Inverted nipples, which retract into the breast, can occur in both men and women. True inverted nipples are usually present from birth but some patients can develop inverted nipples as a result of an underlying condition that causes shortening or tethering of one or more of the milk ducts.
Men and women who are born this way are often self-conscious about their nipples, and women in particular might be concerned about breastfeeding. If you have a nipple that suddenly becomes inverted it is important to get a medical assessment immediately, as it could be a sign of a serious underlying condition.;
Degrees of Inversion:
The degree of inversion is usually evaluated on a scale of 1-3:;
- The nipple protracts easily when you apply light pressure to the areola. When pressure is released, the nipple maintains its projection, rather than retracting immediately. This level of inversion is unlikely to interfere with breastfeeding, though there still may be cosmetic concerns. There is little to no fibrosis, excess connective tissue or scarring.
- The nipple protracts when pressure is applied, though not very easily, and retracts as soon as pressure is released. This level of inversion is more likely to complicate breastfeeding. There is often a moderate degree of fibrosis, with mild retraction of the lactiferous or milk ducts.
- The nipple is retracted and does not respond to manipulation; it cannot be pulled out. This is the most serious form of inversion, with a significant amount of fibrosis and retracted milk ducts. Breastfeeding may be impossible.
Dr. Sabry will tailor the approach that is just right for you. He will do a thorough examination; he will measure, photograph and weigh you and review the best approach for your concerns. He is meticulous in achieving a natural, symmetrical, beautiful outcome.;
Surgery is an outpatient procedure and may be performed with local anesthesia and/ or sedation. It involves making a small incision at the junction of nipple and areola and releasing the tethered ducts along with fibrosed connective tissue. The correction restores the nipple to a more natural shape and projection. Breastfeeding may not be possible after this procedure. In appropriate patients Dr. Sabry will spread or stretch the connective tissue instead of simply severing it. This approach may preserve the milk ducts.;
Dissolving sutures are inserted under the skin to hold the nipple in the projecting position and protective devices are placed over the nipples and are worn for a couple of days after the surgery. The sutures dissolve within two weeks. Any scarring from this minimally invasive procedure is usually not noticeable since the incision is very small. ;
The results of the procedure should be immediately noticeable. Since the surgery directly addresses the underlying tissue abnormalities the results have a good chance of being permanent. Recovery is short and you may return to work the following day.;
Complications are minimal and rare, but can include: bleeding, infection, loss of nipple or skin tissue, decreased nipple sensation, delayed healing and excessive scarring.