Nipples too High After Breast Lift / Implants

I had a BL with silicone 300 cc's under the muscle done in Jan. '10. My nipples pop out of every shirt, bra and bathing suit top making for an interesting summer. Is there anything that can be done to correct this? And what would be the "typical" measurement between the crease and nipple? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 15

Nipples too high after lift and breast implants may indicate implants are too low

Thank you for your question.  Often if the breast implants are placed to low or migrate down then nipples are displaced up and to the outside and appear to high.  This can be corrected by adjusting the inferior portion of the lift and implant position.

However the other possibility is that the nipple areola was placed to high on your chest wall.  Generally speaking the distance from the top of the breast bone below your neck to the nipple should be no less than 20 or 21 cm.  If the lift placed your nipple areola too high that is less than 18 cm from the notch above your breast bone then it may be difficult to correct the problem.  Please see your plastic surgeon.

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Nipples too High After Breast Lift / Implants

For an average framed individual, the distance from the collarbone to the nipples Is usually in the range of 18 to 21 cm. The position of the crease below the breast also plays a role. The distance from the nipple to the fold under the breast also can vary. In general, the higher the distance, the increased chance that the implant may settle too low relative to the position of the nipple. This may place the nipple on the upper part of the breast and this can make it more prone to pop out of a bra or bathing suit. Similarly, it is possible that the nipples were placed too close to the collarbone. You may wish to discuss with your plastic surgeon a possible revision if your problem is significant enough.

George Volpe, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Nipples too High After Breast Lift / Implants

The “usual” distance from the nipple to the inframammary crease is 7 to 8 centimeters. It is possible to lower the position of your nipple – areola relative to the breast crease. Discuss this with your surgeon so your expectations will be realistic.

Fred Suess, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Nipple position

You may benefit from revision breast surgery to improve your results.  Make sure that you see a plastic surgeon who is an expert in this type of surgery to give you the best specific advice.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Nipples too high

There are 2 reasons why you might say your nipples are too high.  One, the implant and breast may have dropped with time and be sitting a little low, or the nipples may have been placed too high.  Most plastic surgeons are careful not to place the nipples too high. Your breasts cab be adjusted to help correct this.  I suggest discussing this with a plastic surgeon.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Pictures please

We need to see you to give an opinion, or just seek out a board certified plastic surgeon for consultation.
Good Luck!

Gregory Lynam, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Malposition of the Nipple Areola Complexes

                  Malposition of the nipple areola complexes is a significant deformity that can occur for a variety of reasons following breast lift surgery. This deformity results in a phenomena known as a sunrise nipple, in which the nipple areola complexes point in an upward direction.

                  The majority of these cases occur because of settling of the breast implant and stretching of the inferior breast skin because of the effects of gravity. In other cases the areola may be positioned at a higher than normal level during surgery. Under these circumstances correction of this deformity can be extremely difficult.

                  In most cases, correction of this deformity involves raising the height of the infra-mammary fold and breast pocket by performing a capsulorrhaphy. In other cases the distance between the nipple and inframammary fold requires shortening. This usually involves a resection of skin along the inframammary fold which shortens the distance between the nipple and the fold. This distance typically measures 7 to 10cm depending upon the size of the breast.

                  If you’re concerned about nipple areola malposition, it’s important to consult a board certified plastic surgeon. This surgeon should be able to formulate an appropriate treatment plan for your problem. 

Nipple/Areola Too High?

Thank you for the question.

Depending on the size of the breasts, the distance from the areola to inframammary fold generally ranges between 6 cm and 9 cm. If this distance is too great after mastopexy surgery,  the nipple/areola complexes may appear to be too high on the breast mound (and seemed to be upward gazing). This may be the reason why your nipples want to “pop out” of clothing etc.

Correction of the situation  involves excision of additional skin and/or tissue along the lower poles  of the breasts;  this procedure would serve to correct the position of the nipple/areola complexes on the breast mounds.  They would no longer appear to be “star gazing”  and would more likely stay within the confines of clothing.

In person consultation with little experience plastic surgeons may be helpful.

Best wishes.


The nipples too high or implants too low: nipples are popping out of bra

The question is are the nipples to high or breast/implants too low. The distance from the nipple to the crease should range from 7-10 centimeters in the average sized individual. The treatment is to generally reduce the amount of tissue in the breast cup which is pusing the nipple up and out of the bra. This can be done my reducing the lower portions of the breast with a horizontal wedge excision.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Nipples too high

Depending upon the cause, moving nipples down can be quite difficult without leaving a scar above the areola that is brought downward.  If the implants have bottomed out, the nipple may be pointing upward as well.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.