For a small percentage of women one or both nipples are inverted. Inverted nipples usually develop during puberty and are the result of short milk ducts.
Surgery can be carried out under local or general anaesthetic and usually takes between 30 minutes and two hours. The procedure is usually performed as a day case.
Your surgeon will cut under your nipple to release or divide the milk ducts which are holding your nipple inwards allowing the nipple to protrude. Soluble internal stitches at the base of the nipple will hold it in place.
Mild discomfort is usual and some patients experience swelling and bruising. Discomfort is generally managed with over the counter pain medication such as paracetamol.
Most patients return to work within just a few days, however you must avoid strenuous activity for at least one week.
Inverted nipple surgery is a commonly performed and generally safe procedure. Nonetheless, all surgery and anaesthetic have some risk associated. Risks to all surgeries include infection, excessive bleeding, adverse reaction to anaesthetic or blood clotting.
Surgery will result in minimal scarring.
Surgery can result in the inability to breast feed if the milk ducts, which carry milk from the breast glands to the nipple, are damaged.
© St. Joseph's Hospital 2019