Inverted nipple correction: surgery vs nonsurgical methods
What are inverted nipples?
Inverted nipples are a common occurrence among women, and can be the source of both physical issues as well as self-consciousness. Inverted nipples may be present in 10% of women. There are widely varying degrees of nipple inversion; inverted nipples are divided into three levels of severity.
Most often, inverted nipples are familial or congenital. The inverted nipples are caused by a shortened, thickened lactiferous duct (milk duct).
Treatment of Inverted Nipples
Nonsurgical Inverted Nipple Correction
Occasionally, inverted nipples can be corrected by nonsurgical means. This is often effective for Stage I nipple inversion. Anything that promotes traction on the nipples may bring them out; nursing a baby is, of course, the most natural method. The creation of the vacuum effect by a suckling infant may bring out the inverted nipples. Similarly, a device that creates a suction or negative pressure called a NipletteTM, has been shown to successfully correct inverted nipples in selected cases. The milder the inverted nipples are, the more likely they are to respond to nonsurgical methods.
Plastic surgery for inverted nipples is most often performed under local anesthesia. Compression should be avoided for one week. Click on the image for the Nipple Surgery Gallery to visit Dr. Chen Lee’s before and after case illustrations on inverted nipple correction.
What are the risks of inverted nipple surgery?
Inverted nipple surgery most often requires division of the milk duct. The inability to breastfeed is the most pressing and ponderous consideration when deciding whether or not to undergo surgery to correct inverted nipples. Although there are rare reports of breastfeeding after inverted nipple corrective surgery, it must be assumed that you will not be able to do so should you choose to undergo inverted nipple surgery that divides the ducts. The other potential downside of inverted nipple correction is the possibility of recurrence. In this scenario, which may occur in up to 25% of inverted nipple corrections, the solution is most often a very simple revision surgery performed under local anesthesia.
Am I a good candidate to have surgical correction of inverted nipples?
Dr. Chen Lee is a board-certified plastic surgeon. He will perform a complete evaluation to determine if you are a candidate for surgical correction of inverted nipples. For many women, a simple, comfortable procedure under local anesthesia is an incredibly effective solution to the physical and emotional impact of inverted nipples.