3 Killiney Road, Winsland House 1, #09-08, Singapore 239519

Inverted Nipple Correction

inverted nipples correction

About nipple correction surgery in Singapore

A lot of surgeons create dermal flaps (dermoglandular flaps, dermal fibrous flaps) into the targeted area where they can add more projection and stitch back the tissue. However, other surgical techniques have been developed as well.

Furthermore, here are some details about the inverted nipple correction surgery types.

Inverted nipple surgery: Preservation of milk ducts

Before the surgery, an anaesthetist will administer local anaesthesia, and the patient will be sedated throughout the surgery. An incision will be made just around the base of the nipple on the areola skin. The tissue of the nipple and entire areola skin is lifted from the breast, but still connected to it and stitched into a new, projecting shape. Post-operative nipple height is adjusted accordingly.

This simple technique uses a “purse-string” suture style of stitches. The circular shape of the scar around the nipple tissue will increase the nipple projection. Medicated gauze is then applied to the nipple base.

Inverted nipple surgery: Detached milk ducts

This is a more common procedure and may even be necessary in more difficult cases. Local anaesthesia and sedation will be administered for the cosmetic procedure.

For this surgical technique, an incision is made at the nipple base, and shorted milk ducts are detached. This will allow a more *natural-looking projection of the nipple. Post-operative nipple height varies. The incision is then stitched up, and medicated gauze is applied to the area.

How long does inverted nipple surgery take?

The procedure for correcting an inverted nipple in Singapore will take about one to two hours, depending on the technique used and the anatomy of the patient.

Post-procedure recovery takes about a week, but patients may be back at work just a few days after the treatment. Like every surgery, strenuous activity should be avoided for the first week or two. Patients could experience sore nipples, as well as some form of bruising or swelling in the treatment area, which will resolve on its own. Sometimes nipple sensation is decreased for a while.

For full recovery, patients should wait at least four weeks. As a whole, the process is not strenuous, and there is not a lot of discomfort post-op. However, this varies from patient to patient.

Nipple eversion is believed to be a long-lasting process with high patient satisfaction rates. Scarring following inverted nipple surgery is minimal and barely visible. In rare cases, there may be asymmetry of the nipples or changes in nipple sensitivity and nipple necrosis. *To ensure good results, one should look for a certified surgeon and good medical advice.

What is an inverted nipple?

An inverted or retracted nipple is a variation of the nipple type. It is pulled inward instead of protruding from the breast tissue. Medically known as nipple retraction or nipple inversion, this is either a pre-existing condition (congenital nipple inversion) or an acquired one (it develops later in life). Congenital nipple inversion is harmless in nature; however, it can result in the individual’s lack of self-esteem and overall confidence.

This particular condition can be fixed with a surgical treatment called inverted nipple repair/correction. In short, it is a surgical procedure where the patient is given local anaesthesia or sedation, especially if combined with other cosmetic treatments. Nipple eversion lasts a long time.

Inverted Nipple Correction

Grades of nipple inversion

For many years, there has been a problem of inverted nipples for some men and women. The overpowering force pulling on nipples from underneath causes the inversion. Hence, the most common cause is having too much or too little connective tissue in the nipple. On that note, congenital inversions are relatively common. Another thing that may undermine proper projection is the short lactiferous ducts.

There are three levels of inverted nipples:

  • Grade 1: Nipple skin is flat or inverted and can easily be corrected by pulling it out.
  • Grade 2: Nipple is inverted but can be pulled out with some difficulty. However, it will not remain to protrude outwards. This is one of the most common types of inverted nipples.
  • Grade 3: Nipple is tightly inverted and will not come out at all.

What are the problems associated with inverted nipples?

Flat nipples can cause a few problems, such as affecting an individual’s confidence, and for some women, it affects them by the inability to breastfeed (typically because of a moderate degree of fibrosis in the milk ducts). The condition could inflict inflammation and cause sore nipples.

Causes of Nipple Retraction

The flat nipple type is caused by the following:

  • Mammary duct ectasia. Some women experience this inflammatory condition during perimenopause. It can bring about nipple discharge, breast tenderness in the nipple base, and redness. The good news is that it is benign and non-cancerous.
  • Ageing. For some individuals, inverted nipples can be a problem that arises due to ageing. It is a natural and harmless process that can cause frustration and confusion among patients.
  • Carcinoma (a type of breast cancer). A retracted nipple could also be a warning sign of forthcoming or present breast cancer that is undetected. However, this requires further testing and affirmation by a breast cancer specialist. Suppose the retracted nipple presents additional symptoms such as fatigue, nipple discharge from breast cancer cells, etc. There may be breast lumps that can be detected via a breast ultrasound.
  • Paget’s disease. This is another rare cancerous condition. It usually affects other parts of the body, and it is often a condition that is present when individuals are also diagnosed with breast cancer.
woman covering inverted nipple

Inverted nipple treatment

It should be noted that the nipple retraction treatment depends largely on the degree of inversion. Nipple formers, nipple retractors, nipple shield, and breast shells can be employed to make breastfeeding possible. However, they are temporary solutions.

For some women, a breast pump is of great help when it comes down to breastfeeding. The role of nipple formers, breast shells, and nipple shield is to create gentle pressure on the areolar skin so that the inverted nipple begins pointing outwards. In addition, nipple piercing might be performed to draw out the flat nipples.

Having said that, severe inversion of the nipple does not respond well to these options. Instead of using special suction devices that help the nipples stay erect for long periods of time, patients can undergo cosmetic surgery with partial preservation of breast milk ducts or with detached milk ducts. Internal sutures are typically used, but sutures along the edge of the areola tissue are also common. The latter is called a “purse-string” suture.

Ideal candidates for cosmetic and plastic surgery

It goes without saying that patients should have one or two inverted nipples to qualify for surgical procedures of this kind. With that, pregnant women are not allowed to have surgical treatment until they give birth and stop breastfeeding (if they are able to do so). It is important that the individuals be in good overall health.

Surgical correction of nipple inversion is perfect for people who:

  • Find breastfeeding difficult, which increases the risk of a breast infection, and would like to change that.
  • Suffer from occasional inflammation of the nipples due to the condition.
  • Would like to maintain better hygiene of their breasts, but the inverted nipple condition hinders them.
  • Lacks self-confidence and is looking to fix the problem for cosmetic reasons.

Make your inquiry now

    Shens Clinic

    Shens Clinic, 3 Killiney Road, Winsland House 1, 
    #09-08, Singapore 239519
    Shens Clinic, 3 Killiney Road, Winsland House 1, #09-08, Singapore 239519

    Monday – Friday: 09:00am – 06:00pm
    Saturday: 09:00am – 02:00pm
    Sun and PH: Closed

    (Strictly by appointment only)

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