An inward pulling of the nipple can cause loss of projection and be distressing to some women. Often this is a condition that is noted during breast development and persists into adulthood. Many women can still breastfeed with inverted nipples so it may not be a functional problem for them. However, some women may seek correction for aesthetic reasons.
- What Causes Inverted Nipples?
- Inverted Nipple Correction Candidates
- Inverted Nipple Correction Procedure
- Nipple Correction with Breast Enhancement
- Inverted Nipple Surgery Risks
- Inverted Nipple Correction Recovery
- Breastfeeding After Inverted Nipple Surgery
- Inverted Nipple Correction Cost
What Causes Inverted Nipples?
The cause of the nipple inversion is a tethering of the bands and ducts that pass from the deeper breast tissues to the nipple. As they shorten, they cause an inward pulling of the nipple. Correction involves release of the tight bands to allow the normal projection of the nipple. A variety of factors can lead to an inverted nipple appearance, such as the natural aging process, breastfeeding, breast surgery, injury, breast tumors or developmental problems. Nipple inversion occurring in adulthood should be evaluated for causes such as breast tumors.
Who Is a Candidate for Inverted Nipple Correction?
Ideal candidates for inverted nipple correction should be in generally good health and not smoke. Additional characteristics needed for candidacy include:
- Have one or both nipples inverted
- Understand the likely inability to breastfeed after the corrective surgery
- Desire to balance the appearance of both nipples if one is inverted
- Maintain realistic goals and expectations
What Does Inverted Nipple Correction Involve?
Dr. Behzad Parva—our board-certified plastic surgeon—performs the inverted nipple correction under local anesthesia in the surgical suite at our office in Leesburg, Virginia. When you are comfortable and well anesthetized, a small incision is made at the base of the nipple. This small incision is all that is required to access the space under the nipple and release the tight bands that are tethered to the nipple from the deeper elements of the breast. Once the release is complete, several sutures are placed to bring together the deeper tissues under the nipple and to maintain the projected nipple. A protective dressing is placed around the nipple to prevent compression of the nipple.
Can I Combine Inverted Nipple Repair with Breast Enhancement?
While inverted nipple correction is a relatively simple procedure on its own, the technique can be included in a more substantial breast enhancement procedure, for those interested. Inverted nipples can be repaired at the same time as popular procedures like breast augmentation or breast lift surgery. If you are interested in enhancing the shape and/or positioning of your breasts in addition to correcting nipple projection, Dr. Parva can discuss expectations and individualize a treatment plan based on your needs.
What Are the Risks of Inverted Nipple Surgery?
Correcting inverted nipples with surgery is considered a safe procedure when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. As with any cosmetic surgery, however, patients should be aware of their risks. In addition to mild side effects like swelling and bleeding, complications can include loss of nipple sensation, poor scarring, infection, and inability to nurse. Our team will discuss your risks in detail before your procedure to ensure you make an informed decision about your care.
What Can I Expect in my Recovery from Inverted Nipple Correction?
The initial recovery after inverted nipple correction surgery is about 7 to 10 days. You will be instructed on how to take protective care to avoid compression of the nipple for 2 to 4 weeks. During this time, your results should gradually become more noticeable. Nipple sensation typically returns over the course of the first six weeks after surgery. Results from inverted nipple repair are long-lasting and only in rare cases does the problem return.
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Can You Breastfeed After Inverted Nipple Surgery?
You should not plan to breastfeed after corrective surgery, because the release of the ducts and tight bands typically prevents normal lactation. Since the risk of not being able to breastfeed is relatively high after inverted nipple repair, Dr. Parva advises patients who plan to breastfeed in the future to delay their surgery until after they have completed their family.
How Much Does Inverted Nipple Correction Cost?
The cost of surgery to correct inverted nipples will vary according to the complexity of your procedure. Additional fees, such as anesthesia and surgical facility costs, will also influence your total procedural cost. More personalized details about the cost of your inverted nipple correction procedure will be discussed with you during your consultation.
Schedule Your Inverted Nipple Correction Consultation
If you are interested in inverted nipple correction, please contact Parva Plastic Surgery to schedule a consultation with Dr. Parva.