Inverted Nipple
Correction

Inverted nipples, where the nipples are retracted into the breast rather than pointing outwards, can be corrected with a simple procedure.

Inverted nipples are often congenital in nature, meaning that they have been present from birth or become noticeable around the time of puberty. There are different grades of inverted nipples, ranging from a nipple that can sometimes erect itself as result of certain stimulation, to nipples that are fully inverted at all times.

Inverted nipple correction can fix the appearance of bilateral or unilateral nipples, increasing the nipple projection to make the nipples and breasts appear more symmetrical and normal.

While usually done on its own, some patients may combine inverted nipple correction with other procedures to optimise their recovery time. Breast augmentation surgery can, when performed correctly, improve the success of inverted nipple correction.

Patients who wish to breastfeed in the future should discuss this with Dr Lim, as inverted nipple correction surgery might impair their ability to breastfeed.

Dr Lim will make incisions at the base of the nipple, across the nipple or around the areola. Then, deep attachments that pull in the inverted nipple will be released. These may include milk ducts and other tissue bands that are too short to allow the nipple to protrude naturally. The nipple is brought out into a normal position and a circumferential suture is placed at the base of the nipple to prevent it from retracting.

Scars are typically minimal, and they are often imperceptible once complete healing has taken place and the scar has faded.

Inverted nipple correction surgery is usually performed under general anaesthesia and takes approximately one hour — patients can expect to go home shortly following the completion of the surgery.

Recovery from inverted nipple correction is often fairly straight forward. In most cases, a special foam doughnut dressing will be placed around the nipples, which will be left on until the first follow-up appointment.

Our goal is to make your experience as easy and comfortable as possible — Dr Lim and the My Klinik staff are always willing to answer any questions you may have.

Pre and Post-Operative Care

  • You must fast prior to your procedure — do not eat, drink (even water) or chew anything for at least six hours before your procedure. The hospital will ring you the day before your procedure to confirm your admission time.
  • If you have a gastric band or sleeve, you will need to have a fluid diet the day before your surgery and fast for at least eight hours on the day of your procedure.
  • Notify Dr Lim of any medications that you are currently taking.
  • Do not take any medication that contains aspirin, or any anti-inflammatory or herbal medication for two weeks before your procedure. Aspirin thins the blood, which can result in unnecessary blood loss during your procedure.
  • Do not smoke for eight weeks before and eight weeks after your procedure. Smoking decreases blood flow to the skin and may delay the healing process.
  • Do not drink any alcohol for two days before and two days after your procedure as it can interfere with the anaesthetic you will be given on the day.
  • Vitamin C may help reduce your healing time and is recommended for two weeks before and two weeks after surgery.
  • Do not wear any nail polish, make-up or jewellery to the hospital and leave any valuables at home.
  • You will need to wear comfortable, loose clothing that does not need to be pulled over the head or face before and after surgery. We recommend bringing a crop top or a supportive full cup bra (pre-operative size, no underwire) with you to the hospital.
  • When you wake up, you will have a piece of foam with a hole cut out of the centre over your breast. The nipple sits in the cut out so there is no pressure on the nipples while they are healing. A soft bra holds the foam in position.
  • General anaesthetic can take a few days to recover from — it can be quite normal to feel a little slow or out of sorts for a few days.
  • It is crucial that you finish the course of antibiotics you are prescribed to prevent any post-op infection. Dr Lim will also prescribe oral pain relief — please contact My Klinik if this doesn’t control your pain.
  • Please comply with the following restrictions:
    • Avoid lifting your arms above your head for two weeks.
    • Avoid sexual activity for two weeks.
    • Avoid heavy lifting (including children) for the first three weeks.
    • Do not drive for three weeks.
    • Avoid sporting activities for four to six weeks.
  • Do not smoke for eight weeks after your procedure as this may slow the healing process and affect wound healing.
  • My Klinik nursing staff will contact you to make sure that you are feeling comfortable, to confirm your one-week post-op checkup with Dr Lim and to organise a post-op ultrasound.
  • Contact My Klinik if any of the following develop:
    • A temperature higher than 38°C or chills
    • Heavy bleeding or fluid from any incision
    • Increased pain in either breast
    • Redness around the incisions that is spreading
    • Tenderness and marked enlargement of either nipple.
  • Dr Lim and the nursing staff are available to you as you recover — should you have any concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact My Klinik. For after-hours concerns, please contact the hospital where you had your surgery and they will be able to contact Dr Lim as required.

Inverted Nipple Correction FAQs

If you are concerned about one or more of the following, nipple reduction surgery may be right for you:

  • Constantly inverted nipples, despite cold temperature or physical stimulation
  • Asymmetry of nipples.

Patients who wish to breastfeed in the future should discuss this with Dr Lim, as inverted nipple correction surgery might impair their ability to breastfeed.

As with most surgical procedures, nipple reduction is best suited for patients in good physical health, who don’t smoke and who have realistic expectations about the outcome of the surgery.

Individual factors and personal preferences will help you and Dr Lim to determine your appropriate nipple size and the location of incisions required. Dr Lim will discuss this with you during the consultation process.

After making an incision at the base of the nipple, deep attachments that pull in the inverted nipple will be released. These may include milk ducts and other tissue bands that are too short to allow the nipple to protrude naturally. The nipple is brought out into a normal position and a circumferential suture is placed at the base of the nipple to prevent it from retracting.

A foam doughnut is used to dress over the nipple to avoid any pressure on the nipple while healing.

Your first consultation with Dr Lim will take around 45 minutes and you are most welcome to bring a support person with you. Due to social distancing measures as a result of COVID-19, the support person may not be able to enter the rooms (depending on the number of persons in the rooms at that particular time).

Dr Lim will take the time to discuss the procedure with you and any other issues related to the appearance of your breasts that you feel are important to you. This will help Dr Lim understand your expectations and determine if they are achievable.

Dr Lim will explain the risks of surgery and discuss the methods of inverted nipple correction surgery with you. Your breasts will also be assessed, and a few measurements and photographs will be taken to plan the procedure.

You do not have to make the decision to proceed with the surgery at this initial consultation. You will be given a written quotation and information to take home to read.

In some cases, Dr Lim may recommend a baseline mammogram before surgery. Following inverted nipple correction, you will still be able to perform breast self-examination and should do so every month. You will still be able to have regular mammograms after surgery.

Avoid products that contain aspirin, glucosamine, herbal supplements, fish oil and krill oil for four weeks before surgery. We also strongly recommend avoiding alcohol, and not smoking for eight weeks before and after surgery. Smoking can negatively affect the healing process.

On the day of surgery, patients should wear comfortable, loose clothing that does not need to be pulled over the head or face. Don’t wear any make-up, jewellery or nail polish.

We want to make this experience as easy as possible — you will be given all pre-operative instructions prior to your procedure but please don’t hesitate to call My Klinik if you have any questions or concerns before your surgery.

Dr Lim performs all surgeries at fully accredited hospitals — Lakeview Private Hospital and Westmead Private Hospital. The surgery is performed under general anaesthetic and you can expect to go home that day.

Please contact the hospital a day before surgery to confirm your admission and fasting time. On entering the hospital, you need to report to the admissions desk and the staff will direct you through the admission process. Dr Lim and the anaesthetist will both see you prior to surgery.

After the procedure, you will spend some time in the recovery room where you will be closely monitored until you are fully awake and then discharged.

Dr Lim will monitor your progress carefully and our staff will stay in contact with you during the post-operative period. You will be seen one week and one month after surgery.

Your relationship with Dr Lim and the nursing staff does not end once you have had the procedure. If you have any questions or concerns after your operation, you are always welcome to call My Klinik.

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Individual results may vary. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.