Third nipple removal, or extra nipple removal is a minor surgical procedure for the removal of supernumerary nipples. Additional nipples, also known as polymastia or polythelia, is a rare condition where a person has one or more additional nipples to the two nipples normally located on the breasts or chest. This condition can occur in both men and women. Fortunately, if you do not like the appearance of your additional nipple, there is treatment available – you can have third nipple removal or extra nipple removal.
What is a third nipple?
A third nipple refers to another nipple which is located on the body. In some cases, there may be more than one nipple, and it is possible to have up to eight additional nipples. Sometimes the nipples may appear very small; in other cases, they will appear the same as the two on your chest.
Some people may not even be aware they have a third nipple, as they will generally be less developed. In some cases, they will be dismissed as a birthmark or mole.
Third nipples can appear anywhere on the body. However, it is most common to find third nipples on the front of the body, located anywhere between the armpits and the genitals.
Types of third nipples
There are various different types of third nipples. These types are divided up into categories and are divided up depending on features such as shape and size. The categories are:
- Category one: this is also known as polymastia. This nipple will also have an areola as well as underlying breast tissue.
- Category two: this category will still have underlying breast tissue, but will not have an areola present.
- Category three: the extra nipple has breast tissue will be present but without any nipple being formed.
- Category four: the extra nipple has breast tissue but no nipple or areola.
- Category five: also referred to as pseudomamma, the extra nipple has an areola but will have underlying fat instead of breast tissue.
- Category six: also known as polythelia, this is when there is no underlying breast tissue, and the nipple appears on its own.
Why do third nipples occur?
Third nipples occur when the embryo is developing in the womb. This will generally happen at around week four of the pregnancy when the milk lines of the embryo thicken. Normally, this milk line stays thick, and the two nipples will be formed, and the rest of the thickened skin will go soft again. In some cases, the milk line ridge will not become ectoderm tissue again. When this happens, additional nipples will appear.
Should I have the third nipple removed?
There is often no medical need to have the third or additional nipples removed, as they do not cause any additional health problems or result in any physical pain. However, the additional nipples can sometimes lactate, in both men and women. They can also be viewed as a cosmetic nuisance.
The removal of the third nipple is generally undertaken for aesthetic reasons.
You will have to be 18 years or older to be considered for third nipple removal at Centre for Surgery.
What does the extra nipple removal procedure involve?
Third nipple removal can be safely performed under a local anaesthetic, so you will be awake throughout the procedure. You will be able to return home the same day as the procedure, once the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off.
The procedure is relatively straightforward. Third nipple removal involves a small incision which allows the surgeon to remove the nipple and if present, the excess breast and fat tissue, as well as any excess skin. The incision site will then be closed with sutures. The surgeon will take care to ensure the incision site is as small as possible to minimise scarring.
What is the recovery period like after third nipple removal?
You may notice some bruising, redness and swelling after the procedure. Swelling may last up to two weeks. You may wish to place an ice pack on the area to help with any swelling.
Sutures will generally be dissolvable, so will naturally absorb within the first few days, and you will not need to return to the clinic to have them removed. You will have a dressing over the incision site, which can be removed after one week.
If you would like to learn more about third nipple removal, get in touch with us today on 020 7993 4849 or complete the contact form below to book a consultation.