Inverted nipples are actually quite common. Various studies have shown that up to 10% of women have inverted nipples. This condition can be unilateral (one side) or bilateral (both sides). Many women start noticing that the nipples are inverted in their teens after the breasts begin to develop.
There is a grading scale of 1 to 3 for inverted nipples. Grade 1 means that the nipple can be easily everted with manual pressure or stimulation (touch or cold temperature). Grade 2 means it is moderately difficult to evert the nipple and it retracts spontaneously. Grade 3 means that it is severely difficult and almost impossible to evert the nipple.
The cause of this condition is thought to be from congenitally shortened ducts behind the nipple that cause a tethering effect, pulling the nipple inward.
Surgical correction involves one small incision around the base of the nipple to allow division of the tethered fibrous bands. Also, the base of the nipple is tightened slightly to keep the nipple protruded and everted. Inverted nipple correction is performed as a minor procedure in the office procedure room under local anesthesia and sterile conditions.
At the end of the procedure, a special dressing is placed on the nipples which prevents direct pressure on them. Patients are given a prescription for pain medicine and antibiotics. Patients are instructed to sleep on their back for the first two weeks of healing. In addition, it is advised to wear loose bras and shirts that do not apply too much pressure to the newly everted nipples. Patients can remove the bandage and shower two days after the procedure. All the stitches are dissolvable so none have to be removed. Patients can resume normal activity and exercise about 3-4 weeks after the procedure.
If you are interested in being evaluated for inverted nipple correction, schedule a consultation with Dr. Shareef Jandali today. Call 203-374-0310 to set up an appointment. We look forward to seeing you.