You might be surprised to hear that a lot of people in the UK have inverted nipples. In fact, as much as 10% of the population has the irregularity, meaning that they’re not that uncommon at all.
Nevertheless, they can prove to be uncomfortable or irritable when subjected to certain stimuli, such as temperature or arousal. Moreover, some might feel uncomfortable because the inversion makes them differ from the norm, leaving them self-conscious about their body image. It’s possible to correct inverted nipples in a straightforward procedure that involves little downtime.
Why are my nipples inverted?
Most commonly people are born with inverted nipples, though pregnancy, breastfeeding and certain kinds of trauma or diseases can also cause them.
Usually, they occur because the milk ducts attached to the nipples are too short or there’s simply too much connective tissue there. Alternatively, inversion appears when the nipples’ smooth muscle is weaker than the pull exerted by the milk ducts.
Not all nipples are created equal
Nipples come in all shapes and sizes – this holds true for the inverted ones too. In fact, they’re usually put into three different categories, or grades.
- Grade 1: These tend to be flat or only slightly turned inwards. They can sometimes pop out by themselves when subjected to such stimuli as changes in temperature or physical arousal. They also easily be made to come out when manipulate by hand. Breastfeeding is possible.
- Grade 2: The inversion of these is more pronounced and they’re more difficult to manipulate outwards. They don’t stay out once finger pressure is released and breastfeeding can be problematic.
- Grade 3: Completely inverted. Manipulation has no effect. You might not be able to breastfeed.
Correcting inverted nipples is a relatively straightforward procedure that can take as little as 30 minutes. There are a couple of ways your surgeon could go around correcting inverted nipples and it all depends on what’s causing your inversion.
So, if your milk ducts prove to be too short, an incision will be made at the base of your nipple, at which point the ducts and tissue responsible for the inversion will be released. The nipple will then be propped up with a biodegradable suture to help it along the recovery process.
If possible, another technique will be used, which will aim to preserve as many fibres and ducts as possible, by trying to untangle and separate them internally.
If your ducts have to be severed, you won’t be able to breastfeed. So consider your family situation before committing to treatment.
This procedure can be done in combination with Breast Reduction, Augmentation or during an Uplift.
The procedure is usually performed under local anaesthetic so you can go home when you’re ready.
The Private Clinic
They aim to help our patients feel more like themselves no matter how big or small a procedure may seem. Their Plastic Surgeons are among some of the best in the UK and you can be sure to receive their honest and unbiased advice during consultations, as your safety and satisfaction are their outmost priorities.