Why do patients request correction of inverted nipples?
P atients are embarrassed by the appearance of the nipples especially if just one side is affected. This results in asymmetry since the inverted nipple does not respond to cold weather or stimulation. Patients are self-conscious about this especially in beachwear or swim wear. Patients also find it difficult to breast-feed with an inverted nipple.
What does surgery for this condition involve?
Correction of inverted nipples can be carried out either under local anaesthesia or general anaesthesia as a day case procedure. A small incision measuring a few millimetres is made just below the nipple and the shortened ducts are divided. The nipple is everted and held in place with a dissolving suture which is placed under the skin. A small dressing is applied which is removed the following day.
What is the normal postoperative course?
There may be slight bruising or swelling and tenderness at the site of surgery. This usually resolves within a few days. Patients can have a shower as normal and change the small dressing over the nipples themselves every day.
How much time do I need off work?
Patients can return to work within 10 days of the operation.
Are there any complications of this procedure?
Just like any other operation this procedure could have complications such as bleeding, haematoma formation and infection. Following this procedure there can be a loss of sensation in the nipple and it may not be possible to breast-feed. In a small percentage of cases the inversion of the nipple can recur.