While having two projecting nipples is considered the aesthetic ideal, many women have naturally inverted nipples. Sometimes they are inverted or “inside” all the time. In others, their nipples project normally when erect and only retract under the skin when relaxed.
What causes nipples to be inverted?
The most common reason is simply that patients are born this way. The ducts within the breast tissue which drain through the nipple are felt to be “too short”, pulling the nipple inwards. This is a developmental occurrence and is considered entirely normal. Some woman experience inversion of one or both nipples following breast surgeries such as breast reduction, breast lifting and in procedures related to the management of breast cancer like lumpectomy and radiotherapy.
Sometimes nipples invert slowly over a period of weeks to months and in these circumstances, women should have an examination by a qualified breast specialist to make sure a growth within the breast tissue is not the cause.
Can inverted nipples be corrected?
Yes, the correction of inverted nipples is a simple effective reliable procedure.
How is nipple inversion corrected?
The nipple is carefully lifted into its erect position and a small incision is made at its base. The ducts within the nipple are then carefully stretched or sometimes divided allowing the nipple to remain in the outward position.
Where is the procedure performed?
Correction of inverted nipples is performed as an outpatient procedure at one of two local accredited private operating facilities.
How long does the procedure take?
In most cases, this procedure takes 15 to 30 minutes.
What kind of anesthesia will be required?
Local anesthesia is the preferred method for this procedure.
Can this be combined with other breast surgeries?
Yes, patients often have their inverted nipple(s) corrected when undergoing a breast lift or augmentation procedure.
When can I resume my normal activities?
Most patients can return to normal activity and work immediately following the procedure. Return to aggressive physical activity, including contact sports, is permitted after 4 weeks.
Are there any concerns or risks in correcting an inverted nipple?
Generally, correcting an inverted nipple is a quick effective procedure. During your office consultation, Dr. Zelt will discuss with you the associated risks and complications. Fortunately, most are very uncommon and the vast majority of patients enjoy an uneventful surgery and recovery period. One important issue for patients to understand is that once the nipple inversion is corrected, breastfeeding may not be possible.
Any other questions regarding this procedure can be directed to our office.