You may seek treatment for inverted nipples if the ability to breastfeed is a concern or if you are unhappy with the appearance of your breasts. The condition is present in approximately 2% of women and in a significant number of cases are hereditary. Nipple reconstruction is a simple and very successful procedure- its positive effect on self-esteem and body confidence are well documented.
Why You Might Need Nipple Reconstruction
Inverted nipples are extremely common and appear in men and women alike.
If you have tried to evert the nipple using a device such a Niplette but your nipple continues to invert, you may begin to consider nipple reconstruction surgery. It is also advisable to see your GP in such cases to ensure that there is no underlying pathology.
Most women are able to breastfeed despite having inverted nipples, however it can cause considerable pain and soreness. Inverted nipples may also cause aesthetic concern and for some may become a source of embarrassment. If you are affected by any of the reasons mentioned above, you may want to seek specialist advice.
What Does Nipple Reconstruction Involve?
Inverted nipples occur due to a shortening of the lactiferous breast ducts and counteractive forces pulling the nipple inwards therefore preventing full projection. In surgical nipple reconstruction, the lactiferous duct will be cut. Depending on the technique used by the surgeon, the surgery is very successful with a recurrence rate of between 10-20%.
How Can I Maintain The Results Of Nipple Reconstruction?
In the first few weeks after surgery, it is advisable to use a Niplette device to keep the nipples everted as the scar heals.
Recovery Time and Side Effects
Dressings will be applied to the area and will be checked after around a week by your consultant. This procedure is often performed as a daycase surgery but some patients may have to stay for approximately one night. Patients are strongly advised to avoid driving immediately after surgery. The main side effects of this surgery include reduced (sometimes permanent) nipple sensation, pain and swelling.
These are rare, but you may experience infection or a haematoma which is a collection of blood under the skin. These side effects can be easily managed and don’t pose a serious threat.
For more information, we would be delighted if you wanted to arrange a consultation with us. You can call the Helpline on 01342 488054 for free and professional advice.