Inversion of nipples is a common and correctable cosmetic problem. Inverted nipple surgery with Dr. Jacob Bloom in Chicago and Burr Ridge, IL can provide a permanent solution to this condition.
Typically breast surgery has the goal of enlarging or reducing the overall size of breasts. A small percentage of the population have inverted nipples. While asymptomatic and painless, inverted nipples can make breasts look a little different. Asymmetry is further apparent if only one nipple is inverted. In postpartum women, inversion can also make breastfeeding more challenging. In others, those who have inverted nipples sometimes feel embarrassed or awkward about the appearance of their breasts, especially during sexual encounters.
Am I a candidate?
A small percentage of the population (both women and some men) are born with naturally occurring inversion of nipples. This is due to an anatomic structure of the nipple or the surrounding skin and underlying tissue. In others, nipple inversion is acquired over time. In some cases, inflammation can cause the milk ducts and other fibrous tissues in the nipple to become shortened. Biopsies and scar tissue can also develop causing permanent constriction.
Ptosis or breast drooping can also make a nipple appear inverted. Pregnancy can change the appearance of a nipple and are typically temporary. Most women report their nipples actually retract once no longer breastfeeding. New or recent nipple inversion can be a sign of breast cancer in rare cases. If you develop inverted nipples with no apparent cause, schedule an exam with your primary physician to rule out this possibility.
Dr. Bloom will evaluate your level of nipple inversion based on a scale of 1-3.
- Level 1 – The most mild level of nipple inversion is referred to as having “shy” nipples. Shy nipples are often inverted but will generally respond to cold or tactile stimulation by protruding normally. This correction is temporary and may take a while before retracting again.
- Level 2- With the second level of nipple inversion, the nipples stay in all the time. Short term correction can be achieved with strong suction. This may cause them to pop out briefly, but they will quickly invert again when suction is removed.
- Level 3 -The most severe level of inversion, even vigorous manipulation will not allow the nipple to project at all. This is typically due to severe tissue constriction or scarring.
Surgery and recovery
Suction devices (such as the Avent Niplette) that place constant vacuum pressure on the nipple are a common choice for patients with level 1 or 2 nipple inversion. This offers non-surgical options before seeking nipple correction surgery. This type of device is typically advertised as providing a permanent solution for inverted nipples. However without correcting the anatomical issues causing the nipples to retract, the effects will wear off once the patient stops wearing the device.
An in-office surgical procedure can be implemented to create a permanent correction for nipple inversion. First local anesthesia is introduced in near painless injections. A small incision is made and several lines of dissolving sutures are inserted under the skin to hold the nipple in the desired, projected position. The sutures dissolve within a couple of weeks and leave minimally noticeable scars since the incision is small. In addition, the uneven surface and darker color variations in the nipple areola complex also help mask the scar. The results of nipple repair surgery are immediately noticeable. Surgery is designed to directly address the anatomic issues that were keeping the nipple inverted. As a result nipple inversion surgery has a good chance of being permanent.
Why Choose Dr. Bloom?
Why select Chicago-native Dr. Jacob Bloom as your cosmetic surgeon? Because you shouldn’t trust something as important as your appearance to just anyone! When you choose Dr. Bloom, you are choosing a warm and caring surgeon whom you can trust to make your health, your comfort, and your beauty his number one priority!
Lead plastic surgeon at Bloom Plastic Surgery in Chicago, IL, Dr. Jacob Bloom is Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. His extensive knowledge of today’s advanced surgical techniques, coupled with his years of medical training in New York and Harvard University, allow him to create customized treatment plans that can match the unique goals of each and every patient, while delivering long-lasting results that will subtly—yet still dramatically—enhance your natural beauty.
If you are interested in learning more, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule your consultation today. We look forward to hearing from you!