Inverted Nipple Correction

What is Inverted Nipple Surgery?

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).

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What it is involved?

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.

Grades of Inverted Nipple

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.

Recovery

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.

Risks

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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