Accessory nipples (also known as supernumerary or third nipples) usually appear under the breast near the fold that we call the inframammary crease. Mr Turton has a lot of experience with these as he examines over a thousand patients breasts per year as a specialist breast surgeon!.
How Frequent Are Accessory Nipples?
He typically finds these accessory nipples in around 0.1 to 1% of his cosmetic breast surgery patients having breast enlargement or breast reduction, usually with the patient having been unaware. These will typically look like a small mole and are slightly raised. Look down from the middle of each breast. They are usually found here close to the crease. If these bother patients they can be removed with simple surgery. Most of the time they can be left alone.
Can Accessory Nipples Cause Any Problems?
If they are associated with breast tissue they are more likely to be a problem as they can fluctuate in size with the menstrual cycle and may become tender. During pregnancy you may even lactate. Of note is that they can even be affected by breast cancer. If they ever change, get reviewed by a Specialist Breast Surgeon!
How Do They Form?
They form as multiple nipples, in all of us, during embryological development along the ‘milk line’ but usually all of them regress leaving just a single nipple on each side. The milk line runs from the edge of the axilla (arm pit) down to the centre of the breast and then vertically down the breast and the abdominal wall following the same line to the groin. Mr Turton has never seen any patient with more than one accessory nipple on each side, but it has been described in the medial literature.
They may change during a pregnancy, become larger and tender. If there is breast tissue associated you may even lactate through the nipple!
Having Breast Enlargement Surgery?
If you are having breast implant surgery as part of a cosmetic breast augmentation, the usual and preferred incision is still in the inframammary fold (IMF). If you happen to have an accessory nipple at this site I will be able to modify this. Typically I would take it out by incorporating it in the incision pattern. I would then still place the implant without additional disturbance where it is closely related to the IMF. Recovery from the surgery is usually just as quick.
Just Wanting Removal of an Accessory Nipple?
If patients simply want to have their accessory nipple removed, this is quite straightforward. I would usually perform this under local anaesthesia. Recovery is quick with little down time.
Arranging a Check-Up with Mr Turton
If you want to have a breast check up in Mr Turton’s specialist breast and cosmetic clinic at the Leeds Nuffield Hospital or Spire Hospital Leeds, please use the enquiry form on my web site: https://cosmeticbreastsurgeon.co.uk/contact-us/