Inverted nipples can be a cause for insecurity and make it difficult for women who wish to breastfeed their children. While this particular condition is can be painful but is typically not but it can be the source of unnecessary embarrassment and body image issues. The good news is that inverted nipples can be corrected with a simple cosmetic procedure that will restore confidence and provide a more even appearance to the breasts.
What Causes Inverted Nipples
There are a variety of reasons for inverted nipples. The most common reason is that a person is simply born that way. However, an individual may develop inverted nipples due to changes in the milk ducts, and breast tissue, changes in the size or shape of the breast or sometimes mastitis or even breastfeeding can cause inverted nipples from scarring in the milk ducts that causes the milk duct to shorten and pull the nipple inward. It’s important to note that occasionally, inverted nipples can be a sign of breast cancer. Essentially, in all of the cases of inverted nipples the nipple is trapped behind a mass of tissue and can cause an odd, imbalanced appearance to the breast. There are occasions that inverted nipples that have recently occurred without a reason can be a sign of an underlying cancer. You should consult your physician if this is the case.
Who is a Good Candidate for Inverted Nipple Correction Surgery
If you are considering inverted nipple correction surgery, consider if you meet the criteria.
- A man or woman with at least one inverted nipple
- The proper understanding that breastfeeding is not an option after corrective surgery
- Healthy, non-smoker
- Desire to achieve a balanced, realistic look
- Limitations based on a patient’s own anatomy
Your chosen surgeon will go over the specifics of your situation to ensure that you understand the possible outcomes.
Will breast implants correct an inverted nipple?
In some cases of mild nipple inversion, the pressure of a breast implant under the breast will push the breast tissue forward and correct the inversion of the nipples. Ask your surgeon if this is an option in your particular situation.
Does Insurance Cover Inverted Nipple Correction Surgery?
Most insurances view this particular surgery as entirely cosmetic. Therefore, in most situations, it is not covered by insurance. However, it is always a good idea to consult with your insurance provider to make sure. In cases, such as breast cancer, the procedure may be covered. However, in comparison to other plastic surgery procedures, inverted nipple correction surgery is considered one of the less expensive operations.
What to Expect During Consultation
Making the commitment to choose any cosmetic procedure is certainly an important decision. Once you’ve chosen the reputable surgeon to perform the surgery, you should prepare yourself for the initial consultation. First, the surgeon will rate the severity of the inverted nipples. This can range from 1-3. Level one nipple inversion usually indicates that “at rest” the nipple is turned inward, but will respond to stimulation. The second level typically means that the nipple is always inward, but may respond to suction temporarily. The third, and most severe level, the nipple will not protrude at all. In some cases, level one or two nipple inversion can be corrected through non-surgical options such as suction cups. However, those results are usually temporary and are not recommended.
What to Expect During Surgery
Inverted nipple surgery is a surprisingly simple process that only takes a matter of minutes to complete. The procedure can be completed in office and does not require a lengthy hospital stay and often times does not require the patient to be under anesthesia. In fact, you can realistically expect the process to take about an hour. However, because local anesthetic is used, many people do not return to work on the same day and should take it easy and not do any heavy lifting for several days.
First, the surgeon will apply local anesthetic. Next, a small incision will be made to release the milk duct underlying the nipple that has been caused the nipple to be restricted and invert. Small sutures will be put into place to close the small incision at the base of the nipple. A small bandages may be applied to protect the area during recovery. The incision is so small that the scar will be virtually invisible.
The recovery process for inverted nipple surgery should take about seven to ten days. The most crucial thing to remember is that you should protect the nipple carefully for two to four weeks so that proper healing occurs.
While you will be able to return to normal activity within a day or two following surgery, you should not plan on breastfeeding following the corrective surgery because the release of the milk ducts causes abnormal lactation. Doctors usually recommend waiting until you are finished with breastfeeding to undergo the operation. In fact, it’s also best to wait because sometimes inverted nipples come out on their own after pregnancy.
While most inverted nipple corrective surgeries have permanent results, occasionally nipples will revert inward months or even years following an operation. However, this is rare, and this particular surgery has incredible success rate.
Contact a Plastic Surgeon
Making the commitment to follow through with any plastic surgery should be discussed thoroughly with your chosen plastic surgeon. Together, you can create a plan that works for you and is realistic for your situation. It’s important to realize that your appearance can impact your self-esteem and overall attitude. Discussing your options can be liberating and offer the peace of mind you deserve. Reach out to your doctor today to see what options are available for you.