What causes inverted nipples?
Short or scarred milk ducts are the most common cause of inverted nipples. The milk ducts connect the breast tissue to the skin of the nipple, so if they are too short, they actually pull the nipple inward and result in the “inverted” appearance. Nipples can have different degrees of inversion. Some are so severe that they never become un-inverted, even with stimulation. Some are only mild and become un-inverted spontaneously.
Can inverted nipples be fixed?
Yes, inverted nipples can be fixed with a delicate in-office procedure under local anesthesia. The procedure involves stretching the short milk ducts, or possible cutting s few of them if they are too short or scarred to allow the nipple to un-invert. In most cases, the ducts can be stretch and do not have to be cut… cutting the ducts is only necessary in the most severe cases of inverted nipples. The procedure takes about 45 minutes for one side, and about 90 minutes for both nipples. You can go back to work the next day after the procedure, and it is a fairly pain-free recovery.
Will I have a scar if I get them fixed?
Yes, there is a very small scar hidden within the pigmented areola and the border of the nipple. In most cases, this scar heals so well that it is nearly invisible in less than a month.
Can they invert again after surgery?
Nipples can sometimes retract again following nipple repair surgery. This can happen a few weeks, months, or even years after the surgery is performed, and is most commonly related to getting pregnant and lactating after the surgery. Pregnancy can sometimes stretch the repair and cause it to weaken allowing the nipples to re-invert. That being said, inverted nipple surgery has a high success rate, and although a recurrence is possible, it is not common.
Will I be able to breast feed after inverted nipple repair surgery?
It depends. If your surgeon is able to un-invert your nipple by stretching the milk ducts, your chance of breast feeding will be unaffected (don’t forget that only 50% of all women, regardless of whether or not they have had breast surgery of any kind, will be successful when they try to breast feed). However, if your surgeon has to cut some or all of the milk ducts to un-invert your nipple, you will probably not be able to breast feed after surgery. This is something that you would discuss with your doctor beforehand, and of course you would have a chance to decide whether or not you would want to have the procedure at all if your doctor felt as though there was a high chance that cutting the ducts would be necessary.
How can I get more information about inverted nipple repair?
Feel free to give us a call or text message at 917-703-7069, or send us a message through our website by clicking here.