Correcting Inverted Nipples
Inverted nipples retract into the breast rather then point outward, a very common occurrence in both men and women caused by one of a variety reasons. The appearance of inverted nipples can cause emotional upset and low self esteem, as well as complications for women who are breastfeeding. There are numerous potential causes, as well as various degrees of inversion, all making it crucial for patients to seek guidance from a knowledgeable cosmetic plastic surgeon with extensive experience correcting inverted nipples like Toronto’s Dr. Adibfar. After a thorough consultation and evaluation, Dr. Adibfar determines whether nipple inversion correction is the right option for a patient, as well as discloses any possible alternatives and concerns.
What Causes Inverted Nipples?
One person may have been born with inverted nipples, while another may have developed the condition over time as their breast tissue naturally tightened. Other causes could be from pregnancy, severe injury to the breast, or even weight loss. In some cases it could be caused by underlying health conditions like cancer.
When a nipple’s milk ducts are too short, the nipple is unable to protrude outward, leaving a nipple looking flat or depressed. There are several grades of inversion, all of which give Dr. Adibfar a better indication of whether nipple inversion correction would prove the optimal choice for the specific patient.
What Are The Grades of Nipple Inversion?
The degree of which the nipple remains inverted can be graded under one of three categories, all differing in severity.
Grade 1 inversion is least problematic. The nipple protracts easily with manual stimulation and may remain distended for long periods of time without any form of contact. The nipple’s loose fibrous tissue allows for little concern as light pressure applied results in the nipple to dilate outward. Patients not satisfied with the appearance may opt for surgery to cosmetically correct their inverted nipple(s).
Grade 2 refers to nipples that remain inverted and only protract when constant pressure or strong suction is applied, before quickly retracting again. The nipple’s ducts appear shorter and the fibrous tissue is more apparent than those categorized under Grade 1. This grade could also affect a woman’s ability to breastfeed.
In Grade 3 inversion, the nipple is severely constricted and exhibits high levels of fibrosis, as well as ducts that appear considerably shortened. The nipple does not respond to pressure, suction or any physical sensation aiming to distend it outward. Women who undergo nipple inversion correction under this grade risk not being able to breastfeed, as the surgery involves separating the fibrous tissue, as well as milk ducts, so that the nipple naturally protracts again.
Correcting Inverted Nipples With Surgery
To begin with, cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr. Adibfar will conduct an extensive diagnostic to determine the grade of inversion, as well as discuss the associated risks and whether surgery is a fitting option for the distinct patient. Depending on the patient’s grade of inversion, as well as his or her’s breast constitution, Dr. Adibfar will decide how extensive the correction needs to be in order to allow for nipples that protract naturally.
Nipple inversion can be corrected by either partially preserving the milk ducts, or detaching them from the nipple altogether. Again, this all depends on the patient and the grade of inversion. With lower grades of inversion a good portion of the ducts are left intact. Dr. Adibfar then makes a small incision along the base of the nipple and forms a new projecting shape secured with stitches. For nipples displaying more apparent levels of fibrosis, Dr. Adibfar, with the same incision, detaches the nipple from the shortened ducts to allow for natural projection. By releasing the nipple from the constricted ducts, it is then able to protract outward naturally as the ducts no longer pull the nipple inward. While all incisions can leave scars, Dr. Adibfar specializes in leaving his patients with the least visible, if not undetectable, scars by placing them appropriately for less visibility.
The procedure generally takes only 30 minutes to complete. Patients who were administered local anesthesia are able to drive home after surgery, while those under general anesthesia or sedation will need to be driven and accompanied home by a trusted relative or friend. Recovery is fairly swift, with soreness and bruising dissipating within one to two weeks. While results are immediately visible, the nipple will only settle into its naturally protruding position and regain full sensation after it is fully healed and swelling subsides, which could take up to one month. After the nipple is fully healed, the patient will be left with a beautifully modelled, projected nipple. Patients are able to return to work the next day after surgery but should refrain from any strenuous exercise right away.
Dr. Adibfar’s extensive experience performing nipple inversion correction allows for surgeries that are quick, efficient, safe and lend aesthetically pleasing results that increase his patients’ overall levels of confidence. Patients are also advised to adhere to Dr. Adibfar’s detailed instructions for effective self care during the brief recovery phase.