Although pretty common, many men and women are self-conscious about having inverted nipples. “Some women are born with inverted nipples and others can develop them after breast feeding or breast surgery,” says Duxbury, MA plastic surgeon Christine DiEdwardo, MD. Thankfully, correcting the concern is as easy as visiting your plastic surgeon and the procedure can take under an hour.
What Causes Inverted Nipples?
“The condition is caused by constricted tissue behind the nipple,” explains Dr. DiEdwardo. “Although common, many women do not discuss their concerns with friends or their physicians. Some people are very embarrassed by it and are seeking solely a nipple repair,” she notes.
For Houston, TX plastic surgeon Olga Bachilo, MD, most patients address it as part of a breast surgery procedure, but more and more patients are seeking it as a standalone procedure. “It’s important to note that not every nipple that looks inverted is inverted. Sometimes it’s just a lack of projection. For it to be an inverted nipple the bands must be pulling it in.”
How Is Nipple Repair Performed?
Dr. DiEdwardo says the procedure entails releasing the tethered tissue behind the nipple through a very small incision. “This is followed by placement of sutures to allow the nipple to heal in the everted position,” she explains.
“First of all, I need to make sure that that patient realizes that breastfeeding is not going to be a possibility after this procedure because we’re literally cutting through the ducts,” adds Dr. Bachilo. “The incision is made right at the base of the nipple. It’s made with just a few millimeters and we release the bands with an 11 blade scalpel. It’s minimally invasive and can cause some tenderness and swelling.”
What Anesthesia Is Used?
“The procedure is performed with local anesthesia and takes about one hour,” adds Dr. DiEdwardo. “It’s a very easy procedure to undergo and there is a very short recovery period after the surgery.”
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