Most people think that cosmetic breast surgery involves breast augmentation, breast reduction, or breast lifting. However, there are other surgical options that can be performed in order to correct problems with either the nipple or the areola (the darkened area immediately surrounding the nipple). These techniques invelve reducing the size of the areolas, reducing the size or length of the nipples, as well as correcting inverted nipples.

Inverted nipples are characterized as being either flat to the breast or a small slit where the nipple should be. Here are some important things to know if you are considering surgery to correct this condition. Schedule a consultation with a local plastic surgeon if you have more specific questions.

What Are Some of the Problems Associated with the Condition?

Inverted nipples may cause difficulty with breastfeeding, and may also make the patient feel self-conscious. In some cases, the condition can be corrected by non-surgical methods such as gentle suction; in severe cases, surgery is the best way to correct the problem.

What Causes Inverted Nipples?

Both men and women can have inverted nipples. Many patients are born with this condition. Approximately 10 to 20 percent of women are born with inverted nipples. They can also be the result of a variety of genetic conditions, breastfeeding, pregnancy, tuberculosis, or breast cancer.

What Is Involved in Surgery to Correct Inverted Nipples?

Although each case is different, the goal is to have the nipple protrude slightly above the areola, while preserving nipple sensitivity and the ability for women to breastfeed. The surgery can be performed on an outpatient bases and generally only takes an hour or two. In the procedure, the nipple is gently rolled out and the fibers within the nipple are spread out to produce a more desirable appearance. The incisions are then closed and dressed is applied. Recovery is generally very quick, and you can return to normal activities within a few weeks of surgery.

What Are Some Of The Possible Complications or Side Effects?

Although complications are very rare, they may occur. These include bleeding, infection, noticeable scars or a mismatch in nipple size. If the nipple becomes inverted again following surgery, you may need a second procedure. In some cases, there may be breast numbness or loss of nipple sensitivity, which can last up to a year following surgery.

Will the Surgery Cause Pain?

Your breasts will feel bruised, swollen, and sore following surgery. This is perfectly normal. You are encouraged to resume normal activities as soon as possible and can return to work as soon as you feel up to doing so. The stitches will generally be removed one or two weeks after surgery. Heavy exercise should be avoided for the first three weeks following surgery.

Unlike other breast surgeries, correction of inverted nipples is simply simple, resulting in minimal complications and recovery time. You can discuss any concerns with your doctor during your pre-surgical consultation. Contact a local plastic surgeon to learn more about this type of plastic surgery.