One in ten women have some degree of inverted nipples so this is a problem that is a lot more common than people think. People are reluctant to tell friends and family and this can impact on relationships, their enjoyment of life and even affect their careers.
Inverted Nipples Correction: Am I suitable?
There are three grades of inverted nipples and an experienced and qualified surgeon will be able to advise which is the best inverted nipples treatment option. The position of the nipples is a balance between the milk ducts that extend from the breast gland to the nipple and the muscles, but if the ducts are too short that's when you get inverted nipples.
Grade one inverted nipples; if manipulated, the muscle can overcome the tight milk ducts for a short amount of time but eventually the nipple retracts.
Grade two inverted nipples; the nipples retract immediately.
Grade three inverted nipples; they ducts are just too short and the nipples are always inverted.
Inverted Nipples Correction: What’s the treatment like?
For grade one cases, a practitioner will usually recommend a Niplette suction device first (available at Boots and other chemists). It is placed over the inverted nipples and over a period of time works to lengthen the ducts so the nipple is permanently in an everted position. This rarely works for grade two or three cases.
Dividing the milk ducts; this procedure is done under local anaesthetic and takes about 30 minutes. A small incision is made in the lower outer border of the nipple and the ducts leading to the inverted nipples are divided. Once released, the nipple is held in an everted position with an absorbable stitch which is placed internally.
Stretching the milk ducts; this follows exactly the same procedure but the milk ducts are separated and gently stretched and then the nipple is stitched into place.
Inverted Nipples Correction: What about after?
For both procedures there is just one stitch and the results should be instantaneous. There may be a mild degree of discomfort, but patients can return to work within one to two days. The dressings are removed five to seven days post procedure.
Inverted Nipples Correction: Are there any risks or side effects?
Stretching the milk ducts; the milk ducts aren’t very stretchy so these techniques can fail.
Dividing the milk ducts; this is a very reliable procedure with minimal scarring but you won’t be able to breast feed afterwards because the milk duct is divided. However, because it is not always possible to breast feed with inverted nipples then the patient has to weigh up the pros and cons.
Inverted Nipples Correction: What will it cost me?
Costs approximately £800 to £1,000 for one nipple and £1,500 to £2,000 for both.