Inverted nipples are caused by tension along the milk ducts (lactiferous ducts), where the breast gland nipple pulls the nipple inward. Inverted nipples are more common than you might think and there are various grades. For some the nipple can be drawn out through stimulation and temperature change, although the effects are only temporary, and for others even these normal measures will fail to evert the nipple.
If an inverted nipple is causing you to be unhappy with the appearance of one or both of your breasts, surgery can be used to correct the issue.
Inverted Nipple Surgical Procedure
Inverted nipples can be corrected using one of two methods, both of which involve releasing shortened milk ducts or scar tissue that keep the nipple inverted. There are two frequently applied versions of inverted nipple repair: one that severs the milk ducts and one that does not. The entire procedure usually won’t take longer than an hour to complete and can be performed using only a local anaesthetic, however as this procedure is frequently supported by Medicare and health fund assistance, some will choose the assistance of an anaesthetist.
A/Prof Magnusson will help you decide which method to use based on the severity of the the inversion and any future desire for breastfeeding. In both instances, the procedure starts with A/Prof Magnusson making a precise incision at the base of the nipple. For the method that severs the milk ducts, small surgical instruments are utilised to release the tight ducts and surrounding tissues. A fold of tissue is brought under the nipple like a hammock to help keep it in the new protruded position. In cases that are less severe, where the milk ducts are not severed, the tissue around the milk ducts at the base of the nipple are teased apart to reduce the tension on the nipple. The nipples are lifted and sutured into a new protruded position. This technique has potential to preserve the ability to breastfeed, but does not have the same power as the technique that divides the milk ducts.
Patients can go home directly after their procedure but it’s recommended that someone drive them home.
Ideal Candidates for Inverted Nipple Correction
During your consultation with A/Prof Magnusson, 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 or general anaesthesia is an incredibly effective solution for reversing the physical and emotional effects of inverted nipples.
Management of inverted nipples is an individualised process. A/Prof Magnusson will discuss the options and contrast the procedures, likelihood of success, levels of interference and the effect on breast function.
If you have one or more of these concerns, you may be a suitable candidate for this procedure.
- Skin irritation resulting from sunken nipples
- Lack of stimulation with one or both nipples
- Nipple(s) that sink into the areolar area of your breast
- One nipple looks significantly different from the other
- Nipples remain flat or pointed even after stimulation
- Nipple contour and asymmetry make clothing selection difficult
Inverted Nipple Correction Results
The results are of this procedure are visible immediately, however there are necessary dressings to protect the nipple in the new inverted position for the week following surgery. As this surgery is aimed at correcting the underlying causes, the results are usually permanent, although the partial recurrence of the problem may be observed when the ducts are preserved to maintain breastfeeding options. When A/Prof Magnusson has completed the procedure, the result will be a more contoured, outward-projecting nipple.
Some of the benefits include:
- A naturally shaped nipple
- The corrected nipple(s) may be better suited for sexual stimulation and breastfeeding
Book an appointment for Inverted Nipple Correction Brisbane, Toowoomba or the Gold Coast
You can request a consultation with A/Prof Magnusson by contacting his reception at either his Toowoomba or Gold Coast clinics. He has assisted patients with this procedure in Brisbane and surrounding areas and can provide you with information on additional procedures, such as face and neck lifts.
Inverted Nipple Surgery FAQs
How much does inverted nipple correction surgery cost?
Nipple correction generally starts at around $2,670, however costs can differ based on other factors such as anaesthetic costs. It is also possible to apply for a Medicare or private health insurance rebate for this procedure. A/Prof Magnusson will take you through the requirements and process during your consultation. To achieve these rebates you will require a referral from your GP or another doctor.
What will recovery be like for this procedure?
Fortunately, patients don’t need to spend any time in hospital following this surgery. After the procedure, most sutures dissolve, so there’s no need to arrange for them to be removed after surgery. For patients having duct preservation, there will be a single suture helping to support the nipple during the first week that will be removed with the original dressing from theatre at that time. There will be some mild swelling and pain after surgery, but this is generally easily managed with prescription pain killers. Any swelling will resolve after a week or two. Patients are able to return to work within a day or two, but should refrain from engaging in strenuous exercise until the original surgical dressings are removed at one week.
Are there any risks involved with inverted nipple correction?
There is always a possibility that infection could occur, but it’s highly unlikely if all the necessary aftercare instructions are followed. There is also a chance that the procedure could affect your ability to breastfeed. On some occasions, this procedure is performed to enhance the ability to breastfeed when an inverted nipple has prevented successful feeding with a previous pregnancy. It is uncertain how successful this process will be for individual patients. A/Prof Magnusson will take you through all of the possible complications and risks during your consultation so that you know what to expect.
Will the procedure leave scars?
Scarring of the nipple and areolar is usually of an excellent quality. There is always scarring after any surgical procedure, but the incisions required for inverted nipple correction are small and usually barely visible once they have settled after surgery.
Can inverted nipple correction be combined with other procedures?
Many women choose to combine inverted nipple correction with other procedures such as breast augmentation. Naturally, doing so will increase the cost, time in surgery and the length of the recovery period. You can speak to A/Prof Magnusson about any additional concerns you have about the appearance of your breasts during your consultation. From there, a surgical plan can be tailored to your needs.
Can an inverted nipple indicate cancer?
Most women with inverted nipples have had this problem since the development of breasts during adolescence, or perhaps associated with changes during pregnancy and feeding. Changes that have developed in the mature breast or are associated with other symptoms, such as nipple discharge or bleeding, can be of concern and indicate that something else is happening. There are certain types of cancer that can cause the nipple to retract, so if the inversion occurred recently for no apparent reason, this needs to be excluded. Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in women (approaching one in eight Australian women) and regular breast examination is integral to the early detection and successful management of this problem.