Inverted Nipples

Inverted nipples, (nipples which point inwards rather than outwards), may be congenital in origin or may be secondary to pathology within the breast. Development of nipple inversion in one breast only can sometimes be due to underlying pathology within the breast, including breast cancer, and should be investigated by a breast surgeon in the first instance.

Inverted nipples may compromise the aesthetics of a woman's breasts and it is a relatively straightforward task to correct this problem surgically. Surgery is generally performed under general anaesthesia on a day case basis, and involves restoring the nipple to a position of projection by division of the shortened breast ducts underneath the nipple itself, and then re-arrangement of tissues below the nipple, to prevent the latter from returning to an inverted position. At the end of the procedure there will be scars on each side of the nipple, and a light dressing applied.

In the long term, scars on the nipple tend to fade and become very inconspicuous. Nipple inversion surgery usually produces good long-term correction, but women having this procedure should not expect to breast feed thereafter, and for younger patients this may be a consideration in the timing of surgery.

Some patients can self-treat their nipple inversion using a device called a Niplette, which can be purchased in High Street pharmacies. | Tel: 01342 330303