Having nipples that point inwards is a relatively common condition that can be rectified by surgery.
The procedure and technique used will be dependent upon the degree of nipple inversion. In some cases, surgery may not be needed. In the mildest forms, a suction device can be used to turn the nipple outwards (evert the nipple).
Inverted nipples are caused by excess connective tissue which can lead to the shortening of the milk ducts as they come into the nipple. Release or partial division of these ducts is one of the key elements of correction. This usually involves making an incision and drawing the nipple out to protrude in the desired fashion.
There are 3 grades of nipple inversion that are used to classify the severity of their inversion and help to determine the best course of treatment. These are:
- Grade 1 – The lowest level of nipple inversion. Nipples will often appear flat, but may sometimes evert as a result of temperature changes and without manipulation.
- Grade 2 – Nipple is slightly more inverted. They can normally be pulled out manually, but will retract once pressure is removed.
- Grade 3 – The most severe form of nipple inversion. Nipples often cannot be everted, even with manual manipulation.
Nipple inversion surgery normally involves a local anaesthetic and you will be admitted as an outpatient meaning you will be able to go home the same day.
You may experience some mild pain or bruising following surgery, this is to be expected and should be treated with mild painkillers. If you’re worried about the pain following surgery, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your surgeon.
Following surgery you should avoid any strenuous activity, including heavy exercise, for at least a week. Compression of the nipple should be avoided, which can include wearing certain bras or tight tops, to allow the nipple to heal correctly.
As with all aspects of surgery, your dedicated surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions on what to do in the period following surgery.
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Inverted nipple correction
The operation is usually performed under a local anaesthetic.
The nature of the surgery is dependent upon the severity of the condition. Normally a small scar is placed at the base of the nipple in order to release the tissues and bring the nipple out.
Stubborn inverted nipples can be difficult to fully correct and some recurrence is not unusual. In some cases the nipples go back inwards after surgery and may require a second procedure.
Can I breastfeed after inverted nipple surgery?
There are occasions when the milk ducts may have to be cut in order to achieve eversion of nipples. Breastfeeding can be affected as a result.
Whether this affects you will depend on the grade of nipple inversion and the necessary procedure to correct this. Your surgeon will discuss this in detail with you at your consultation.
Lifetime aftercare policy
We operate a lifetime follow-up policy for all our patients. If you need to consult MyBreast or one of our surgeons at any time after your initial follow-up consultation phase, you are very welcome to do so.
Every surgery comes with some risk and it’s important to understand any potential side-effects of inverted nipple surgery. However, most patients recover quickly from the procedure.
Complications of nipple repair include a potential inability to breastfeed where milk ducts have been divided as part of the procedure.
Recurrence of the inversion is uncommon in milder forms but more likely in very inverted nipples.
Very rarely the blood supply to the nipple can be compromised as part of the procedure.
Your surgeon will discuss with you the potential risks of the surgery at your consultation.
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MyBreast have the UK’s finest cosmetic plastic surgeons and we’re committed to offering you the highest standard of care, before, during and after your surgery. MyBreast charges a small fee of £25 for your no obligation first consultation that will take place with your operating surgeon and last approximately 30-45 minutes.
Please pop your details on our form and one of our friendly patient advisors will call you to answer any questions you may have and book your appointment, we'll give you all the information and time you need to think about your cosmetic surgery wishes. And, we’ll be here, caring for you every step of the way.