Correction of Inverted Nipple

Correction of Inverted Nipple



A normal nipple should be in a protruded position. In an inverted nipple, the nipple is ‘pulled-in’ or retracted. An inverted nipple occurs when there is a pulling force beneath the nipple that pulls the nipple inwards. The usual causes are congenital, post-trauma, lactation, or pregnancy. However, if the inverted nipple occurs suddenly over a short period, the reason may be that an underlying breast disease. In such a case, prompt consultation with a doctor is necessary.


The patient may feel embarrassed due to the abnormal appearance of the inverted nipple. An inverted nipple affects the overall aesthetic appearance of the breast. An inverted nipple also can interfere with breastfeeding because it could be difficult for the baby to suck on an inverted nipple. Dirt and skin debris may get trapped in the inverted nipple, leading to infection and inflammation.


Treatment of an inverted nipple is by surgical correction.





      1. Inform the doctor of any pre-existing medical conditions and drug allergy. All medical conditions must be treated and stabilized before surgery.
      2. Stop smoking at least one week before surgery. Smoking is harmful to wound healing and increases the risks of other post-operation complications.
      3. Stop the following medications and supplements from one week before surgery until one week after surgery.
        1. All supplements containing vitamin E, ginseng, ginkgo, garlic, fish oil, and other ingredients that increase bleeding during the procedure. Other supplements, traditional medicine, and herbs, in which ingredients are unknown, have to stop as well.
        2. Medicine that increases bleeding during the procedure such as aspirin, NSAIDs, and warfarin. However, you may need to consult your physician who prescribed the medication before you stop them.

On the day of surgery, wear simple and comfortable clothing. Do not wear any makeup. Do not wear any jewelry and metal objects on the face and body.





Duration: one hour

Anaesthesia: Local anaesthesia

Hospitalization: Not required

Recovery*: Back to work the next day, light exercise after one week, heavy exercise after 3-4 weeks. *The actual speed of recovery may vary from person to person.

Technique: Small incisions are made around the nipple to release the tethering tissue bands that pull the nipple inwards. The nipple is kept in the corrected position by suturing. In severe cases, the surgeon may use a tissue graft to reinforce the nipple’s base to prevent the nipple from inverting again.




Post-operative Care**

      1. What to expect: Swelling usually peaks on the second to third day after surgery and will gradually subside after that. Post-operative pain is usually minimal.
      2. Avoid pressure on the nipple. Wear a loose bra.
      3. General care:
        1. Avoid smoking for at least one month. Smoking increases the risk of wound complications.
        2. Avoid pressure on the nipple. Wear a loose bra.
        3. Adequate rest and adequate sleep are helpful for a speedy recovery.
        4. Be relaxed and calm. Contact the clinic if there are any queries.
      4. Medicine: Finish the oral antibiotics as prescribed. Take the painkiller when necessary.
      5. Wound care: Leave the wound dressing on until coming back for review. Change the dressing if it gets dirty or soaked. Clean the wound with a clean cotton tip soaked with sterile water/saline. After that, apply antibiotic ointment.
      6. Physical activity: Avoid heavy physical activity and exercise for at least one month.
      7. Follow-up: Come back one week after surgery for review and removal of sutures.
      8. Emergency: If there is heavy bleeding, a rapid increase in swelling or severe pain, contact the clinic/doctor for advice immediately.


**The instructions in this list are only for general guidance. If you have any specific queries or concerns during the post-operative recovery, please contact the clinic for further advice.


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