Nipple inversion is the situation where the nipple does not have its natural projection but is inverted towards the breast gland. This situation can be present in one or even both breasts and is met both in women and men.
Usually, inverted nipple is a congenital condition caused mainly by short milk ducts. In some cases though, nipple inversion is the result of a certain situation. The main causes for acquired nipple inversion are;
- Breast feeding
- Inflammatory breast diseases
- Breast ptosis (drooping breasts)
- Breast cancer
There are three grades of nipple inversion;
Grade 1; the nipple can be easily protracted by applying gentle pressure around the areola or with stimulation.
Grade 2; the nipple can be pulled out, though not as easily as the Grade 1 inverted nipple. Immediately after pressure is released, the nipple retracts. Breastfeeding is usually not possible in these cases.
Grade 3; the nipple is severely inverted and retracted. It can be rarely pulled out physically and requires surgery in order to be protracted. Milk ducts are often constricted and breast feeding is impossible.
How can nipple inversion be restored?
Surgery is carried out under local anesthesia. Modern surgical approach aims in restoring the nipple, both aesthetically and functionally. Overnight stay at the clinic is not required. There is no substantial post operative pain and patients can generally go back to work in a week after the surgery.