The Gender Confirmation Center has seen a growing number of patients who want to get top surgery but do not want to keep their nipples. We’ve developed this content to raise awareness that this is a viable option and to communicate that choosing no nipples is a valid choice. To be clear, in this article we are referring to ‘nipples’ and ‘nipple grafts’ as the full nipple-areolar complex of tissue that is pigmented and ranges from round to slightly oval shaped.
Nipple grafts are nipples that have been removed from your chest during top surgery and then reattached to the chest in the desired location. The areolas are usually cut down to about the size of a nickel) and then shaved down so that they don’t project as much. The process of nipple reduction is explained in this animated video.
There are a variety of reasons folks opt for no nipples for their chest reconstruction top surgery procedure, which we’ll cover throughout this content.
There are many factors that may affect your surgical outcome, so the example below isn’t a representation of what ALL no nipple top surgery results will look like. However, it will give you a visual of what it can look like.
The ‘before’ picture is a patient who had a double incision top surgery procedure but decided they wanted their nipples 3D tattooed instead. The ‘after’ picture was taken after the 3D nipples were tattooed, based on that patient’s preference for where they wanted the nipple tattoos placed. Please note, you must wait at least 5-6 months (if there are no complications with healing) to get nipple tattoos.
Below is a close up of the left nipple that has been 3D tattooed:
Below is a close up of the right nipple that has been 3D tattooed:
Below is a before and after picture of someone who had double incision top surgery and decided they wanted to keep their nipples. You will see that the areolas on the ‘after’ picture are smaller than those on ‘before’ picture. It’s important to note that areola size is a patient preference. Some folks may not want their areolas resized at all but do request that their nipples be shaved down to a smaller size. If you’re curious as to what nipple reduction looks like, watch this animated video on the process.
Nipples before the nipples have been reconstructed:
Nipples after the nipples have been reconstructed:
Whether you’re deciding between nipple grafts, no nipples at all, or getting your nipples 3D tattooed, it’s important to think about what choice will serve you best right now and in the years to come. There are pros and cons depending on the individual for each decision. Here are a few: