In about two percent of the female population, inverted nipples tend to occur and can become apparent at around puberty. In some cases, inverted nipples can result from breastfeeding due to the scar tissue shortening the milk ducts and pulling the nipple tip inward. Although rare, nipple conversion can also happen in males. Often, inverted nipples tend to present as holes or slits in the breast. It can occur in both breasts if the inversion is congenital in nature or it could occur in one or both breasts if breastfeeding is the underlying cause. The asymmetry and distortion of the breasts’ shape when this condition is untreated is often a cause of distress, shame, and embarrassment for most women. At Azala, Dr. Mosser will work with you so you feel confident and comfortable in your decision to pursue inverted nipple repair.
The surgical correction of inverted nipples can be performed on an outpatient basis. A patient can opt for local anesthesia, intravenous sedation plus local anesthesia, or general anesthesia. The surgery begins with a small incision at the base of the nipple while the nipple is held in a protected projected state. Then there is a gentle separation of the fibers that are pulling the nipple inward. This is where a delicate touch is required to preserve milk ducts wherever possible. Once the fibers have been separated and the nipple freed to extend to a normal projection, special sutures are placed internally to stabilize and strengthen the base of the nipple and help retain its outward projection. Internal sutures dissolve with healing and don’t require subsequent removal, and drainage tubes are generally not needed. The incision site is very inconspicuous and blends into the natural color of the nipple.*
Recovery from inverted nipple correction is very fast.* There is generally a renewed confidence that comes with a normal, balanced shape to the breast and nipples. Depending on the severity of the nipple inversion and the extent of the surgery required, breastfeeding capability may be fully or partially restored, a source of great satisfaction to many of my younger patients. What my patients all invariably say is, “Why didn’t I do this a long time ago!”
* Individual results may vary, and not guaranteed.