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Inverted nipple surgery is a simple procedure that can be done in the clinic 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 they 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 because in rare cases it can be a sign of breast cancer.

If they are not always inverted and it is just that your nipples retract, then it may be worth trying the non-surgical option of a suction device, known as a ‘Nipplette’ device as this can improve the situation, although the results are often short-lived and may not be permanent.

Permanent correction is more predictable with a minor surgical procedure. This is something that can be performed in our state of the art clinic as we have a fully functional operating suite on site. It is performed on a walk in – walk out basis, so within a few hours of visiting the clinic, you could be walking out with your problems solved.

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The main question to think about before having correction of inverted nipples is:

“Do you want to breast feed in the future?”

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.

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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 clinic the week after the procedure to have the dressing removed. At this stage, you may need some light gauze, 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 your surgeon should you have any questions or concerns about your operation. You will have an appointment to see your surgeon back in the 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. 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 would like to have your 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 your surgeon, 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.

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 around 30 minutes and you will be able to leave the clinic shortly afterwards

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 clinic the week after the procedure to have the dressing removed. At this stage, you may need some light gauze, 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 your surgeon should you have any questions or concerns about your operation.   You will have an appointment to see your surgeon back in the 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. 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.

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