What is nipple inversion repair?

Nipple inversion repair is a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure designed to correct the appearance of inverted nipples in both women and men. Approximately two percent of the female population is affected by nipple inversion. In most cases, nipple inversion is a congenital condition, but there are some instances where nipples become inverted due to constricted milk ducts from breastfeeding. This condition can cause embarrassment, self-esteem issues and can even prevent proper breastfeeding.

The varying degrees of inverted nipples are as follows:

  • Grade One: Minimal nipple inversion; nipples have the ability to temporarily project in cold temperatures, as well as in response to manual contact and/or stimulation
  • Grade Two: Moderate nipple inversion; nipples cannot project as easily and/or as long as grade one’s definition; milk ducts are more likely to be defective which can compromise breastfeeding
  • Grade Three: Severe nipple inversion; nipples never project which can lead to infection and nipple hygiene issues; breastfeeding is almost impossible.
woman that received nipple repair

What does the nipple inversion repair surgery involve?

Nipple inversion repairs are typically performed as an outpatient procedure in a surgical facility or hospital. The operation lasts about one hour, sometimes longer depending on the degree of inversion and/or correction desired. Patients have the option of local anesthesia or general anesthesia; however, unless this repair is being done in combination with another breast procedure, local anesthesia is often preferred.

The surgeon begins by making a small incision at the base of the nipple. The nipple is then retracted, so that repositioning of the areola tissue can be projected and secured upwards with sutures.

Interior stitches are used within the nipple tissue fibers to create a stable base and help maintain the new outward projection. Lastly, a special stent is secured over the nipple to promote proper healing and sufficient projection of the nipple. Patients can expect soreness, tenderness and mild swelling at the surgery site for about two weeks. Your doctor can prescribe pain medication as needed, but most patients find relief with over the counter medication. The stent is removed approximately two days after the procedure and any dissolvable sutures will have cleared within two weeks’ time. Patients are able to return to work within one to two days, although strenuous physical activity may need to be postponed.

What is nipple reduction surgery?

Nipple reduction surgery is a cosmetic procedure to treat enlarged or extended nipples. This treatment can reduce nipple length, width and/or both. Nipple reduction is commonly performed under local anesthesia in an outpatient setting. Nipples that are undesirably long or project outwards too far can benefit from length reduction where the surgeon shortens the tip of the nipple and closes it with sutures. Nipples that are too wide can benefit from circumference reduction where the surgeon removes undersurface nipple tissue to reduce the overall width of the nipple. In most cases, dissolvable sutures are utilized.

The recovery process is relatively quick, lasting just one to three days. Some minor swelling and/or bruising can occur, but any discomfort is easily controlled with over-the-counter pain medication. Patients can usually resume normal daily activity after one to two days following nipple reduction surgery.

Indications you may need nipple repair or correction surgery:

  • You are at least 18 years of age or older
  • You were born with a congenital nipple defect, i.e. nipple inversion
  • You developed inverted nipples due to breastfeeding or other physical trauma
  • You are not currently nursing and/or pregnant
  • You are mentally and physically healthy with realistic goals and expectations
  • You are dissatisfied with a previous nipple repair surgery

At Spalding Plastic Surgery, we are dedicated to using the finest, state-of-the-art cosmetic surgery techniques. To learn more about breast nipple correction in Los Angeles, California, please contact us or call our Beverly Hill’s office at 310-275-2467 to schedule a private consultation today.