What's Wrong With My Nipples?

I believe I have inverted nipples — how do I fix this? They never become erect, more just puffy looking as shown in the third photo. 

Doctor Answers 6

What's Wrong With My Nipples?

Inverted nipples can cause functional and/or body image problems for women. An inverted nipple can look flat or a slit like depression or hole at the normal nipple location. There are different degrees of inverted nipples possible.  Usually correction of the inverted nipples involve division  of the lactiferous (milk ducts).

Risks  of the procedure include potential loss of sensation, inability to breast-feed, recurrence of the inversion and the potential need for further surgery. The procedure can be performed at the time of breast augmentation surgery only. 

Sometimes, breast augmentation surgery ( if this operation is being considered anyway) alone will suffice ( without the need for additional maneuvers to evert the nipples). 

 When the time is right, seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience helping patients achieve the outcomes you will be pleased with.   I hope this, and the attached link, helps. Best wishes.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Surgical correction is an option for those who have inverted nipples.

Inverted nipples are fairly easy to detect - and to correct! A correction for inverted nipples is a relatively short and uncomplicated procedure, and can be performed in our office under a local anesthetic. Recovery time is minimal, and risk of complication is low.

Anna I. Wooten, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Inverted Nipples

Inverted nipples can be present in one or both breasts and may manifest in a more severe way such that the nipple cannot be everted under any circumstance; or it can be more minor in degree so that the nipple may become erect during stimulation but stay inverted at rest. Surgery to correct inverted nipples can successfully eliminate this condition and provide the nipples with a forward projection which can enhance symmetry (in the case of one breast being affected) as well as overall breast aesthetics. I suggest scheduling a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to better discuss the details of this procedure. Good luck! 

Brian S. Glatt, MD, FACS
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Inverted nipple correction

Inverted nipples may be corrected through a minor procedure, often performed under local anesthetic.  During the surgery, the tethering is released and the nipples are often held out to length using temporary dressings during early healing.  Given that the ducts are divided, breastfeeding would be unlikely following this surgery.  I recommend consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon in your region if considering correction of inverted nipples.

Stephanie Power, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

What's Wrong With My Nipples?

Thank you for your question and photos.  It appears you may have inverted nipples.  This can be caused by tissue in the nipples pulling and preventing the nipple to become erect.  This can be treated by a surgical procedure ( in my practice this can be done in the office with local anesthesia) as an outpatient.  The recovery is not difficult and the results are highly successful.  Always seek a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who specializes in breast surgery for treatment.  Good luck.

David J. Wages, MD
Peabody Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Yes, you have a mild degree of inverted nipple deformity . . .

. . . the good news is that there is (usually) a fair amount of nipple present, it's just buried and needs to be released.  This usually results from tethering of the ducts just below the surface, and if you're young and it's similar bilaterally, it's usually a benign condition. (Older women may have to worry about a new growth/process possibly causing the tethering). Usually can be fixed under local anesthesia with several small incisions at the base of the nipple to release the tethering, +/- a (permanent) suture to hold the eversion in place until healed. Hope this helps (and I miss Prague!)

Paul M. Steinwald, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.