Recommended For Inverted Nipple Surgery
Inverted nipple surgery or inverted nipple correction is recommended for patients with nipple retraction or nipple inversion.
Not Recommended For Inverted Nipple Surgery
Inverted nipple surgery contraindications include one or more of the following:
Discharge From Hospital
- Being in the period of pregnancy or breastfeeding
- Being age under 18
- Having any infections around the breast area
- Having other health problems
- Having unrealistic expectations from the procedure
Patient may spend one night in hospital
Duration Of Operation
Inverted nipple surgery, also known as inverted nipple correction is a simple yet effective procedure performed for cosmetic as well as functional reasons. These treatments are especially chosen by moms with flat or inverted nipples who can potentially have a problem when wanting to breastfeed their babies.
What Are Inverted Nipples?
This is a condition in which the nipple is pulled and pointing inward into the breast, instead of pointing outward, away from the chest. This condition is also known as nipple retraction or nipple inversion. This may be caused by trauma, disease or congenital. An inverted nipple can occur on one or both breasts and it's estimated that 9 to 10 percent of women have at least one inverted nipple.
Suddenly inverting nipples can be a cause for concern as it can be a sign for breast cancer if the patient is not pregnant and has not suffered any trauma to the bust region – it's better to have a routine check straight away.
Inverted nipple surgery is usually performed for three main reasons:
● Inverted nipple surgery for functional reasons
The condition of the nipple becomes extremely important especially during the lactation period after pregnancy. Many women suffer from breastfeeding problems due to inverted nipples and the surgery is the only way to ensure breastfeeding functionality.
● Inverted nipple surgery for cosmetic reasons
Women may feel more attractive with protruding nipples instead of the inverted ones. Some women turn to inverted nipple surgery after having their nipples inverted during or after pregnancy.
● Inverted nipple surgery for psychological reasons
Women with an inverted nipple may feel somehow missing or less feminine because of this condition. Likewise, the asymmetry of the breasts can affect women's self-confidence and overall quality of life.
Before performing an inverted nipple correction surgery, the patients should be evaluated and the degree of their condition should be determined. Inverted nipple condition is divided into three grades:
How It Is Performed
- Grade one: minimal inversion. The nipples may protrude in cold weather and when manually stimulated.
- Grade two: moderate inversion. The nipples cannot protrude easily or for longer.
- Grade three: severe inversion. The nipples never protrude and it is impossible to breastfeed at this stage.
Inverted nipple correction is usually done under local anesthesia. The surgeon creates a very small incision around the base of your nipple. The incision is circular, going all around the nipple. Then the nipple and areola are both lifted from the breast and sewn into a protruding shape. Patients suffering from severe nipple inversion will also have the milk ducts cut, in order to release and reposition the nipple and this will allow the nipple to protrude. The area is then bandaged with a medicated gauze and the procedure is complete.
Patients can experience some degree of swelling, tenderness, and soreness around the corrected nipple for around 2 weeks during recovery time. Most patients return to work in about 2 days after the procedure but heavy physical activities should be avoided for approximately 2 weeks as well, giving the nipple ample time to heal. Patients also need to avoid wearing any padded bras or tight tops during these 2 weeks.
Risks and complications associated with inverted nipple surgery can include:
- Scarring may occur
- Infection may occur
- Nipple could invert again
- Milk duct may be damaged
Side effects associated with inverted nipple correction can include:
- Partial nipple necrosis
- Delayed healing
Inverted nipple surgery is successful in 90% of cases after 2 years follow-up, but it depends on the degree of inversion the patient is suffering from
Before And After
Patients can see the procedure's results in 2 weeks after the nipples have healed. Some women can experience nipple inversion after a period of time.
Can I Breastfeed After Inverted Nipple Surgery?
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The answer depends on the degree of your situation. Generally speaking, patients with severe inversion do not breastfeed after inverted nipple correction.
How Long Do the Results Last?
The results of this surgery are usually permanent, but some factors, such as pregnancy or rapid weight gain, may cause the nipple to be inverted again.
Are There Any Alternatives to Inverted Nipple Correction?
If the patient suffers from a mild grade of inversion, some exercises and remedies may be helpful, but they do not fully solve the problem.Although the surgery is more effective, there is also an alternative inverted nipple treatment without surgeryduring which a device is used called niplette.
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This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in June, 2019.