Inverted Nipple Repair
Inverted nipples, or retraction of nipples, is a condition in which the nipple has the appearance of being tethered or pulled inwards.
The degree of inverted nipple can be a source of self-consciousness and breast feeding problems. This problem can occur in one or both breasts.
Many women who experience this problem usually wear bras or clothing which do not emphasise the problem. Nipple inversion is not rare, with reported prevalence ranging from 1.8 to 3.3%
CAUSES OF INVERTED NIPPLE
- Born with the condition
- Breast Cancer (Thus, one would need a mammogram if the inverted nipple is new onset)
- Breast infection/inflammation
Mildly inverted nipples can be drawn out with physical stimulation, either sexually or for breast-feeding.
Severely inverted nipples never project even when stimulated or in very cold water.
Apart from cosmetic concern, severe inversion may have functional repercussions, such as the inability to breast feed, infection or irritation of the nipple when natural secretions become trapped.
GRADING OF INVERTED NIPPLES
- Grade I - Inverted nipple may occasionally "pop out" without manipulation or pressure
- Grade II - Inverted nipple retracts after the pressure is released
- Grade III - Severely inverted nipples which cannot be pulled out physically and would require surgery
CORRECTION OF INVERTED NIPPLES WITH SURGERY
Many techniques have been reported for the correction of inverted nipples. However, the conventional methods may be insufficient, especially for moderate to severe inversions. The suspension technique is a simple, reliable method for correcting grade II and III nipple inversions.
Jeong H-S, Lee H-K (2015) Correction of Inverted Nipple Using Subcutaneous Turn-Over Flaps to Create a Tent Suspension-Like Effect. PLoS ONE 10(7): e0133588. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0133588
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