The average female nipple protrudes naturally. When cold or stimulated, it becomes even more erect. However, around 20% of women have inverted nipples where protrusion simply does not occur. In fact, the nipple may even sink in as if pushed inside the breast by a finger. The nipple may become inverted with constricted, short milk ducts, or with fibrosis.
Women with significantly inverted nipples can sometimes experience problems with infections, rashes or difficult nipple hygiene. However, even though there aren't any known health risks associated with inverted nipples, women can feel self conscious about the way their inverted nipples appear.
Plastic surgery may be the best solution to bring about a more aesthetically pleasing look and can be done under local anesthesia. The nipples can sometimes be coaxed into a more protruding position by gently freeing up or breaking down these bands of connective tissue that hold the nipple in the inverted position.
Surgical Correction for Inverted Nipples
The procedure to correct inverted nipples is a simple, outpatient surgery.
- Make a small incision at the base of the nipple.
- Spread out and release the fibers responsible for nipple retraction.
- Suture the now projecting nipple to add strength and stability.
- Place stints over the nipple to ensure it does not retract during the healing process.
After the stints are in place, you will be sent home to recover. Even if you have the procedure done with only a local anesthetic, we will advise against driving home on your own. Having a friend or family member available to give you a ride is always a good idea.
The stints used to prevent retraction during the healing process are removed in 5-7 days. Follow-up visits will be required to ensure you are healing correctly and to check for possible complications. Complications like re-inversion or infection are very rare, but we take special care to ensure your entire process from consultation to complete recovery is safe, effective and positive.