Surplus nipples can be traced back to an incomplete regression of the milk line in the unborn child in the womb. They are found in two to three percent of newborns and can occur frequently in families. A connection with kidney malformation is controversially discussed. Supernumerary (accessory) nipples usually appear unilaterally, occasionally with a areola and individual hairs. The technical term for this is polythelia. Surplus nipples usually occur in the immediate vicinity of the breast above the pectoral muscle or near the armpit, less frequently on the abdomen. After removal, the tissue is examined for fine tissue in order to obtain certainty about the benign findings.
How are accessory nipples removed?
The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and on an outpatient basis. The tissue is gently removed with a scalpel, and you will only feel movements on the surface of the skin. To leave an inconspicuous scar, the surrounding skin soft tissue is detached. The wound is then closed with fine sutures without any tension and a bandage is applied. The duration of the outpatient procedure is about 15 minutes. Afterwards, follow-up appointments will be arranged. During the follow-up consultation, you will be informed about the aftercare and receive a comprehensive written report. In addition, you will be given an emergency telephone number, which you can use to contact the surgeon 24 hours a day in the event of an emergency.
Before, after and even during the operation you can watch movies or your favourite series with virtual reality glasses. This is not only entertaining, the distraction also demonstrably leads to less sensitivity to pain.
How can you prepare for the removal of accessory nipples?
- All your questions about possible complications and alternative treatments should be answered before the operation.
- On the day of surgery, shower with a disinfectant soap (e.g. HiBiScrub® Plus, Octenisan® Wash Lotion, Prontoderm® Shower Gel).
- Keep nicotine and alcohol consumption to a minimum.
- If necessary, stop taking hormone-containing medication (the pill) temporarily.
- Blood-thinning medication (e.g. ASS, Thomapyrin®) must be discontinued at least ten days before the operation after consultation with your treating physician.
- Vitamin preparations (A, E) and dietary supplements (omega-3 fatty acids, St. John’s wort preparations, etc.) must be discontinued at least four weeks before the operation.
What do you need to keep in mind after the removal of accessory nipples?
- This is followed by regular checks of your well-being and the results of the operation.
- Showering is possible immediately before the wound control from the third postoperative day.
- From the third postoperative week onwards, several daily massages for a few minutes in a circle and lengthwise and crosswise to the course of the scar with oily creams (e.g. Bepanthen® ointment or Linola® fat) help to inconspicuous scars.
- Bending down, lifting heavy loads, swimming, sauna, sexual intercourse and sporting activities should be avoided for two weeks, possibly longer if swelling still exists.
“We provide you with extensive expert knowledge so that we can work with you to select the best possible treatment path.”
Dr. med. Stéphane steel is the former director of the Clinic for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery / Hand Surgery at the Lüdenscheid Clinic. Dr. Stahl studied medicine at the Universities of Freiburg and Berlin. In 2011 he passed the European and 2012 the German specialist examination for plastic and aesthetic surgery. Further specialist qualifications and additional qualifications followed (including quality management, medical didactics, physical therapy, emergency medicine, laser protection officers, hand surgery) as well as prizes and awards. In 2015 he completed his habilitation in plastic and aesthetic surgery in Tübingen. He is an experienced microsurgeon, a sought-after expert and a regular speaker at specialist congresses. After a multi-stage selection process, Stéphane Stahl became a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), one of the world’s largest and most influential specialist societies for aesthetic surgery. His authorship includes numerous articles in respected peer review journals and standard surgical textbooks.