Stephen McCulley, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon. MBChb, FCS(SA)Plast, FRCS(plast)

Nipple inversion is common yet be a cause of great concern. This can be solved with a simple procedure

Why Choose To Treat Inverted Nipples?
It is common for women to develop inverted nipples, the cause being slightly shortened or tight breast milk ducts. The inversion can occur in one nipple or both; the severity depends on whether the nipple remains permanently inverted or only at certain times. Permanent inversion is less likely to respond to non surgical treatments.

Nipple inversion is mostly a cosmetic problem although it can cause problems with breast feeding. One way to try and solve this is by using a Niplette – a painless device that gently sucks out the inverted nipple. In some cases breast feeding itself can rectify the inversion. If this fails then surgery may be required.

If nipple inversion occurs later in life it can very occasionally be caused by breast diseases including breast cancer and this should be checked.

What Can Be Done
There are two different types of procedure that can be used to treat inverted nipples;

Duct Dividing Surgery
This is the most common procedure. The shortened ducts are divided and the nipple everted using a combination of stitches and re-shaping. You cannot breast feed after this type of operation.

Duct Preserving Surgery
The milk ducts are mostly preserved and the tight tissue or very short ducts are released leaving the majority of ducts intact. This procedure leaves the option of breast feeding for the majority but has a higher failure rate.

The surgery can be performed as a daycase under local anaesthetic. It has a quick recovery time and is generally very well tolerated.

Medicines
A full medical history will be obtained before any surgery. As a precaution, do not take any over the counter medicines or herbal remedies prior to surgery or for 3 days following. Also avoid aspirin, ibuprofen and Voltarol based tablets. It would be useful to bring a list of any prescribed medications to your pre-op assessment.

Smoking
If you are a smoker, try and stop around the time of the surgery as it can reduce the chances of complications.

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Recovering from Inverted Nipples

Post-Operative Instructions And Recovery
The wounds will heal in only a few days, and apart from some minor soreness the recovery from this procedure very fast.

Time Off Work And Socialising
Patients usually feel able to return to work the next day and are fully recovered and back to normal activity by 1-2 weeks.

Dressings And Stitches
During the recovery period we would advise patients to wear gauze or padding over the nipple to avoid rubbing on underwear or clothing.

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Potential Complications With Inverted Nipples

As with any procedure, it is very important you understand what can go wrong as well as right. The potential complications are listed below.

  • Bleeding or infection: more info needed
  • Recurrence of inversion: This can happen in up to 25% of patients, depending upon the technique used.
  • Inability to breast feed: Any surgery to treat nipple inversion can lead to an inability to breast feed.
  • Altered nipple sensation: If this does occur, it is unlikely to last long term.

If you experience any side-effects that you are concerned about please don't hesitate to contact us.

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What do Inverted Nipples cost?

Inverted Nipple correction £1,050 - £2,115

What Is Included In The Cost?
The prices listed are all inclusive and cover:

  • The pre-operative assessment and investigations
  • The operation
  • Hospital stay and any treatment required
  • All follow up (nursing and from Stephen McCulley) relating to your surgery
  • Any emergency treatments or re-admissions relating to your surgery within the first year

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you'd like to see more then please view our frequently asked questions on Cosmetic Breast Surgery!

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