Inverted nipple correction is a simple procedure that can be done in the outpatient department under local anaesthetic. It is a lunchtime procedure that can be performed on the same day as your consultation with minimal scarring and minimal downtime.
Inverted nipples are usually caused by a shortening of the milk ducts. If your nipples have recently become inverted or if you have any associated symptoms, such as a lump in your breast or discharge from your nipple, then it is important that you see your general practitioner to make sure that there is no cause for your nipple inversion.
The main question to think about before having correction of inverted nipples is:
‘Do you want to breast feed in the future?
Inverted Nipple Correction maintaining the ability to breast feed
If you want to maintain the ability to breast feed in the future, then the milk ducts need to be left intact. This makes the procedure slightly more complicated and it is more difficult to achieve a long-lasting correction. Small flaps are taken from either side of the nipple and used to hold the nipple up. This results in two small scars on each side of the nipple, although these scars are kept within the areola (the pink skin surrounding the nipple) and so fade well in time.
Inverted Nipple Correction losing the ability to breast feed
If you do not want to breast feed in the future, then the most effective way of treating an inverted nipple, is to make a small incision at the base of the nipple and dividing the milk ducts. Sutures are then placed at the base of the nipple to prevent it from retracting back. The scar at the base of the nipple fades extremely well and is difficult to see.
What Can I Expect at My Consultation?
If you would like to have your inverted nipple correction surgery on the same day as your consultation, please mention this when booking. The consulting rooms have a fully equipped operating theatre which allows procedures under local anaesthetic to be performed on the same day as your appointment. You will first have your consultation with Mr Staiano, when you can talk about the options available and whether surgery is right for you. Even if you have expressed an interest to have surgery on the day, there is no pressure to proceed and we encourage patients to go away and consider things before undergoing surgery.
What does the Operation Involve?
The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic, which means that you stay awake throughout. There is a small injection around the nipple and then you will feel movement but no pain. The procedure will last 30-45 minutes and you will be able to leave the hospital shortly afterwards.
What Will the Aftercare Be?
You will have a waterproof dressing on, which will allow you to shower immediately after the procedure. An appointment will be made for you to come back to the hospital the week after the procedure to have the dressing removed. At this stage, you may need some light gauze in your bra, or no dressing at all. The sutures are all dissolvable and so there will be no need to have your stitches removed. You will be given contact details for the hospital and for Mr Staiano should you have any questions or concerns about your operation. There is 24 hour cover with a doctor available at all times, should you need any assistance or advice.
You will have an appointment to see Mr Staiano back in the outpatient clinic after about 6 weeks and you will have access to unlimited follow up consultations, should you need to come back at any time to discuss the progress of your surgery.
The wound is normally healed after about 7 days and you should be able to swim after 2 weeks. It is best to avoid pressure on the nipple for 4 weeks after the surgery, so tight bras should be avoided. The scar usually heals very well, although it may be a little red for a few months. Occasionally scarring can cause the nipple to pull back and become inverted again, in which case the procedure may need to be repeated.
If you have any questions about inverted nipple correction, or would like to book an appointment to see Mr Staiano, please call on 0121-647 3594, or fill in an online enquiry. We look forward to hearing from you.