Inverted Nipple Correction
An inverted nipple is a condition in which the nipple is pointed inward, rather than outward. While inverted nipples are generally not a cause for concern, they can be a sign of an underlying medical condition that needs treating. Sometimes having an inverted nipple can be uncomfortable in appearance when wearing clothes, and can affect both mean and women.
At Suffolk Breast Practice, we provide first-class breast surgery and free, impartial information on inverted nipples and other breast conditions. Here, we outline the surgical options and treatment for an inverted nipple.
What causes an Inverted Nipple?
Inverted nipples can be caused by several factors. A person may have one or both nipples affected. People can be born with an inverted nipple, however the condition can also develop during adulthood.
Aside from sustained physical trauma, such as injury, inverted nipples can be caused by mastitis (inflammation of the breast) or a breast infection [LINK}. General ageing is another common cause; as you age, your breasts will change, and this can sometimes cause your nipples to point inward.
Inverted nipples can be sustained as a result of pregnancy or breastfeeding. While the condition can sometimes make breastfeeding difficult, your baby should still be able to latch onto the areola without problem. Other causes include complications following breast surgery, as well as breast abscesses. A malignant underlying condition, such as breast cancer, can also cause inverted nipples.
Treatment for an Inverted Nipple
Depending on the cause, treatment for an inverted nipple usually involves surgery. However, there is an exercise you can perform on yourself known as the Hoffman technique. The effectiveness of this treatment depends of the severity of the condition and the way in which it is performed.
The Hoffman technique involves placing your thumbs at the base of the nipple on both sides, applying slight pressure to the breast tissue to make your nipple point outward. You should then gently pull your thumbs away. This exercise should be repeated regularly; you may wish to try it before considering surgery. Surgery is considered to be the only permanent treatment, however.
Surgery to treat inverted nipples involves the lifting of the nipple and areola. Local anaesthetic is administered, and incisions are made on the base of the nipple to lift and bring it forward. The incisions are closed with stitches and dressing is applied. The procedure usually takes a couple of hours, however this is dependent on the patient, as with all surgery. Inverted nipple correction surgery is a permanent treatment and doesn’t usually require another trip to your surgeon, once the procedure has taken place.
Following treatment of Inverted Nipple
After your surgery, you may experience some scarring and pain, although these should subside in time. Any surgery carries risks. You may develop a breast infection and your nipples may revert to their original state. Your milk ducts may be affected by the procedure, which can affect your ability to breastfeed. At Suffolk Breast Practice, your surgeon will take every step possible to minimise such risks.
You should be able to go home on the day of your surgery. It is important that you get sufficient rest and do not engage in any strenuous physical activity. Follow the treatment plan and after-care advice provided. If you experience any complications following surgery, you should notify your surgeon as soon as possible. Visit our guide on how to recover from breast surgery.
Suffolk Breast Practice is committed to ensuring you receive the highest standard of care and treatment for inverted nipples. Our patient journey is smooth; we offer a celebrated after-care service to ensure a swift recovery and minimise any discomfort or complications. Our service is entirely non-judgemental, and the needs of our patients always come first.
If you would like to book an appointment for consultation, please contact us.