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Grades of inverted nipples and correction required
The severity of inverted nipples is assessed by a grading system. This gives you a guide as to how tight your milk ducts are and the best treatment for correcting your inverted nipples.
Inverted nipple correction grade 1
Grade 1 inverted nipples:
- characterised by being either flat or slightly inverted.
- They stay everted for a short period before returning to a flat or slightly inverted position.
- The position of the nipple is balanced between the inward pull of the milk ducts which tether your nipple inwards and the contraction of the muscle contained within your nipple. As the muscle contracts it tends to pull your nipple outwards, however if the inward pull of your milk ducts is stronger than the outward pull of the muscle then your nipples will lie in an inverted position.
- Grade 1 inverted nipples can, in many cases, be treated with the Niplette suction device as the milk ducts are only slightly short in this case and in some instances can be lengthened adequately to provide correction of inverted nipples with suction and gentle stretching of the milk ducts.
Correction for Grade 1 inverted nipples
Surgery is appropriate in some cases of grade 1 nipple inversion if you are very concerned about the appearance of your nipples, however it is important to consider that most people with Grade 1 inverted nipples can generally breastfeed and if you have surgery you will not be able to breastfeed following your inverted nipple correction procedure.
Inverted nipple correction grade 2
Grade 2 inverted nipples:
- the inward pull of the milk ducts is stronger than in grade 1 inverted nipples.
- This produces nipple inversion which is normally deeper than in grade 1 cases.
- Your nipples may evert spontaneously or with suction for a time, but will immediately resume their inverted position.
Correction for Grade 2 inverted nipples
Some cases of grade 2 inverted nipples do correct with the Niplettesuction device and you may be able to breastfeed if you do have grade 2 inverted nipples. However, if the treatment with the Niplette suction device does not adequately control your nipple inversion, then corrective surgery- by division or lengthening of the ducts - may be required to cure your inverted nipples.
Inverted nipple correction grade 3
Grade 3 inverted nipples:
- the pull of the milk ducts are tighter and shorter and the outward pull of the muscles within the nipple cannot hold the nipple outwards and maintain that position.
- Grade 3 inverted nipples rarely, if ever, evert.
- Pictures of different types of nipple inversion on our website show different patterns of grade 2 and grade 3 nipple inversions, with some showing a very distinctive transverse fold across the nipple and others showing a more central collection of their milk ducts creating a more central puckering of their nipple.
Correction for Grade 3 inverted nipples
In grade 3 inverted nipples the milk ducts are very short and tight and it is unlikely that suction devices such as the Niplette will adequately cure your inverted nipples in this case. It is possible that some people with grade 3 inverted nipples will be able to breastfeed, but this is unlikely and surgery is usually the preferred option to correct grade 3 nipple inversion.
Contact Aurora for Advice on your Nipple Inversion Grade
If you are unsure of the severity of your inverted nipples please feel free to contact us on 0800 328 5743 or send photographs of the area to email@example.com and we'll be happy to give you advice as to the best treatment for your inverted nipples.
If you would like to hear previous patients' experiences of inverted nipple correction performed at Aurora Clinics you can visit the inverted nipple patient testimonial section of our website.
If you would like to see how an inverted nipple correction is performed, please view some of our inverted nipple procedure videos on this procedure.
For more detailed information about Inverted Nipple Correction and what to expect if you opt for this surgery, please browse through our other FAQ pages using the navigation bar on the right.