Inverted nipple repair

About the procedure

Inverted nipples are a condition where the nipples on the breast point inwards, instead of projecting outwards. Not all inverted nipples are the same; some nipples are inverted but return to normal when they are stimulated while in other cases, the nipples remain inverted regardless of stimulation. Inverted nipples can cause difficulties with breastfeeding and can also make women self conscious. Occasionally, inverted nipples can be a sign of a serious underlying breast problem so it is important to evalute the overall health of the breast with a mammogram before performing inverted nipple repair.

Surgical correction of inverted nipples is generally divided into two groups: procedures that divide the breast ducts in order to correct the nipple position, and those procedures that do not divide the breast ducts to correct the nipple position. , Theoretically, procedures that do not divide the ducts can still allow women to breastfeed if desired. Dr. Hirsch uses a technique that preserves the breast ducts which gives women the opportunity to breastfeed in the future. During this procedure, Dr. Hirsch will make a small incision at the base of the nipple, through which he will visualize the breast ducts and cut any tethering bands that are holding the nipples in the abnormal position. Once the bands that cause the nipple inversion are cut, Dr. Hirsch will stitch the nipple back in the correct position and then close the incision.

Repair of inverted nipples is an outpatient procedure, so patients can go home the same day as their procedure. Dr. Hirsch will place a special stent over the nipple to hold it in place while it heals, usually for a week. There is minimal pain or discomfort following this procedure, and patients can usually return to work the following day.

Frequently asked questions about inverted nipple correction:

Will my nipple sensation change after inverted nipple correction?


It is difficult to predict how nipple sensation will change after inverted nipple correction. In most cases, nipple sensation will remain unchanged. However, nipple sensation will occasionally change, and become more or less sensitive.

Will I be able to breastfeed my baby after inverted nipple correction?


Breastfeeding is a complex process that requires having intact nipple sensation, a functioning neuroendocrine axis, and patent nipple ducts. One advantage to the type of inverted nipple correction that Dr. Hirsch uses is that it spares the majority of the nipple ducts, so that breast mild could theoretically still flow through the nipple. However, nipple sensation must remain intact as well as the neuroendocrine axis.

When can I start exercising again after inverted nipple correction?


In general, once the stent is off and the incisions are healed, you can go back to doing light exercise after inverted nipple correction. Between 2-3 weeks, you can typically resume your regular activities.

When can I go back to work after inverted nipple correction?


There is usually very little pain or discomfort following inverted nipple correction. Usually, patients can go back to work within 2-3 days after surgery. For those patients who perform jobs that require heavy physical labor, it may be necessary take 2-3 weeks off of work.

Will I have drains after inverted nipple correction?


No, Dr. Hirsch does not use drains after inverted nipple correction surgery.

Dr. Elliot Hirsch

Meet Dr. Elliot Hirsch

Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Elliot M. Hirsch has been educated at some of the most prestigious institutions in the country, including Johns Hopkins University, the University of Southern California, and Northwestern University. He is an active researcher and has published over 40 original papers and book chapters, and holds patents for his inventions in plastic surgery. Dr. Hirsch’s specialties include not only aesthetic surgery, but reconstructive surgery with special attention to aesthetic detail to ensure that patients achieve the best possible results.

To read more about Dr. Hirsch, please visit his extended biography page.


Read Dr. Hirsch's Biography