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Though most don’t talk about it, some 10 to 20% of females experience various degrees of inverted nipples. While inverted nipples are most common in women, the condition can also be found in men. Inverted nipples pull inward rather than protruding outward, usually because of the underlying milk ducts being too short. 

If you’re concerned about inverted nipples, you can get an inverted nipple repair to make them protrude properly outward. The surgery can be combined with other breast procedures, such as augmentation, reduction, or breast implant removal. Please schedule a private consultation with Dr. Antell to discuss your inverted nipple repair options.

What is Inverted Nipple Repair?

Inverted nipple repair is a simple in-office surgery performed under local anesthesia to make your nipples protrude outwards. The surgery concludes within 30 minutes, involves little to no downtime, and provides exceptional results. However, the surgical technique used depends on your unique situation.

Understanding Inverted Nipples

Some individuals have inverted nipples since childhood, and others develop them in their adulthood. In most cases, inverted nipples occur because the milk ducts are too short to allow nipple protrusion. The severity of nipple inversion is tracked on a scale of 1 to 3. The inversion repair must be planned according to your unique condition.

 The following are the levels of nipple inversion:

  • Level 1: Also known as “shy nipples,” this level involves minor inversion. The nipples respond to external stimulation or cold temperatures, gradually returning to their protruded position.
  • Level 2: This level involves moderate inversion—the nipples remain inverted at all times, but they can be protruded without surgical intervention or significant resistance.
  • Level 3: This level involves severe inversion. The nipples remain inverted at all times, necessitating surgical intervention.

Nipple Inversion Techniques

With Milk Duct Detachment

The surgeon makes an incision around the border of the inverted nipple to detach the shortened milk ducts, allowing the nipples to protrude. The detachment of the milk ducts interferes with your breastfeeding capability, so it’s usually reserved for patients who don’t plan on breastfeeding.

Without Milk Duct Detachment

The surgeon makes a small incision just underneath the lower end of the nipple to lift the nipple and areola tissue. The lifted tissues are reshaped into a protruding nipple with carefully-placed sutures. This procedure is ideal for patients who want to retain their breastfeeding capability because it preserves the milk ducts.

The Recovery

You’ll experience mild swelling, bruising, and discomfort around the treatment area for the first few days. Most patients feel comfortable returning to work and normal activities within a day, but you’ll need to avoid vigorous workouts for 1 to 2 weeks. The overall healing and recovery take approximately 4 weeks.

Ideal Candidates

You’re the ideal candidate for an inverted nipple repair if either or both your nipples are inverted, leading to self-consciousness. However, you should avoid or delay the procedure if you’re pregnant or nursing. Your surgeon will review your medical history and discuss your concerns to determine if it’s the right procedure for you.

Complementary Procedures

Areola Reduction

Areolas are the dark-skinned and pigmented areas around your nipples. Different individuals have differently-sized areolas, but a reduction is possible if you’re uncomfortable with their size. The areola reduction surgery is just as simple as a nipple repair, so you can combine the two procedures.

The surgeon cuts a small piece of tissue from around your areola and secures the remaining tissues deep within the breast tissues with permanent sutures. The incisions are then closed with dissolvable sutures. You can combine this procedure with nipple inversion to achieve the ideal shape and size of your areola and nipples.

Breast Augmentation

Women often combine nipple repair with breast augmentation, a surgical procedure to enhance your breast’s cup size. Breast augmentation can be performed using various techniques, including breast implants and fat grafting. Your surgeon discusses all your treatment options and recommends the ideal technique for your needs.

Breast Reduction

You may also combine your nipple repair with breast reduction if your current breast size causes discomfort. Women often opt for breast reduction if their current size is disproportionately large or causing backaches. Your surgeon will discuss your breast reduction options during your private consultation.

Why Choose Darrick E. Antell?

Dr. Darrick Antell is one of the world’s most reputable plastic surgeons, specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgeries. He’s been named a “Top Plastic Surgeon” by Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, New York Magazine, and various other media outlets for his exceptional and natural-looking surgical results. Please schedule a private consultation with Dr. Antell to discuss your nipple repair options.

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