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Causes of Inverted Nipples

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Page Updated on Mar 24, 2022 by Dr. Norman Rowe (Plastic Surgeon) of Rowe Plastic Surgery

What Are Inverted Nipples?

An inverted nipple points inward or lies flat instead of projecting outward. In a normal breast, your nipple is a prominent feature. When properly shaped, it caps your breast, adding to its beauty. An inverted or retracted nipple can affect one or both breasts. The condition affects both men and women and can be present from birth or develop later in life. Inverted nipples can affect your quality of life for a number of reasons.

If you have problems with your nipples, consult a board certified plastic surgeon for inverted nipple correction. This surgical procedure improves the quality of your life during breastfeeding and intimacy. In New York City or New Jersey, visit the top-rated cosmetic surgeons at Rowe Plastic Surgery for this and other life-changing procedures.

How Can Inverted Nipples Affect Me?

Depending on the level of inversion, your inverted nipples can be more than a simple annoyance. They can impact your life in a number of ways, such as:

  • Breastfeeding complications. Inverted nipples make it cumbersome to breastfeed.
  • Effects on the baby. Your baby might suffer malnourishment from not being able to grab the nipple easily.
  • Pain and discomfort. For most women with inverted nipples, manual extraction of the nipple is painful.
  • Intimacy problems. Turned-in nipples can ruin intimacy. You may be too conscious about your breasts, which can impede your intimate relationships.
  • Low self-esteem. If you have inverted nipples, you may think less of yourself, leading to low self-esteem.
  • Clothing limitations. You may find yourself avoiding light-colored clothing, which is ideal for hot weather, because of your inverted nipples.

While most people live with this condition throughout their lives, a nipple correction is a simple procedure to bring relief, allowing you to enjoy a better life. A qualified, board certified plastic surgeon uses advanced techniques to correct the nipple. This is a simple but life-changing cosmetic procedure.

What Are the Grades of Nipple Inversion?

A top NYC or NJ cosmetic surgeon examines the extent of the inversion of your nipple or nipples. The grade of nipple inversion helps your doctor determine the best treatment to follow. The different grades of nipple inversion include:

  1. Grade 1. This is an inverted nipple that you can easily pull or manipulate. This condition may not cause a lot of problems in breastfeeding or for intimacy.
  2. Grade 2. These inverted nipples require more forceful manipulation or extraction to pop out. The nipple also retracts quickly. This condition is embarrassing during intimacy. It can also affect your self-image and lower your self-esteem.
  3. Grade 3. This is a condition of severely inverted nipples. The nipples have completely turned in, making it impossible to extract them manually. For such cases, it’s virtually impossible to breastfeed, making inverted nipple surgery necessary.

If you have problems with the appearance or functionality of your nipples, talk to an experienced plastic surgeon. The team at Rowe Plastic Surgery have carried out multiple nipple cosmetic procedures, including nipple enlargement, nipple reduction, and areola reduction. The facility has the latest surgical equipment for safe, effective procedures.

Are Inverted Nipples Congenital?

A large number of people with inverted nipples have them from birth. During childhood, inverted nipples may not be a big deal, but with age, you become more conscious of the inversion. Nipple inversion at birth can be as a result of:

  • If you have inverted nipples, it’s highly likely that someone in your family line also has the condition.
  • Problems with connective tissues. If your milk ducts don’t develop fully while you’re an infant, they can pull the nipple inward.
  • Undeveloped nipple. If your nipple base didn’t develop fully while you were in the womb, it can result in inverted nipples.

Whatever the cause of congenital nipple inversion, you can have it corrected by an experienced cosmetic surgeon. The surgery is appropriate for both men and women and offers incredible benefits for both.

What Causes Inverted Nipples after Birth?

Otherwise functional nipples can turn in for various reasons. Some of the reasons for inverted nipples after birth include:

  • Changes associated with breastfeeding. Once you finish breastfeeding, inverted nipples are among the many changes you may experience in your breasts. Breastfeeding can cause scarring of your milk ducts, which forces your nipples to turn inward.
  • Breast trauma or injury. Breasts are delicate, so any trauma or sudden force can cause structural changes, such as inverted nipples.
  • Areola infection. If the glands under the areola get infected, the area around the nipple fills with pus, causing the nipple to turn inward.
  • Mammary duct ectasia. This is a condition of the breasts in which a milk duct widens and gets blocked with fluid build-up. The condition occurs in women from the age of 45 who are approaching menopause. In addition, you can also experience pain, discharge, redness and tenderness in your breasts form mammary duct ectasia.
  • This bacterial infection in your milk ducts is common with breastfeeding mothers. The infection can affect the nipples, leading to pain, tenderness and a bloody discharge. Tissue scarring can cause the nipples to retract.
  • Breast cancer. Nipple inversion can point to breast cancer, which requires immediate diagnosis through imaging tests such as a mammogram, MRI, breast ultrasound or a biopsy to test for cancerous cells.

Whatever the underlying cause of your inverted nipples, the condition requires medical attention. With an individualized treatment plan, the doctors at Rowe Plastic Surgery can help you correct the nipple permanently through surgery.

What’s the Treatment for Inverted Nipples?

Your doctor determines the best procedure after a thorough examination. During your consultation, your doctor discusses the treatment options and explains the pros and cons of each method. Some recommended treatments for inverted nipples include:

  • Inverted nipple surgery. This is the most effective solution for advanced nipple inversion. It involves cutting an incision at the nipple’s base, retracting the nipple, positioning it properly on your breast and supporting it with dissolvable sutures.
  • Hoffman technique. This is a stimulation technique if you don’t have severely inverted nipples.
  • Suction techniques. Some wearable devices allow nipple retraction and include nipple shells, nipple cups, nipple extractors, and retractors.

While multiple inverted nipple treatments exist, the doctors at Rowe Plastic Surgery suggest the most effective technique for you. Inverted nipple surgery has proven results with minimal side effects. The technique not only restores the function of your nipples, but also improves your breast’s appearance. Contact the team  at their practice in Montclair or Red Bank, NJ or in Manhattan, Plainview or Water Mill, NY.

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