The Correction of the Inverted Nipple
- Posted on: Feb 20 2012
Inversion of the nipple is a common congenital deformity of the breast, which can occur on both sides or just affect one side. It can be a source of embarrassment and shyness, but may go unnoticed to the female patient. An inverted nipple may have different degrees of inversion depending on the amount of tethering of the underlying breast ducts. The inversion can functionally impair the ability to breast feed secondary to the baby not being able to latch on to the flattened nipple. The degree of inversion relates to the ability of the nipple to become erect. In severe cases, the nipple does not evert at any point. In moderate to severe cases of nipple inversion, simple correction can solve the issue and improve function and the aesthetic of the nipple. Correction of the severely inverted nipple can alter the continuity of the breast ducts, which can lead to the impairment of breast-feeding. This impairment needs to be discussed with the patient as a risk of any nipple inversion correction. Typically, nipple inversion can be corrected with small dermal or fat grafts to the nipple to fill the nipple and hold the nipple out. This is performed through a small lower nipple incision and can be done just under local anesthesia. Severe inversion may require release of the underlying breast ducts, filling out the nipple with dermal grafts, and closing the base of the nipple with suture or small star flaps. This as well can be done under local anesthesia or combined with other breast procedures, such as breast augmentation, breast enhancement, or breast lifts (mastopexy). Correction of nipple inversion, or any other nipple deformities can be discussed with Dr. Trussler. These are small procedures, which can greatly improve patient self-confidence, as well as the aesthetics and the function of a woman’s breast.
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