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Inverted Nipple Correction

Inverted Nipple Correction

Did you know 10% of women experience an inverted nipple, referred to medically as a retracted nipple? More common than you think, the condition occurs in men as well. When one or both nipples are enlarged, extended, form inward on the breast, or are “shy,” a nipple that is flat on the areola doesn’t protrude out. It might give feelings of embarrassment in intimate situations affecting self-esteem, but inverted nipples are not medically detrimental to your physical health and are corrected easily.

What Causes an Inverted Nipple?

Milk-producing breast glands connect to breast ducts which connect to the skin of the nipple. Tiny breast ducts, a reduction in breast tissue (usually after pregnancy), or a combination of the two pull the skin of the nipple inside, causing inversion. Some people are born with it, known as congenital inversion, because it occurs in the womb. It may be noticeable during childhood or develop around puberty. Happily, there are ways to remedy this problem and create a breast pointing outward.

Inversion vs. Retracted 

Inverted nipples are inside the breast and don’t point outward. When just a tiny slit of the nipple stretches inward, it’s a retracted nipple.

How is it Treated?

Nipple inversion repair also referred to as nipple correction surgery, is a cosmetic option designed for people to correct inverted, shy, enlarged, or extended nipples. While inverted nipples can affect both men and women, women are more likely to seek treatment because their nipples will often invert during breastfeeding, making this process more challenging in some cases. An outpatient surgical procedure is typically required to reverse the inversion and create a normal appearance to the nipple. Surgery is generally the only way to achieve permanent correction for nipple inversion.

How Is Inverted Nipple Classified Medically?

The severity determines inverted nipple surgery candidates graded on a three-point scale.

Level 1: This is the least severe type of inversion, and patients with this stage are often referred to as having “shy” nipples. At this level, nipples usually are found in the inverted position. Still will readily protrude outwards when exposed to cold temperatures or physical stimulation.

Level 2: In this moderate level of inversion, the nipples are nearly always in an inverted position. However, they can be forced under vigorous stimulation or suction to protrude outward. The projection is usually brief and not permanent. Some patients may consider correction.

Level 3: The most severe level, the nipples are profoundly contracted from the surrounding tissue, which prevents outward projection even with strong suction or stimulation. Patients seek surgical treatment at this level.

During your initial consultation, Dr. Barrett will determine your level of inversion and together discuss your concerns and realistic outcomes before recommending surgery.

Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

Nipple inversion correction is a simple procedure performed in-office using local anesthesia in about three hours. It’s most beneficial to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon skilled in maneuvering around the breast’s milk ducts to guarantee breastfeeding is not affected, the nerves to preserve sensitivity, and blood vessels, so circulation is not compromised. Dr. Barrett has comprehensive experience in all types of breast revision surgeries.

Surgery Procedures for Inverted Nipple Repair

Surgery is based on the level of inversion. The method reduces the nipple to decrease mammary bulge to remove any fat or chest tissue responsible for pushing the nipple forward for men. With women, Dr. Barrett may perform your corrective surgery in one of two ways:

Parachute-Flap Technique

During this procedure, Dr. Barrett releases the nipple leaving a portion of the milk ducts intact. Constriction is reversed by stretching or spreading the tissue rather than severing them. This approach can be used for less severe types of inversion and will likely preserve the ability to breastfeed.

Detached-Duct Technique

In the most severe cases of nipple inversion, it may not be possible to preserve the connection of the milk ducts to the nipple. While this approach doesn’t allow a woman to breastfeed after surgery, it might be the only way to achieve an improved breast appearance when inversion is substantial.

Procedure Overview

Inverted nipple correction requires a petite incision inside the areola to minimize a visible scar. Dr. Barrett will stretch or sever the milk duct to release the nipple, create an outward protrusion through the incisions, and then place stitches to ensure the nipple continues to extrude after surgery. The area is closed, and bandages are applied. After resting for some time, recovery continues in the comfort of your home.

Inverted Nipple Recovery

Recovery lasts one to three days, making it relatively quick. You will change your bandages daily for seven days. Some minor swelling and bruising may occur, with discomfort managed by over-the-counter pain medication for 48-hours. Patients typically resume regular daily activity within one to two days. You will return to Barrett Plastic Surgery for a follow-up appointment to have the sutures removed and ensure the healing process progresses smoothly. You’ll refrain from wearing tight clothing or a bra for the next three weeks.

Results That Last

When delivered by an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon, nipple inversion surgery results can last a lifetime. People having the procedure are delighted to find their self-confidence improves. If you would like to discover more about nipple inversion correction and if it’s right for you, contact Barrett Plastic Surgery today at 310-598-2648 or reach our team using our contact form below.

BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS

What is Inverted Nipple?

Inverted nipple is an irregularity in which a woman’s nipples point more inwards than outwards. It may be noticeable from childhood or develop over time and results from breast tissue that pinches the base of the nipple, limiting stretch and movement. The constriction may be caused by shortened milk ducts, a reduction in breast tissue (usually after pregnancy), or a combination of the two. Inverted nipples are not typically considered a health hazard, but they can be cosmetically embarrassing, reducing a woman’s quality of life in some situations. Fortunately, there are ways to correct this issue and create a nipple that points outward once again.

How is it Treated?

Nipple inversion repair also referred to as nipple correction surgery, is a cosmetic option designed for men and women to correct inverted, shy, enlarged or extended nipples. While inverted nipple can affect both men and women, women are more likely to seek treatment because their nipples will often invert during breastfeeding, making this process more challenging in some cases. An outpatient surgical procedure is typically all that is required to reverse the inversion and create a normal appearance to the nipple. Surgery is generally the only way to achieve permanent correction for nipple inversion.

Is Inverted Nipple Repair Right for You?

The severity of their condition often determines inverted nipple surgery candidates. Physicians often utilize a three-point scale to assess the severity of the inversion and determine whether surgical treatment is necessary and would adequately resolve the issue.

Level 1: This is the least severe type of inversion and patients with this stage are often referred to as having “shy” nipples. At this level, nipples may often be found in the inverted position, but will readily protrude outwards when they are exposed to cold temperatures or tactile stimulation.

Level 2: In this moderate level of inversion, the nipples are nearly always in an inverted position. However, they can be forced under vigorous stimulation or suction to protrude outward. The protrusion is usually temporary and short-lived.

Level 3: This is considered the severe level of nipple inversion. Nipples are highly constricted from the surrounding tissue, which prevents outward projection even with strong suction or stimulation. Severe cases are the most common level at which patients seek surgical treatment, although some patients with level two inversion may also consider correction.

At your initial consultation, Dr. Barrett will determine your level of inversion as criteria for surgical treatment. He will also discuss your specific concerns and desired outcome before recommending surgery to provide permanent correction for the issue.

How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon

Although nipple inversion correction is a simple procedure that can be performed on an outpatient basis, your choice of a plastic surgeon will determine the success and longevity of your result. Dr. Barrett has extensive experience in all types of breast revision surgeries, including inverted nipple repair, and will carefully select the best technique for you based on the severity of your inversion and other personal factors.

Options in Inverted Nipple Repair

Based on the level of inversion, Dr. Barrett may perform your corrective surgery in one of two ways:

Parachute-Flap Technique

During this procedure, Dr. Barrett will release the nipple while leaving at least a portion of the milk ducts intact. Constriction will be reversed by stretching or spreading the fibers rather than severing them. This approach can be used for less severe types of inversion and will likely preserve a woman’s ability to breastfeed.

Detached-Duct Technique

In the most severe cases of nipple inversion, it may not be possible to preserve the connection of the milk ducts to the nipple. While this approach does not allow a woman to breastfeed after the surgery, it may be the only way to achieve an excellent cosmetic result when the inversion is substantial.

Dr. Barrett will weigh your options carefully, only opting for the detached-duct technique when necessary to achieve a satisfactory aesthetic outcome. He will also discuss your choices at your initial consultation, so you have input into the decision-making process as well.

Procedure Overview

No matter which technique is used for your inverted nipple correction, Dr. Barrett will perform the procedure in his office using local anesthesia. Incisions are placed inside of the areola so that visible scarring after the treatment is minimal. Through the incisions, Dr. Barrett either stretches or severs the fibers of the milk duct to release the nipple and create an outward protrusion. Sutures will also be strategically placed to ensure the nipple continues to protrude after surgery. Incisions will be meticulously closed and a dressing place over the area. Most patients are out of our office within a couple of hours to recover comfortably at home.

After Your Inverted Nipple Repair

The recovery process is relatively quick, lasting just one to three days. Some minor swelling and bruising may occur, but discomfort is easily controlled with over-the-counter pain medication for the first day or two. Patients will usually feel like resuming their regular daily activity one to two days following inversion correction. Dr. Barrett will see you after your procedure to ensure your healing process is progressing smoothly and to avert any possible complications before they become a problem.

Long-Lasting Results

When performed by an experienced, capable plastic surgeon, the results of nipple inversion surgery can last a lifetime. Women that have this procedure performed are excited to find their confidence improves as their appearance is enhanced. If you would like to learn more about this surgery or find out if nipple inversion correction is right for you, contact Barrett Plastic Surgery today at 310-598-2648.

The information about inverted nipple correction was reviewed by Dr. Daniel Barrett. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our contact form below.

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