What does Inverted Nipple Correction mean?
An inverted nipple is a condition in which the nipple ducts are shorter than normal. This happens when the nipples are pulled inwards causing the nipple to lie flat against the breast. It occurs in about 2% of women and also rarely in some males. Inverted Nipple Surgery can help correct the issue.
An inverted nipple is usually a result of a congenital anomaly. However, it can also by;
- Scarring from breastfeeding
- Infection in the ducts
- Or, previous breast surgery.
Inverted nipples can cause functional problems such as inflammation, rashes, and pain. In some cases, it may also prevent women from being able to breastfeed.
Inverted nipples surgery is a cosmetic surgical procedure that;
- Improves the projection of one or both of the nipples.
- Whilst, simultaneously, enhancing the appearance of your breast.
- And also preserving the sensitivity of the nipple.
The 3 Grades of Inverted Nipples
In this grade, the nipple is inverted under the areola but can be manoeuvred to project. However, it will return to its inverted state within a few minutes. In such cases, breastfeeding is usually possible. Unless the inverted nipples are affecting your confidence and self-esteem, corrective surgery is usually not necessary.
Grade 2 nipple inversion is when the nipple is inverted under the areola and can only be forcefully manoeuvred to briefly protrude. Breastfeeding may be possible and correction surgery is performed on the milk ducts.
This grade of nipple inversion refers to nipples that require vigorous manipulation. The nipple remains buried in the areola, and surgery is required to rebalance the muscle pull.
What are the benefits of Inverted Nipple Surgery?
Benefits of nipple correction include;
- Improving nipple appearance.
- Reduce inflammation and infections of the nipple.
- Improving your sexual life.
- Increased self-confidence.
- Improves quality of life.
Inverted Nipple Before and After Photos
Taking a look at previous inverted nipple correction procedures speaks volumes about the expertise of a specific surgeon, and Dr Briggs is not an exception. See before and after photos here.
Inverted Nipple Surgical Techniques
There are two techniques for inverted nipple surgery. The first involves leaving the milk ducts intact whilst the second divides them.
1. Leaving the Milk Ducts Intact
This technique is also known as the “parachute flap” technique. The procedure is performed using a local anaesthetic on the dark-skinned area of the breast called areola and an incision will be made.
The nipple and areola tissue is carefully lifted while keeping it connected to the breast and stitched into a new, protruding shape utilizing a purse-string style of stitches. Scar contracture will actually increase rather than decrease nipple projection because of the circular shape of the scar around the nipple.
As the tethering of the milk duct is often the cause of inverted nipples, this procedure has a significantly higher recurrence and relapse rate. It is highly likely that women undergoing this procedure will be able to breastfeed because some of the milk ducts will remain attached and you shouldn’t experience a change in nipple sensation.
If the procedure is being done as a stand-alone procedure and not in conjunction with other breast surgeries, it usually takes only about one hour to complete.
2. Dividing the Milk Ducts
The second technique is the more preferred option and may be necessary in more complicated cases. As with the first Local anaesthesia will be applied to the nipple base before an incision is made.
Unlike the first technique, all the milk ducts will be detached. This allows reshaping of the nipples to give a natural-looking projection. The incision is sutured closed and medicated gauze is applied to the site.
Similar to the first technique this surgery typically takes only an hour to complete unless it is combined with other cosmetic surgical procedures and you should be able to return home within a few hours of the surgery.
You shouldn’t experience a change in nipple sensation but you won’t be able to breastfeed because of the complete removal of the milk ducts.
In either case, the objective is to reshape the nipple and areola so that the nipple projects out from the breast. This enhances the appearance of the breast while preserving the sensitivity of the nipple.
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Recovery from Inverted Nipple Surgery
As with any surgery recovery speed will vary from person to person. How a person recovers depends heavily on not only the individual patient’s health but also their body’s healing process. However, in most cases, recovery from inversion nipple surgery is fairly quick.
There is minimal pain or swelling associated with the procedure. Many patients return to work and most activities within a few hours post-surgery. Furthermore, the sensation of the breasts and nipples should return to normal a few days after the procedure. Waterproof dressings will also be applied, this is done to not only keep the wounds dry but also clean. Removal of sutures occurs between day 4 and day 7.
Are You Suitable for inverted Nipple Surgery?
You are an ideal candidate for inverted nipple correction surgery if:
- There is a significant difference in the projection of your nipples.
- It affects your ability to Breastfeed.
- Your weight is stable.
- Your breasts are completely developed
- Or if you;
- Have a congenital abnormality affecting nipples.
- Are unhappy with the appearance of your nipples.
- Have had an undesired result from previous surgery.
- Are in a good state of health.
- Have realistic expectations.
- Are a non-smoker or are willing to give up smoking.
Can you Combine inverted nipple correction surgery with other Procedures? – Associated procedures with Inverted Nipple Correction
Inverted nipple surgery can be either a stand-alone procedure. Alternatively, you can combine it with any of the following breast procedures;
- Or implant removal or replacement surgery.
Can you surgically fix inverted nipples?
Yes, you can surgically fix your inverted nipples. The procedure is a cosmetic procedure, names for the surgery are;
- Inverted Nipple Surgery
- Or, Inverted Nipple Correction Surgery.
How long does it take for inverted nipple surgery to heal?
Recovery from inverted nipple surgery is very rapid. You can expect to resume most activities within 24 to 48 hours after surgery. You can expect to see the outcome of the procedure in two to four weeks.
Can Inverted nipples cause problems?
In most cases, having an inverted nipple won’t affect you. However, it can cause the following problems:
- Difficulty while breastfeeding and in some cases being unable to breastfeed.
- Inflammation and infections of the nipple.
- Decrease your sexual life.
- Decrease your self-confidence.
- And, more
What causes inverted nipples?
Some of the common causes include:
- Congenital anomaly.
- Disease or trauma that caused inflammation pulling the nipple inwards.
- Side effects of former breast surgery.
- Presence of a cyst in the breast or a benign breast tumour.
- Abscess in the subareolar region.
- Inflammation of breast tissue.
- Fat necrosis.
Does Medicare cover inverted nipple surgery?
Medicare may cover a portion of the surgical cost if you meet the strict criteria and are not undergoing the surgery for purely cosmetic reasons. See Medicare item number 31563.
Will inverted nipple correction surgery leave scars?
Scars are an inevitable part of any surgery. Your surgeon will try and make your scars as inconspicuous as possible. The scars will gradually fade and are located in such a way as to become less noticeable over time.
Risks and Complications of Inverted Nipple Surgery
Every surgical procedure poses a certain amount of risk. It is important that you understand the risks and possible complications that are associated with it before deciding if the surgery is right for you.
During your first consultation, Dr Briggs will thoroughly brief and explain to you all the possible risk and complications that the surgery carries, including;
- Bleeding from the incision site.
- Potential allergic reactions.
- Discomfort, bruising, and soreness around the incision site.
- In smokers and diabetic persons, healing is often slow.
- Anesthetic risks including; nausea, DVT or cardiac and pulmonary complications.
- A difference in the sensation of the breast and nipple.
- Temporary or permanent loss of sensation around the operated site.
- Inevitable scarring.
- Difficulties while breastfeeding as well as a reduction in milk supply due to damage in the milk ducts.
- In some cases, losing the ability to breastfeed is possible.
- A considerable difference in the size or projection of the nipples.
- Undesired result.
- Re-flattening of the nipples.
- Subsequent surgery may be necessary to correct any faults.
Contact us today to find out more or alternatively to book an appointment.
Medical References – Further Reading on Inverted Nipple Correction
- Cosmetic procedures for the nipples and areolas, ASPS (plasticsurgery.org)
- Surgical Correction of Inverted Nipples (nih.gov)
- Inverted Nipple Repair Revisited A 7-Year Experience | Aesthetic Surgery Journal | Oxford Academic (oup.com)
- Nipple Enhancement for Inverted Nipples Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery.org.au)
- Nipple Correction Surgery Sydney (pureaesthetics.com.au)
- Nipple and Areola Surgery in Melbourne, Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery
Dr Patrick Briggs
Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in Melbourne
Dr Patrick Briggs is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon and his team are dedicated to excellence in patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.
Dr Patrick Briggs offers high quality, natural-looking plastic and cosmetic surgery results and is experienced in Breast, Body and Face Surgery having performed over 4500 Surgeries in private practice. Dr Patrick Briggs is an expert in breast, face and body surgery for men and women.
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What to Bring to Your Consultation
- If you like, please bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
- Take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents your surgeon provides.
- You may need to undress so it’s a good idea to wear simple clothes.
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*Disclaimer: Individual results can vary significantly from patient to patient. The information we provide is general information only. For further information on what to expect for your preferred procedures, arrange to see one of our Specialist Plastic Surgeons for a full history and surgical consultation.