Inverted Nipple Repair

by

Many patients visit us for correction of inverted nipples. Although this condition is in no way harmful, it can make the breasts look asymmetrical or distorted. People with inverted nipples often feel self-conscious about the way they look. Although some men also suffer from this condition, it is more troublesome in women, as it can make breastfeeding very challenging.

The condition is the result of an abnormality in the nipple’s structure, the surrounding skin, or the underlying tissue. Inverted nipples are frequently the result of a shortening of the milk ducts due to inflammation. This prevents the nipple from protruding.

Although a shortened milk duct is the most common cause, inverted nipples can also develop after pregnancy due to loss of breast tissue.

What Does This Corrective Surgery Entail?

Surgery is the only permanent fix for an inverted nipple. The procedure is performed under a local anesthetic  in the office and takes about an hour.   Since the procedure is fairly straightforward, there is no need for IV sedation or general anesthesia.

During the procedure, the surgeon will make a small incision under the nipple and cut the ducts that are tethering the nipple and stopping it from protruding. A tiny incision is made in the areola where the nipple is held in its extended position. Once the tissues have been transected, dissolvable sutures are placed underneath the skin to hold the nipple in its new position and to prevent it from retracting during healing.

What Is the Recovery Like?

Once the procedure is complete, the surgeon will place a protective bandage around the protruding nipple. This should be worn for at least a few weeks. It is designed to protect the nipple from any external pressure that can push it back inward.

The sutures will dissolve within a few weeks, and there is no noticeable scarring, as the incision is very small. Moreover, the color variations and bumpy surface of the nipple hide any small marks.

There might be some discomfort or swelling after the procedure, but it will only be temporary. You won’t experience any pain after the surgery. If you experience mild discomfort, it can be managed with over the counter pain relievers like Tylenol.

During the healing process, you can engage in light activity like making meals, watching television, and reading. You should avoid physical activity that will apply any sort of pressure to the nipples, like lying on your stomach, hugging people, or wearing tight shirts. You should also take care not to do anything that can make your breasts stretch, like lifting your arms above your shoulders.

You will likely need to go for a post-op visit a couple of months after the surgery. If your nipples have been able to maintain their new position, then it is highly unlikely that they will revert during healing.

The results of inverted nipple repair are immediate, and since the surgery is performed to correct the underlying anomaly, the results are permanent. Once you are fully healed, you will be able to enjoy contoured and outward-projecting nipples.


Article by
Pensacola Plastic Surgeon