With breast lifts, must the nipple be removed and repositioned?

Doctor Answers 15

Breast lift nipple removal?

This is a frequent question. I believe becuase the final scar looks like the nipple and areola was cut off and moved, but in fact this is never done. The nipple and areola remain attached to the breast so that sensation and blood supply are maintained. The skin around it is adjusted by excising as well as adjusting the position of the breast tissue to reshape the breast and better position the nipple to sit in the center of the breast in the most projecting point. Rarely is there any long term changes in sensation which is usually the next question that I hear. This is a very popular procedure and there are many techniques that can be done to achieve a lift. This is something that requires a consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to review the options that will work best for you.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Breast Lift

Nipples are not removed as part of any breast lift procedure. They remain attached to the breast tissue that is moved back up onto the chest wall.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Breast Lift Misconception

Thank you for this great question! I am often presented with the question of whether I am going to remove and reattach the nipple during a breast lift. This is a very common misconception. During a breast lift, whether it is a standard anchor or inverted T incision, a circumareolar, or lollipop style incision the nipple remains attached to the breast tissue. The breast tissue and nipple are positioned in the desired chest wall placement with any excess skin removed prior to the completion of the procedure. The scar that is left does in fact look like the nipple has been removed where actually the breast tissue and nipple have been moved together with the skin then being closed around the newly positioned nipple and breast tissue placement. During an initial consultation with my practice I will have my patients watch an informative video which outlines this procedure in detail allowing for the patient to be able to view the incision options and reasoning for the scar placement and result of procedure through computer generated images. I have found this to be a very helpful in communicating visually to the patient the procedure and what to expect.  I do hope you have found this information helpful and I wish you luck!

Patrick Viscardi, MD
South Bend Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Almost never

The removal of the nipple is an old fashioned technique that is not particularly appropriate in any situation. 

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 136 reviews

Breast lift

During most breast lifts, the nipple is not removed it is repositioned without being completely detached from tehesurrounding tissue.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Nipples are not removed during a breast lift .

Nipples are not removed during breast lift (mastopexy) surgery. The most important goals of breast lift surgery are to reshape the droopy (ptotic) breast and to reposition the nipples in a more aesthetic position on the reshaped breast mounds. Be sure you seek the advice of a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who can review all your options with you. Often times in my practice, breast lift surgery can be performed under local anesthesia. Be sure your mammogram is up to date prior to your consultation and come prepared to discuss your goals for breast shape and size. Good Luck!

Laurie A. Casas, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Nipple position

Thanks for the question. The nipple is repositioned during a breast lift; it is not removed. Breast aesthetics are enhanced with  a lift of ptotic breasts.  

Good luck. 


Carlos Burnett, MD, FACS
Westfield Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

With breast lifts, must the nipple be removed and repositioned?

Thank you for your question.  During a breast lift the nipple is repositioned but is not removed.   The nipple and areola remain attached to the breast and blood supply and is simply repositioned to a new location.  For more information please read below:

With breast lifts, must the nipple be removed.

With breast lift and breast reduction the nipple is not removed to re-position, it remains with the breast tissue to be reshaped. Circulation, color and feeling should remain.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

With breast lifts, must the nipple be removed and repositioned?

The nipples are rarely, if ever, removed and reattached during a breast lift. Typically, they remain attached. 

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 71 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.