What is an inverted nipple?
Inverted nipples, or nipples that are retracted into the breast and point inward instead of out, are most often a congenital condition resulting from shortened, underdeveloped milk ducts that pull the external nipple tissue back into the breast tissue.
Inverted nipples are found in women and men. This condition can appear sporadically or be permanent, and there may be a difference in the severity of inversion between the breasts. Nipples that suddenly go from a normal protrusion to inverted without trauma or injury to the breast should be examined by a physician to rule out more serious concerns.
Nipples that have always experienced some degree of inversion do not present health risks but can be very damaging to a patient’s confidence and self-image.
How are inverted nipples classified?
Inverted nipples are graded from 1 to 3 based on the level of severity.
Grade 1: Nipple appears flat or slightly inverted but can be everted after stimulation through touch or temperature. The nipple will stay protruded for a short period of time before retracting. The ability to breastfeed is generally unaffected.
Grade 2: Nipple is clearly inverted, not merely flattened. Touch and temperature stimulation will cause the nipple to protrude, but inversion will immediately return once the stimulation ends. It is possible to breastfeed with grade 2 nipple inversion.
Grade 3: Severe, permanent nipple inversion caused by very short milk ducts. Nipple cannot be everted by stimulation. Breastfeeding is difficult even with corrective surgery.
What is inverted nipple correction surgery?
Inverted nipple surgery is a minimally invasive procedure and is usually performed under local anesthesia.
During this surgery, tiny incisions are made at the base of the nipple, allowing the surgeon to untether the tight and shortened milk ducts and release the nipple. The nipple is then stitched permanently into its new position
Refined technique and contemporary procedures produce natural-looking, long-lasting results with a manageable recovery time.
Inverted nipple surgery with breast augmentations/lifts
Because breast augmentation and breast lift surgeries generally involve incisions around the areola, correcting inverted nipples can be a natural addition to these procedures.
Adding volume to breast tissue through a breast augmentation can also correct a low grade of inversion in the nipples.
We make sure you have the information you need to feel informed about your decision, from your inquiry about our practice through the consultation and recovery.
The first step is a thorough, collaborative consultation. Before surgery, we provide:
- 60- to 90-minute in-depth initial consultations with a complete medical history review and physical assessment by Dr. Maman
- Multiple pre-op visits to answer all your questions
- Specialized surgery coordinators to help you navigate scheduling, financial, and insurance processes
Once you’ve decided to move forward with surgery, we emphasize convenience, comfort, and a smooth recovery. This includes:
- Convenient NYC operating facilities
- Luxury recovery room options at NYC hotels
- Complimentary, custom post-operative support garments and scar treatment regimens
- Attentive and routine aftercare visits
Personalized, Holistic Patient-Centered Approach
Understanding each patient’s personal and clinical needs is central to our practice. We customize treatment plans for each patient, and each patient receives Dr. Maman’s personal contact information along with direct round-the-clock access to our nurse and surgical coordinator.
“Dr. Maman is very thorough during the consultation, and I felt confident my results would look natural while achieving my aesthetic goals.”
Results & Recovery
Our priority is to provide the highest degree of comfort for our patients throughout their breast augmentation procedure and recovery.
We schedule multiple pre-op appointments to make sure that our patients are fully informed and know exactly what to expect from the procedure. We also stay in close contact during the pre-op period in order to ensure that each patient receives prompt and personalized care.
Once surgery is complete, local patients have the option to recover at home in NYC or in one of our luxury recovery rooms located in select hotels in the city. Recovery timelines vary depending on procedure, and our thorough aftercare options ensure optimized recovery and results.
For more information, read our FAQs below.
See our results. Contact us to find the right approach for you.
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Meet Dr. Daniel Maman
Dr. Daniel Maman is a Harvard fellowship-trained and board-certified plastic surgeon specialized in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast, body, and face.
Basic Inverted Nipple Surgery FAQs
Am I a good candidate for inverted nipple surgery?
Although meeting with Dr. Maman is the best way to determine eligibility for inverted nipple surgery, patients with flat and/or inverted nipples who are in good health and are non-smokers are good candidates for this procedure.
How much do you charge for inverted nipple surgery?
Each patient receives a customized treatment plan that is specific to their individual needs. The cost of inverted nipple surgery depends on the grade of inversion and whether other procedures are added to the nipple correction. During your initial consultation, Dr. Maman will conduct a detailed assessment of your goals. Afterward, you will receive an itemized price quote to help you make your decision.
Can I breastfeed after having inverted nipple surgery?
The ability to breastfeed will vary between patients and is related to the grade of inversion. Patients with grade 3 inversion face a reduced likelihood of successful breastfeeding with or without surgery.
Because inverted nipple correction surgery involves altering the composition of ductal tissue, it is important to let Dr. Maman know if breastfeeding is important to you, as this desire may change your surgery and treatment plan.
Will my nipple sensation change after inverted nipple surgery?
Sensory nerves in the nipple are not usually affected by inversion. Most patients with grade 1 or grade 2 inversion do not experience a loss of nipple sensation—known as paresthesia—after inverted nipple surgery. While correcting a grade 3 inversion requires a slightly more involved procedure, nipple sensation is regained for most patients within several months.
Is there a non-surgical solution for correcting inverted nipples?
Grade 1 or grade 2 nipple inversions can occasionally be corrected using an external suction device that extrudes the nipple over time or through nipple piercings that hold the nipple in a permanently everted position.
These procedures should only be performed by a well-trained, qualified professional to avoid further damage to the nipple. A consultation with Dr. Maman will help you determine which route is appropriate for your situation.
Surgical Procedure FAQs
Where will my surgery be performed? How long will it take?
Dr. Maman usually performs surgeries at an in-office, AAAASF-certified facility or an outpatient ambulatory surgery center (ASC). He also has operating privileges at Mount Sinai Hospital, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York Eye & Ear Infirmary, and Englewood Hospital. We work with you to select the best facility for your needs.
Inverted nipple surgery is a simple procedure that takes less than 30 minutes. When corrective nipple surgery is combined with another procedure such as a breast augmentation or breast lift, the operation can take between two and four hours.
What will my incisions look like, and where will they be?
Incisions for inverted nipple surgery are very small (around 2mm) and are placed at the base of the nipple. The resulting scars will be virtually invisible.
Can I combine my inverted nipple surgery with other procedures?
While it depends on what type of procedures you are hoping to combine, the answer is generally yes. Breast augmentations, breast lifts, and areolar repositioning/resizing are the most common partner procedures to inverted nipple surgery.
Combining procedures can minimize overall recovery time and reduce costs. Dr. Maman works with you to find the best way to achieve your desired results with the least amount of operating time so you can get back to living your life.
How long does recovery take?
Most patients who undergo inverted nipple repair surgery find they can return to work within a few days. Swelling, bruising, and discomfort are to be expected for the first two weeks after surgery. Protective bandages should be worn for approximately four weeks, and full recovery is usually achieved within six weeks of surgery.
How long after surgery do I have to wait to exercise?
Rigorous activity should be avoided for the first postoperative week. Workouts that require significant upper body involvement (yoga, weight lifting, core training) should be avoided for four to six weeks after surgery.
Will I have to pay for follow-up visits after my surgery?
Because we value our patients’ health and satisfaction above everything else, we do not charge for post-operative visits, whether they are part of your detailed follow-up plan during the first year after surgery or the annual visits that we recommend to ensure your results are maintained.
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