Inverted nipples appearing suddenly – should you be worried?
Aurora is now part of The Private Clinic, a nationwide group of clinics with over 35 years of experience specialising in Cosmetic Surgery and Skin and a Trust Pilot 5 star rating. For comprehensive information, before and after photos and costs on Inverted Nipple procedures click here.
Nipples are a funny old thing. Everybody has them, whether male or female, even though their only real use – biologically speaking – is for breastfeeding. Hence the popular refrain, “WHY do men have nipples??”
Though we all have them, they vary in size and shape from person to person.
Some of us have pointy, prominent nipples (and may even seek nipple reduction surgery). Others have flat or ‘shy’ nipples. And some of us – estimated to be 10% of the population – have true inverted nipples which rarely, if ever, protrude. These are present from birth but become most noticeable after puberty.
If you’ve always had them, inverted nipples might make you feel self-conscious, but as an ‘old friend’, they aren’t usually a cause for medical concern. They can, if you choose, be treated easily with inverted nipple correction, which we perform at several of our clinics around the country.
But if your nipples have inverted suddenly within the last few weeks or months, it’s definitely advisable to err on the side of caution and seek medical advice.
Suddenly developing inverted nipples
If you have never previously had inverted nipples, but find them changing suddenly, it can be a sign that something is happening with the underlying milk ducts, causing them to tighten up. This can be true for both men and women, as men have milk ducts too.
This tightening can be a symptom of several things. In most cases, it will usually be a simple case of inflammation, or possibly infection, which is easily treated. But in rare cases, sudden changes in the nipples can be a symptom of diseases of the breasts – which can include breast cancer.
What to do
If you have never had inverted nipples, but have recently developed them over a short period of time, it’s extremely important that you go and see your GP – whether you are male or female.
Your doctor will be able to examine you and assess your breasts, and in some cases may recommend you see a breast surgeon. The surgeon will take a look at your breast tissue, and may also perform a scan as a precautionary measure to exclude the possibility of anything malignant.
While we’d never encourage you to worry if you find yourself developing nipple inversion, we would encourage you to be vigilant. We’d definitely recommend that you consult a medical professional at the earliest opportunity – if only for your own peace of mind.
Can inverted nipples be treated?
Inverted Nipples can be corrected surgically, although we do still recommend that if they are a new occurrence to visit your GP for advice first. Inverted nipple surgery is carried out under local anaesthetic as a day case patient meaning you will be able to return home the same day. The surgery takes around 15 minutes per nipple and depending on the underlying cause of your inverted nipples, two different approaches can be taken. In the majority of cases, an incision will be made at the base of the nipple which will release the milk ducts and fibres that are causing the nipple to retract and appear inverted. Biodegradable sutures are used to hold the nipple in its new position during the recovery process. Alternatively, an incision can be made to divide or free the milk ducts and problematic fibres internally but your surgeon will advise on the best procedure for you ahead of your surgery.
Full recovery from inverted nipple surgery does take 6 weeks but many patients are able to return to work within 1-2 days of their procedure. You will be required to wear bandages over the nipple area so you may prefer to wear looser fitting clothing for comfort during this time. Exercise should ideally be avoided for at least 2 weeks to avoid any unnecessary friction to the area.
The main consideration for inverted nipple surgery is that we are unable to guarantee your ability to breastfeed following a nipple correction procedure so it is something you may want to think over if you are planning to breastfeed in the future.
Inverted Nipple Surgery at The Private Clinic
The Private Clinic sees over 15,000 new patients every year and performs over 10,000 procedures, with one of the highest –patients’ satisfaction in the sector, Trustpilot 9.4, 5-star rating, 93% would recommend us to their friends and family. We are a multi-award winning provider and have been voted the Aesthetic award for Best UK Clinic Group 2017. The Private Clinic prides itself on its commitment to Medical Expertise, Patient Care and Satisfaction, Honest advice and most importantly Results. We are above all committed to Quality. Please feel free to contact us for any advice or to book a consultation with one of our expert Breast surgeons.
At The Private Clinic, Nipple Surgery is one of our specialisms, and we have a number of BAAPS registered surgeons who offer the treatment. For more information on any of the nipple surgery procedures above, or to book a consultation, please contact us on 0333 920 2471 or use our online contact form.