Anatomical parameters for nipple position and areolar diameter in males

Ann Plast Surg. 1996 Jan;36(1):33-6. doi: 10.1097/00000637-199601000-00007.


In this paper we present anatomic parameters for nipple position and areolar diameter in males. Larger forms of gynecomastia with significant ptosis pose a challenge to the plastic surgeon with respect to relocation of the nipples on the chest wall. Selection of the appropriate areolar size is also of concern in gynecomastia correction. There is a paucity of information in the current literature pertaining to this problem. In order to establish guidelines for the placement of the nipple in gynecomastia correction and for the selection of the appropriate areolar size, we set out to determine these anatomic parameters. We believe use of these parameters will enhance the aesthetic results of gynecomastia correction. One hundred males between the ages of 17 to 30 years were chosen for this study. The males selected were of ideal body weight and without evidence of gynecomastia. The distances from the sternal notch to the nipple, the midclavicular line to the nipple, and the nipple-to-nipple distance were recorded. The areolar diameter was also measured in each subject. The average distances were determined for each category. The validity of these values was confirmed with statistical analysis. Equations were then derived, using this analysis, to determine nipple position in males. We have determined the nipple position in males to be approximately 20 cm from the sternal notch and 18 cm from the midclavicular line. The ideal nipple-to-nipple distance is 21 cm. The average areolar diameter is 2.8 cm.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Gynecomastia / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nipples / anatomy & histology*
  • Reference Values
  • Surgery, Plastic