The nipple is the protruding portion in the centre of the areola that carry the lactiferous (milk) ducts. Nipple correction is often used to correct: inverted, droopy, long, or large nipples. Nipple correction surgery involves removing excess tissue in the region to create a size, shape, and orientation that is more aesthetically pleasing for the patient.
The areola is the darker pigmented circle of skin around the nipple. The areola may become enlarged or puffy. An areola reduction is a procedure in which excess pigmented skin is trimmed and removed to creating a more symmetrical, sculpted appearance.
Inverted Nipple Correction
Inverted nipples are common and affect around 20% of the population.
So, what causes an inverted nipple?
Inverted nipples are usually a result of an undeveloped, short, or thickened lactiferous duct or ‘milk duct’. They form a branched system that connects the nipple to the mammary gland. When these milk ducts are shortened, they pull on the nipple and cause it to retract inwards. Inverted nipples are usually genetic.
A nipple can be temporarily inverted and can reverse itself with stimulation or changes in temperature. Or a nipple can be permanently inverted.
There are three grades of nipple inversion
Grade 1: The nipple can be pulled out and easily maintain projection.
Grade 2: The nipple can be pulled out but can’t maintain projection.
Grade 3: The nipple cannot be pulled out.
Surgery to correct inverted nipples
Depending on the degree of inversion the surgeon may cut around the milk ducts or they may need to cut through the milk ducts. If the milk ducts are cut it will impact on your ability to breastfeed.
Although an inverted nipple is not dangerous. If you have a nipple that suddenly inverts for no reason be sure to visit your doctor – in rare cases this may be a sign of breast cancer.
Areola or Nipple Correction Surgery
A nipple or areola correction is performed as an inpatient, day procedure, under a local anaesthetic or a full general anaesthetic at our private day hospital facility. The procedure takes around 30 - 45 minutes to complete.
An areola or nipple correction may be performed on its own or combined with other procedures:
Recovery from Areola or Nipple Correction Surgery
Recovery varies from patient to patient. Most patients describe the sensation as discomfort rather than 'pain' which is well controlled with over-the counter pain medication.
Patients are required to have a dressing change at one week and two weeks postoperatively. Out of Town Patients will be provided with a letter containing detailed dressing change instructions to give to their GP if they are unable to attend dressing change appointments at the Brisbane clinic.
Most patients are able to return back to work within a couple of days.
Postoperative appointments will be scheduled throughout the following year. These appointments can be conducted via our Virtual Waiting Room or in person at our Brisbane clinic.
Scarring from Nipple or Areola Correction Surgery
In order to minimise scarring as much as possible the incisions are discretely placed around the outer edge of the areola, which blend in with the pigmented skin and natural skin of the breast. Most scarring will fade over time with appropriate postoperative care.
Please visit Scarring After Surgery for more information.
The Cost of Nipple or Areola Correction Surgery
Prices are fully inclusive to cover all fees associated with a nipple or areola correction, including: Surgeon’s fee, hospital & anaesthetic fees, postoperative garments, emergency contact with a registered nurse, and one year of postoperative appointments.
Not sure where to start? Get a complimentary, obligation-free quote provided by Dr Chinsee.