This video highlights the key points for the condition of inverted nipples which affects ~3% of the female population and its surgical correction. It is commonly corrected alone or in combination during other cosmetic surgery procedures such as breast augmentation. There are basically 2 types of inverted nipples: shy and densely inverted .
- Shy inverted nipples– can be drawn out with physical stimulation, either sexually or for breastfeeding. Shy inverted nipples may only cause cosmetic and psychological problems
- Densely inverted nipples– this is where the inverted nipples never come out, even when aroused or in very cold water. Densely inverted nipples also have functional repercussions, such as the inability to breastfeed, infection or irritation of the nipple when natural secretions become trapped.
While a procedure to correct inverted nipples can have a great impact on the patient’s psyche and correct irritation problems, the ability to breastfeed cannot be guaranteed. Some or all of the ducts may need to be divided in order to free the inverted nipple so that it is drawn out completely. The particular technique I use to correct inverted nipple is safe, effective, has a short downtime and the results are long-lasting. Before the procedure begins, the nipple and areola are numbed with an ice cube or pack, and a local anaesthetic given using a tiny needle the size of a hair. This means the patient experiences little or no pain, despite the sensitivity of the area.
The surgery itself is broken down into 3 stages:
- Stage 1: an incision measuring 4 to 5 mm is made in the lower portion of the nipple. The fibres or ducts are then released that are pulling the nipple down. The nipple is drawn out with much care in order to preserve the ability to breastfeed.
- Stage 2: involves a series of sutures around the nipple. If the nipple is imagined like a clock, the sutures run from 12 to 6 o’clock, then again from 3 to 9 o’clock. By bunching up the tissue around the nipple, these sutures create a new pedestal for the nipple to rest on. A dissolving “purse-string” suture is made around the base of the nipple, weaving in and out of the skin, which tightens the base of the nipple.
- Stage 3: a small plastic “stent” – like a tiny medicine cup – is placed over the newly extracted. This stent actually holds the nipple in place and ensures that the nipple heals in an outward position. Not only does it help with the nipples’ projection, it also protects the nipple in the healing stages. This stent is left on for 1 to 3 days. The patient then returns for a follow-up visit to remove the stent and the process is complete.
Post-operatively, there is little care that’s required. While the stent is on, patients cannot wet the area and sexual contact is discouraged for the first week after surgery. Occasionally the patient may need an ointment to aid the healing, although this is rare. The wound heals very quickly – to the point where the scar is usually invisible by the time the patient returns to have the stent removed (the stitches dissolve within 10 to 14 days). Possible complications include the retraction of the nipple or a local infection.
Question: Do women with inverted nipples have lower self-esteem? You can leave a comment below.