Inverted Nipple Correction

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1. What causes nipple inversion?

Some people are simply born with an inverted nipple. The ducts found in the breast tissue are too short causing it to pull the nipples inward. Since this happened during a person’s developmental process, this type of nipple inversion is considered normal. Some women experience nipple inversion after getting surgeries done on their breasts (e.g. breast lift, breast reduction, or lumpectomy).  Some nipples also get inverted after breastfeeding when scar tissue forms in the milk ducts.

In some cases, nipples may invert gradually over weeks or months. This should immediately be brought to the attention of your doctor for further examination because this could signal a growth within the breast tissue. This should be tested right away to see if it is benign or malignant.

2. How do I classify the extent of nipple inversion that I am experiencing?

Nipple inversion is classified into three major categories:

  • Grade 1. This is where nipples are typically inverted but they also evert when stimulated. It will remain everted as long as the stimuli are there, which is why this is also referred to as “shy nipples.”
  • Grade 2. This type of inversion makes the nipples harder to evert compared to that in the previous classification. If you evert them they also invert again almost right away.
  • Grade 3. This type of nipple inversion can no longer be everted. There have been cases where women experienced infections due to difficulties in maintaining hygiene.

3. What do I need to know about nipple correction surgery?

This procedure is relatively simple, but certain factors have to be considered along the way as well. This will be part of the surgical plan which can be ironed out after you have a personal consultation.  Here you will be asked about the goal you want to achieve with the surgery so the surgeon can understand your expectations and educate you on which is realistically possible and which is not.

4. Who are the right candidates for nipple correction surgery?

The right candidates for nipple correction surgery typically fall into categories where physical appearance or functionality of the nipples is a concern, including:

  • Inverted Nipples (turned inward rather than outward)
  • Enlarged or Overly Prominent Nipples
  • Asymmetrical Nipples (significant difference in size, shape, or position)
  • Reconstruction After Surgery (post-mastectomy or other breast surgeries)
  • Impact on Functionality (difficulties with breastfeeding, etc)

Note that suitable candidates should be in good overall health and have realistic expectations about the outcomes of the surgery. A consultation with a qualified plastic or reconstructive surgeon is vital to assess individual suitability and understand the potential risks and benefits of the procedure.

5. How is nipple correction surgery performed?

This procedure is performed under local anesthesia. With skill and precision, the nipples are lifted to an erect position through a small incision created at the base. The ducts found inside the nipples are divided to allow the nipples to maintain an outward projection.

6. How long does the procedure take?

Nipple correction surgery is a relatively simple procedure that can take around 10-20 minutes to finish.

7. Can nipple correction surgery be combined with other breast surgery?

Yes, nipple correction can be done together with breast augmentation and breast lift surgery.

8. Is this painful?

You would not feel any pain during the surgery because a local anesthetic would be used. Any pain felt after surgery can be managed with an oral analgesic. Should you ever notice that the pain intensity is increasing, it is important that you report this immediately to your surgeon. Normally, any pain should subside over the next few days after surgery, and not worsen.

9. Do I need to be admitted for this procedure?

Correction of nipple inversion can be done on an outpatient basis since this will only be done under local anesthesia. It can also be done under intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, and in these cases, the surgeon will provide certain precautions or aftercare instructions.

10. What are the potential complications involved with nipple correction surgery?

Even with the straightforward approach of this procedure, it is still subject to potential complications. This includes the following:

a. Infection

Every operation will always have that risk for infection because the break in skin integrity can always serve as its portal of entry. In some cases, this can be mild, while it can be fatal in some. Through the observance of strict surgical techniques, the surgical team can prevent infection during the procedure.

b. Changes in nipple sensation

Nipple sensation may be partially or impaired. In most cases, this may be permanent, while others gradually regain sensation over time.

c. Nipple necrosis

Necrosis is a term that means cell death. This occurs when the cells lack oxygen which causes them to eventually die. This is a rare complication, and it only occurs once the blood supply to the nipple is impaired.  If this happens, further surgery is needed to correct the problem.

d. Recurrence

There is a possibility that nipples can go back to being inverted again. This can be corrected with another surgery.

11. When can I resume normal activities after nipple correction surgery?

You can already resume your usual activities the following day. However, it is important that you protect your nipples from any trauma. Some surgeons specify that patients should avoid aggressive physical activities or contact sports for at least 4 weeks after the procedure.

12. Will I still be able to breastfeed after nipple correction surgery?

Yes, it is still possible to breastfeed after having this procedure. However, this may be difficult or impossible because some of the milk ducts would have already been affected. It is best to be prepared for the possibility that you may no longer be able to breastfeed. Feel free to open up this concern with your surgeon so that you may also be properly guided.

13. How much does correction of inverted nipples cost?

The average cost of inverted nipple correction surgery in Sydney is around $2000 to $3000. Prices may vary based on the surgeon’s experience, complexity of the procedure, and facilities used. It’s recommended to consult with a qualified surgeon for an exact quote tailored to your needs.

14. Is this covered by insurance?

Unfortunately, this procedure is not covered by insurance as it is considered an elective surgery.