What is Inverted Nipple?
Despite the fact that over 10% of the UK’s population have inverted nipples, many of them feel self-conscious about them. Women especially have been found to feel strongly about wanting their breasts to look ‘normal’.
If you are thinking about having this procedure, it’s important to know that it’s possible that your breastfeeding abilities will be impaired. If you haven’t started a family yet, it’s a factor that you may wish to consider. The results will all depend on the severity of your inverted nipples and the root cause behind them.
Inverted Nipples occur when there’s too much connective tissue in the nipple or the milk ducts are too short. If the pull from the milk ducts is stronger than that of the nipple’s smooth muscle, then the same thing can happen. Note that only one nipple can be inverted even though the other is evert.
There are three different grades of inversion. In the first instance, the nipples are flat or only slightly turned inwards and can easily be manipulated outward, or they can pop out thanks to stimuli. Nipples in the second grade are slightly more inverted and although they can be manipulated to come out, it’s more difficult and they don’t remain evert. Finally, grade three nipples are completely inverted and can’t be teased out.
Will i be able to breast feed?
It depends. Whenever it’s achievable, Mr Khan will try to conserve as many milk ducts as possible, but everything comes down to the reason behind your inversion and the technique that would be used accordingly.
Because of this, it’s often recommend that women who would want to breastfeed in the future, wait to have the procedure until after they’ve completed their families.
Even if you’re born with inverted nipples, they sometimes do emerge by themselves after puberty, sometimes even by the age of 25. For this reason we would recommend waiting until such an age before pursuing treatment. On the other hand, always visit a GP if you suddenly develop an Inverted Nipple as this may be a sign of a more serious condition like Breast Cancer.
What complications can occur?
Most patients recover quickly from Inverted Nipple Surgery. Every surgical procedure has a risk of complications:
Nipple could invert again
Milk duct may be damaged impacting future breast feeding
Asymmetry (nipples do not look the same on each side)
What is the Treatment for Inverted Nipple Correction ?
Inverted Nipple Surgery is usually performed under local or general anaesthetic. It is usually performed as day case surgery meaning you will be able to go home the same day as the procedure.
The surgery takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours.
Mr Khan will cut under your nipple and free it from the surrounding tissue. A stitch is secured and placed around the nipple and a small splint is applied to hold it in a protruding position. The stitch and splint will need to remain in place for about one week. A gauze dressing may be applied.
Recovery after the Inverted Nipple Correction Surgery
You will be asked to avoid doing anything strenuous for at least one week. Most patients can return to work in just a few days. You may experience slight swelling or bruising. If you have any pain take over the counter pain medications such as paracetamol.
You may be advised not to wear padded bras or tight tops for 10 - 14 days following surgery. This is to avoid compressing the nipple.
You’ll usually be able to return to work after a couple of days, though we’ll advise you to avoid doing anything strenuous for around 7 to 10 days after your nipple correction procedure. Any scars will be firm and pink for several weeks, but should start fading over the subsequent months.
Everyone recovers differently from surgery. Be sure and discuss any concerns you have with Mr Khan.