starting with.

A proper Breast Reduction surgery includes a breast and nipple lift. This means that in addition to reducing the volume of the breasts, the nipples will also sit higher on the chest area and no longer point southwards.

Reduction Mammoplasty Surgery can get you great results in terms of reducing breast size and breast weight.

Surgery can leave your chest area with a more comfortable breast size, better posture and more freedoms in fashion or exercise choices.

Surgery of the breast also helps re-position your nipples to where they no longer fall beneath the inframmary crease line (reducing sagging).

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Breast Reduction Surgery with Nipple Reshaping: Why is it so popular?

Social Embarrassment, exercise limitations and the physical pain of having large, heavy breasts is the primary reason people seek a Reduction Mammoplasty.

  • Are you tired of hiding behind certain types of fashions?
  • Do you frequently find yourself being socially harassed by unwarranted or insensitive comments about your breast size?

If you’ve always wanted the freedoms of smaller, more centrally positioned breasts and nipples that face forward instead of downwards, then a Breast Reduction combined with a Breast Lift Surgery may be your best solution.

Read our Breast Reduction pages for more information about what happens to your nipples during Breast Reduction surgery.


Good to Know TIPS about Breast Reduction Surgery with Nipple Reshaping

  • Surgery is a long-lasting solution to heavy, cumbersome breast tissues.
  • However, weight changes, hormonal changes, skin ageing and pregnancy or breast feeding may change your surgery result over time.
  • Ask us for details and find out what the BEST time to have your surgery is (if you’re still expanding your family)
  • All surgery is serious, so DO will want to fully understand the procedure, healing times, incision placement (scars) and risks. Be sure you ask ANY and ALL questions you have during a consultation or by phoning (03) 8849 1444.

What size breasts will I have after Breast Reduction Surgery?

  • You should let your Surgeon know what CUP size and specific breast shaping you would prefer to have after Surgery.
  • Many patients still want some volume and the requested range varies from patient to patient (from a C cup to much higher).
  • But choose your Surgeon wisely and keep the communication open and honest, so you have a better chance of getting a good result.

There are other methods to temporarily reduce the size of the chest that you may have tried first.

  • However, let’s face it – other means, such as binding or tight bras, are not long-lasting.
  • Losing weight can help, but typically only to a certain degree. Plus, the breast weight makes you look heavier than you actually are.
  • Only physically reducing the size and weight of the breasts will tend to give you the relief you’re wanting from back, neck or shoulder pain or even socially awkward comments from insensitive people – people who don’t know what it’s like to carry large, heavy breasts.

Not only do excessively large breasts often cause back pain and skin chaffing, they can also leave semi-permanent bra strap marks (skin indents) where the straps dig into the skin as they hold the breast weight. Breast Reduction can really help improve your posture, your physique, your skin health in the breast area – and your comfort levels.


There are many options and variations of this Reduction Mammoplasty procedure, however.

  • Some Surgeons use drains (most of our Surgeons aim NOT to use drains for patients when possible)
  • Some Surgeons use the Anchor Technique, which leaves more incision line scars than the Le Jour (but they are often hidden in the inframmary crease)
  • Some Surgeons use the Lollipop “Le Jour” incision technique for fewer incision line scars
  • It’s thereby important to get the right information AND the right Surgery support BEFORE you choose to have surgery.

Ask your Surgeon which methods they use – the Le Jour incision technique or “Le Jour Lollipop” Breast lift and Breast Reduction incision strategy is a great technique to minimise scars after Breast Reduction and gets excellent results for most patients.

Is Breast Reduction WORTH it? Reduction Mammoplasty Surgery has a VERY high satisfaction rating.

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Most patients sharing their experiences on public forums rate their satisfaction with Breast Reduction as very high to high.

Specialist Breast Reduction Surgery is actually one of our Focus Areas for Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery in Melbourne.

Our Team’s top Specialist Plastic Surgeons for Breast Lift and Breast Reduction Surgery include:

Dr Craig RubinsteinDr Geoff Barnett, Dr Rebecca Wyten, Dr Richard Maxwell, and Dr Douglas McManamny.

Visit our Breast Reduction pages for details.


Our Team also focuses on other breast procedures and body contouring surgery, including liposuction and Tummy Tucks, post-pregnancy body makeovers, facial surgery and nose reshaping Rhinoplasty surgery.

Ask us about the MUMMY MAKEOVER surgery (combined procedures for Breast & Tummy Tuck Surgery).




So why stay limited to carrying heavy breasts, when a long-term surgical solution can help reduce the size of large breasts and lighten up your upper half for the rest of your lifetime?

Find out which Specialist SURGEON in Melbourne is best for your Breast Reduction/Breast Lift procedure by phoning our team on (03) 8849 1444.

Our Patient Care Coordinators can help you determine which Surgeon or Hospital is right for your Breast Surgery.

  • Wanting a less cumbersome size?
  • Craving the freedom to wear what you want to?
  • Longing for the ability to move more freely, to run, cycle or swim with ease, or go to the beach without feeling self-conscious?

Find out more about getting a more balanced physique through cosmetic breast surgery with our leading Melbourne Specialists for Breast Surgery.

Send an enquiry today or phoning our Patient Care Coordinators on (03) 8849 1444 today.

Our Surgeons are highly regarded for breast reduction surgery including Breast shaping with Liposuction.  

You can also read patient experiences of their breast reduction surgeries on our Best Plastic Surgery & Cosmetic Procedures information BLOG.  Another great blog worth reading about Breast Reduction surgery is “Will Medicare Cover my Breast Reduction Surgery“.

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Cost of Breast Reduction Surgery in Melbourne

The cost of Breast Reduction Surgery in Australia can vary significantly depending on your location, type of hospital, theatre chosen and your Surgeon’s skills and experience.

  • Some of the so-called ‘bargain’ breast surgeries are performed by less-skilled or less-qualified doctors who operate in back room premises as they are not licensed to work in an accredited Australian hospital.
  • Ask your Surgeon if he or she is approved to operate in a Hospital or only in their own facility — there is a difference in accreditation for facilities.
  • Hospitals have extremely high accreditation requirements and are typically regularly audited for quality, cleanliness and patient safety.

Make sure that you choose your Surgeon carefully when shopping around for a Breast Reduction on price or if you’re keen to get a ‘discount’ breast reduction procedure

You don’t want to risk having to get Revision Surgery when you waited so long to get your Breast Reduction.

Always choose a highly-experienced, qualified Plastic Surgeon for Breast Reduction Surgery.

Payment methods and Costs for your Breast Reduction Surgery

For more information about pricing and payment methods of your Breast Reduction Surgery please visit our payment methods pages.

If you would like a customised Breast Reduction Quote, please contact us to book a Surgeon Consultation. Just send a confidential enquiry form. Or if it is during business Clinic hours, you are welcome to phone a Patient Care Coordinator on (03) 8849 1400.

You can also find many articles on breast reduction surgery and surgery recovery on our BLOG.  Just search the recent articles including Celebrity Breast Reductions, the Rise of Teenage Breast Reduction Surgery Requests and Post-Surgery Recovery Tips.

Send an enquiry form today or phone a Patient Care Coordinator on (03) 8849 1444.

Visit our Downloadable Guides pages

For more information about Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery options and research in Australia.

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Download our free guides or phone (03) 8849 1444 today – and ask for a no-obligation consultation.