The procedure at a glance
- Simple, 30-minute procedure
- Local anesthetic is used, so you are awake during surgery
- Your breastfeeding ability can be protected in patients with level one (minor) inversion
- Nipple sensation should remain the same
- The recovery period lasts 1 to 2 days
Is inverted nipple repair right for you?
Inverted nipples rarely have any effect on overall patient health or nipple sensitivity. As such, the desire to fix them tends to be aesthetically driven. If you’re bothered by nipples that point inward and want to sculpt protruding structures, this procedure may be right for you.
How to grade your condition
There are varying levels of nipple inversion and the severity of your condition will influence Dr. Lewis’s treatment recommendations. As such, the first step in planning for your repair is to grade your nipple inversion.
This is the least severe form of nipple inversion. The nipple is inverted, but it will protrude temporarily in response to touch, breastfeeding or cold temperatures.
It is slightly harder to draw out level two nipples and they tend to retract immediately when released.
Level three nipples are always inverted and it is not possible to pull them out manually.
Common concern: Are inverted nipples a sign of breast cancer?
Not usually – as long as your nipples have always been inverted. With that said, the sudden retraction of a nipple can be a sign of breast cancer in rare cases.
Your surgical options
There are two inverted nipple repair surgical options – one that aims to preserve your ability to breastfeed and one that doesn’t.
The technique that interferes with breastfeeding capabilities is by far the more common of the two. Dr. Lewis will create an incision along the border of the nipple and detach the milk ducts which are tethering the nipple down. This will allow the nipple to protrude naturally.
The second technique can preserve your ability to breastfeed in the future by keeping the duct system partially intact during surgery. It is done under local anesthesia and involves a small incision along the base of the nipple. Through that opening, Dr. Lewis will stitch the nipple and areola into a protruding mound. Though this technique is designed to preserve breast feeding ability, there is still a risk that you will not be able to breastfeed afterward. In general, patients who have a strong desire to breastfeed in the future should wait until they have finished breast feeding before undergoing inverted nipple correction.
The recovery: What to expect as you heal
A quick recovery period.
In general, the recovery period for inverted nipple repair is very quick. Most of our patients are able to return to work within one to two days.
You may experience mild discomfort, tenderness and swelling for about two weeks. However, it should be manageable with over-the-counter pain medication.
Reduced activity levels
You will need to avoid strenuous exercise until your nipples have fully healed to ensure optimal results. You will also need to avoid anything that places pressure on the nipples, such as lying on your stomach.
Schedule an appointment today >>
Inverted nipple repair is a quick and simple solution to a distressing problem. Contact our Portland office today to schedule an appointment and begin planning for your surgery.
A Portland Plastic Surgeon
10201 Southeast Main Street #20, Portland, OR 97216
Discover your true beauty. At the office of Dr. Matthew Lewis, we take everything into consideration, including your comfort, discretion, and of course your outcome. Please call us to schedule an appointment.