Can puffy nipples in men be treated through plastic surgery?

I’m a 33 year old guy with puffy, pointy nipples. It looks odd because I’m physically fit. So I want to get rid of my cone shaped nipples without effecting other parts of my chest. Is it possible for men to have plastic surgery to correct this?


M, 36, New York

Tags:man age 25-34 chest nipples nipples too large

I can't give you a precise analysis without a consultation, but from your description of a “cone shaped” male breast contour, this sounds like gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is a relatively common condition in men, typically resulting from excessive female hormone levels. While all men have a small degree of female hormone naturally present, an excessive amount of estrogen will cause breast growth. Many men experience pubertal gynecomastia in their teenage years as hormone levels peak for the first time.

Surgical treatment of gynecomastia is simple and straightforward. The procedure requires only small incisions around the areolae and can be completed under local anesthesia. Scarring is minimal and recovery time is short. You can resume simple activities after one week and should be able to resume your exercise regime after about three weeks. The final appearance will be visible after six to nine weeks.

I encourage you to come in for a consultation to discuss your specific case and view examples of some of the male breast reductions we’ve performed at our clinic.

The condition you describe is probably a form of gynecomastia. At our clinic we see many gynecomastia patients who are looking for breast reduction surgery. Gynecomastia is the  term used to describe abnormal breast enlargement in men, usually the result of a hormonal condition. This enlargement can take various forms, including swelling of the nipple, commonly referred to as "puffy nipples." Breast development in men (in your case puffy nipples) can be easily corrected through a surgical procedure known as gynecomastia surgery.

This condition can affect your self-esteem. So, your best course of action is to consult with a few board-certified plastic surgeons who specialize in gynecomastia. Remember to ask to see plenty of before and after photos of patients who have already undergone this cosmetic procedure with your surgeon. Ask about the level of bruising and scarring and the length and specifics of the recovery process. When properly done, this form of plastic surgery should restore your appearance so it’s consistent with the rest of your body as well as renew your self-confidence, which might have been depleted as a result of the gynecomastia itself.

Neil Zemmel has 3 Gynecomastia reduction before & afters:

Gynecomastia reduction before image performed by Dr. Neil  ZemmelGynecomastia reduction after image performed by Dr. Neil  ZemmelGynecomastia reduction before image performed by Dr. Neil  ZemmelGynecomastia reduction after image performed by Dr. Neil  ZemmelGynecomastia reduction before image performed by Dr. Neil  ZemmelGynecomastia reduction after image performed by Dr. Neil  Zemmel

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From the attached photo, your chest looks like you may have a mild case of gynecomastia as well as some extra skin and fat localized around the nipples.

Gynecomastia is a common condition in which the male breast gland is over developed due to an excess of female hormone. There are many possible reasons for an imbalance of estrogen levels, including use of steroids, opioids, and some antibiotics.


A more common contributor to excessive male breast development is an overconsumption of junk food and foods containing high levels of soy. Gynecomastia is also listed as a side effect of some heartburn medications like Prilosec (omeprazole), hypertension drugs, anti-androgenic drugs for prostate treatment, some antibiotics like metronidazole, and Valium.

As men get older, it's also common to develop gynecomastia in conjunction with falling testosterone levels. Low testosterone is not only associated with male breast development, but is also with low energy levels, low sex drive, depression, and brain fog.

While many cases of man boobs are simply a result of too much body fat combined with poor muscle development, it doesn't look like you have a particularly high percentage of body fat in the photo you attached above.

While I can't give you any specific healthcare advice based on just a photo, I don't think push ups, bench presses, chest workouts, and targeted exercises are going to be enough to correct your issue without surgery. While fat loss can help to reduce the visual appearance of gynecomastia, surgery is usually required to remove the excess glandular tissue.

To diagnose gynecomastia will require an examination by a physician. The clinical definition of gynecomastia is glandular tissue (on one or both sides) in excess of half a centimeter. The amount of adipose tissue is not considered part of the formal diagnosis, despite the fact that it visually contributes to the condition.

I suggest you contact a cosmetic surgeon with extensive experience performing gynecomastia surgery. The surgery is very quick and has a short recovery period. The scarring from the surgery is very minimal (often almost invisible) and the satisfaction rate for the procedure is extremely high relative to many other cosmetic surgeries. In most cases, liposuction surgery is performed simultaneously to remove subcutaneous fat deposits as well.

Puffy nipples are often a sign you could have gynecomastia, a relatively common condition among men. In most cases the condition it is treated through gynecomastia surgery, which when performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon takes an hour or two to complete and can be done in a surgical center under local or general anesthesia. Cosmetic surgery on the male chest usually involves small incisions--to remove the excess tissue--and causes minimal scarring. I strongly suggest that you contact a local board-certified plastic surgeon to determine if you do indeed have gynecomastia, and if so, what you can expect by way of recovery time and when you will be able to return to your regular activities.

Yes, properly performed surgery can reduce the puffiness and provide you with a trim and contoured chest.  Another plus from the surgery is that the areolar diameter will spontaneously decrease in size.  The anticipated result will be a smaller nipple/areolar complex which will lie flat and flush with the surrounding chest skin -- permanently.

Oftentimes, puffy nipples (which is really concentrated breast tissue under the areolas, which then pushes them up and outwards) is accompanied by additional excess tissues of the chest as well.

A thorough exam by a plastic surgeon with particular expertise in gynecomastia surgery will help to determine what procedure is needed.  For further info, please refer to my website, which is exclusively devoted to the treatment of gynecomastia and puffy nipples:

Elliot W. Jacobs, MD, FACS

New York City

Elliot Jacobs has 3 Gynecomastia reduction before & afters:

Gynecomastia reduction before image performed by Dr. Elliot Jacobs Gynecomastia reduction after image performed by Dr. Elliot Jacobs Gynecomastia reduction before image performed by Dr. Elliot Jacobs Gynecomastia reduction after image performed by Dr. Elliot Jacobs Gynecomastia reduction before image performed by Dr. Elliot Jacobs Gynecomastia reduction after image performed by Dr. Elliot Jacobs

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From your attached photo, it looks like your nipple puffiness is caused by some degree of gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is an abnormal enlargement of the glandular tissue in the male chest.

It is characterized by excess glandular tissue underneath the nipples (puffy nipples), excess fat localized around the nipples, excess skin around the breasts, or excessive areolar diameter. Gynecomastia can present itself bilaterally (both sides) or unilaterally (one side).


In most cases, gynecomastia results from a common hormonal imbalance first experienced during puberty. This imbalance usually self-corrects, but doesn’t always. There are also many medications and foods which can contribute to gynecomastia. These include anti-anxiety medications, acid-reflux medications, opioids, antibiotics, anabolic steroids and foods containing soy.

In addition to foods and medications, there are also several medical conditions which can contribute to gynecomastia. These conditions include hyperthyroidism, obesity, low testosterone levels, cirrhosis of the liver, and kidney failure.

Gynecomastia can distort the normal contour of the chest muscles, replacing the normal male chest with dreaded man boobs.

Correcting gynecomastia requires a simple plastic surgery procedure. We can excise the glandular tissue and perform a liposuction of the chest area. In some cases the glandular tissue growth is not the issue and liposuction alone can get rid of your puffy nipples.

Gynecomastia surgery is an outpatient surgical procedure and can be performed under local or general anesthesia. If your procedure is performed under local anesthesia, you can be in and out of the surgical facility in under two hours.

Most patients are extremely satisfied with the result from gynecomastia surgery, citing renewed self confidence and self image. If your puffy nipples are bothering you, I highly recommend an initial consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience in male breast reduction. 

Jonathan Heistein has 2 Gynecomastia Reduction before & afters:

Gynecomastia Reduction before image performed by Dr. Jonathan HeisteinGynecomastia Reduction after image performed by Dr. Jonathan HeisteinGynecomastia Reduction before image performed by Dr. Jonathan HeisteinGynecomastia Reduction after image performed by Dr. Jonathan Heistein

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Without a direct examination I can't say for sure, but it does look like your puffy nipples are due to excessive glandular tissue development.

It's possible your puffy nipples are simply a case of excess skin and chest fat. In many cases, what looks like gynecomastia is ultimately a case of excess body-fat alone. If that's the case you may be able to get rid of puffy nipples (or at least significantly reduce their appearance) via dietary changes, reducing your overall body weight and building muscle mass in the pectoral muscles and upper chest with daily chest exercises.

If your puffy nipples are caused by excessive breast tissue development and an imbalance of hormone levels, however, the best option is gynecomastia surgery and chest liposuction. Gynecomastia surgery is typically simple, fast, and has a very quick recovery time.

During gynecomastia surgery, your plastic surgeon will create small incisions to remove the excess glandular tissue. In most cases he or she will also perform liposuction to reduce the layer of fat above the glandular development.

Many patients ask about the scarring associated with gynecomastia surgery. The scarring is extremely minimal with the right surgical technique. With minimally invasive keyhole techniques, the scars can be tiny and will eventually heal to near invisibility after about a year.

It's also a good idea to ask your doctor about what may be causing your gynecomastia in the first place. There are multiple underlying medical conditions (some serious) which can contribute to male breast development.

Gynecomastia is a very common problem in the United States and can contribute to low confidence and negative self image. If your gynecomastia is bothering you or impacting your self esteem, I suggest you schedule a consultation to discuss which treatment options can help you restore your chest contour. Remember to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience with gynecomastia surgery and male body contouring.

Without an in-person examination it's not possible to give you specific advice, but from your description of puffy nipples it sounds like there may be excessive glandular tissue development beneath the areola and nipples. While it's possible that this is merely the result of excess body fat, it sounds like it could be gynecomastia. Gynecomastia (more commonly known as "man boobs") is a common issue affecting both young and older men. Gynecomastia negatively affects self-esteem and frequently distorts the appearance of chest muscles. It is easily treated with plastic surgery.


Gynecomastia surgery to remove breast glands and correct puffy nipples is a simple procedure and can be performed using local anesthesia. During the procedure the breast tissue is removed and, in some cases, we may also remove a bit of chest fat at the same time via liposuction. The result after surgery will be a well proportioned, normally contoured chest.

Always be sure to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon for gynecomastia treatment or any other plastic surgery procedure.

If you are physically fit and consume a healthy diet, it is likely that the puffiness beneath the nipples is caused by excess glandular tissue, rather than fat deposition. Excess glandular tissue in men is called gynecomastia. From your photo, it appears to be a relatively mild case and would be categorized as type one, where the nipple areola complex assumes a cone-like appearance and protrudes from the chest.

Gynecomastia requires plastic surgery for successful treatment; there is no quantity of bench presses or push ups that will reduce the projection of the nipple. The procedure is fairly simple and straightforward, and requires little recovery time. The type of treatment depends on the patient, as each case is different. Some patients require glandular excision, while others benefit from a combination of liposuction and glandular tissue excision. A plastic surgeon who is well-practiced in treating gynecomastia can determine what is causing the projection of the nipple, and the quantity of glandular tissue that should be removed to create a flat, masculine chest contour.

Kimberly Henry has 2 Gynecomastia reduction before & afters:

Gynecomastia reduction before image performed by Dr. Kimberly HenryGynecomastia reduction after image performed by Dr. Kimberly HenryGynecomastia reduction before image performed by Dr. Kimberly HenryGynecomastia reduction after image performed by Dr. Kimberly Henry

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Hi Cannon:

I already gave you one answer but that was only if it was your nipples.  If your areola (the tissue around the nipples) are puffy then it is a more involved procedure because likely it is coming from breast tissue underneath that is pushing in the nipple/areolar complex.  That still can be treated without affecting the rest of your chest but it is a more complicated procedure.

Dr. Ken Stein

Hi Cannon:

Yes, this can be corrected.   Although no surgery is minor, this can reliably done under local anesthesia and there is very little recovery time.

Dr. Ken Stein