“What Is Inverted Nipples Surgery?”

An inverted nipple is when the nipple is retracted into the breast instead of pointing outward. It occurs because the fibrous band beneath the nipple continues to pull the nipple, and the tissue supporting the nipple is insufficient. An inverted nipple causes not only an aesthetic problem but may also hinder the ability to breastfeed, leading to breast cancer in severe cases. Both women and men can have inverted nipples.

It is congenital and may recur even after surgery.

The method to correct inverted nipple is to cut the fibrous band and support a stout structure beneath the nipple. The inverted nipple is drawn outward through an incision around the areola and suture in various ways to prevent recurrence.

An inverted nipple is not protruded compared to the surrounding tissues and is flat and dented, whereas ideal nipple points outward in appropriate size and height in Ω shape.

Operation Information

  • Surgery Time :    ~60 Minutes
  • Anesthesia Type :    Local Anesthesia
  • Hospitalization :    None
  • Stitch Removal :    7-10 Days
  • Recovery Time :    7 Days

Causes of Inverted Nipples

The causes are classified mainly as congenital and acquired, and in most cases, it is congenital and bilateral. When acquired, it can occur by wound, an aftereffect of breast cancer or complications after macromastia surgery.

If due to the congenital cause, a mammary gland is formed in the ectoderm during the sixth to seventh week of fetal life, this mammary gland grows in the mesenchymal tissue and forms a lactiferous duct. During the final stage of fetal life, a nipple is formed by protuberance due to the proliferation of mesenchymal tissue. When the lactiferous duct is short due to undergrowth or the proliferation of mesenchymal tissue, an inverted nipple is formed. Thus, it occurs due to the decreased amount of connective tissues in the inverted nipple.

Inverted Nipples Surgery Method

The objective of the surgery is to restore normality in function, shape, sensing and more. However, based on the level of severity, it may be difficult to meet all the goals. As for the correction, the short lactiferous duct should be lengthened and the fibrous tissue (which restricts the protrusion of the nipple) should be cut. Moreover, the insufficient tissue beneath the nipple should be supplemented.

Among various areola reduction methods, the most appropriate method should be opted to minimize scar and effectively reduce the areola.

The basic principle is to incise a part of nipple skin in the center and suture it. In the case of a large nipple, the upper part of the nipple is excised, and the rest remains in an appropriate size and then sutured. Regardless of the method, scars are inconspicuous and a satisfactory result can be obtained.


Steps for Lactiferous Duct Preserving Method

STEP  01 Incise both sides of nipples
Steps for Lactiferous Duct Preserving Method

STEP  02 While preserving the nipples, remove the hardened fibrous tissues that pull the nipples downwards.
Steps for Lactiferous Duct Preserving Method

STEP  03 Place the nipples in the center and suture the surrounding tissues.


Steps for Purse-String Suture Method

STEP  01 Make an incision around the inverted nipples.
Steps for Purse-String Suture Method

STEP  02 Make an incision in the lactiferous duct and pull out the nipples hidden inside.
Steps for Purse-String Suture Method

STEP  03 Make a purse-string suture around the nipples.


Steps for Lactiferous Duct Incision-cannot breastfeed

STEP  01 Make an incision in the center of the nipples and find the inverted fibrous and muscular tissues.
Steps for Lactiferous Duct Incision-cannot breastfeed

STEP  02 Remove the hardened fibrous and muscular tissues that pull the nipples inverted.
Steps for Lactiferous Duct Incision-cannot breastfeed

STEP  03 To prevent the further inverted nipples again, improve and create the nipples structure using the surrounding tissues.

Areola Reduction

Nipple hypertrophy is more common in Asians than in Caucasians. It not only looks aesthetically unpleasant but also causes problems in breastfeeding.

The symptom occurs generally during pregnancy, childbirth, and lactation, but may also occur in young women who have unusually big nipples, requiring a surgery.

For Korean women, the average nipple size is less than 1 cm in diameter and 7-9 mm in height. The size is not important but should be in relative size to the shape and size of the breast, forming a balance. An excessively big nipple breaks the harmonious balance of the overall breast shape and may appear saggy. Therefore, in such case, areola reduction is necessary to reshape the nipple in an appropriate size.

Ideal Candidates for Inverted Nipples Surgery

01   People who innately have inverted nipples

02   People who get frequent infection around nipples due to inverted nipples

03   People who want to have effects of losing weight

04   People who have breastfeeding problem after the pregnancy

05   People who are aesthetically stressed due to inverted nipples

Inverted Nipples Surgery Point

01   The surgery method depends on the patient’s nipples condition and severity.

02   Few methods allow breastfeeding after the surgery.

03   Precisely suture to create the ideal shape of nipples.

04   The surgery meets both aesthetic and functional achievements.

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