Women and men can have Inverted Nipples. It is a common problem seen frequently in our San Francisco Bay Area Plastic Surgery practice. An inverted nipple is a nipple that points into the breast. Sometimes it is firmly retracted, and even when erect, the nipple remains hidden. Other times, light stimulation, cold or touch, can cause the nipple to become erect, and temporarily evert.
For women, Inverted Nipple Correction is usually delayed until after childbirth to minimize interference with breast feeding. Breast feeding is often possible with an inverted nipple, and sometimes pregnancy and breast feeding can cause an inverted nipple to evert and stay out. On the other hand, pregnancy and breast feeding sometimes precede the formation of inverted nipples.
Often, Inverted Nipples are something you are born with. Up to 20% of women are born with at least one nipple inverted. Nipple inversion that develops later in life can sometimes be associated with breast cancer. Since breast cancer is more common as we age, if you are older and your nipple inversion is new, you should see your doctor and get checked. In most cases, inverted nipples are usually a purely cosmetic deformity (for lack of a better word). With severe (grade 3) retraction there is a higher incidence of infections due to difficulty maintaining nipple hygiene.
Classification of Inverted Nipples
- Grade 1 – Shy Nipple – May evert spontaneously and is easily pulled out. Ducts are usually normal and breast feeding is not difficult.
- Grade 2 – Can be pulled out, but will retract as soon as released. Ducts are usually short, but breast feeding is still often possible.
- Grade 3 – Can rarely be pulled and requires surgery to evert, and even then the nipple mass may be insufficient to provide adequate projection. Ducts are short and fibrotic. Breast feeding is often not possible.
Inverted Nipple Repair Before and After Photos
Correction of Inverted Nipples:
There are many different surgeries available for the correction of inverted nipples. The correct procedure for you depends on the grade of inversion. The surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis, and can be accomplished either with under local anesthesia, local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. If local anesthesia is selected, Inverted Nipple Correction can often be performed in our Walnut Creek Plastic Surgery office, near Concord, California. In the surgery center, inverted nipple correction is often combined with other breast procedures including: breast augmentation, breast lift and breast reduction surgery.