The nipple-areolar complex is typically found in the centre of the breasts. The areola is a more or less circular area of skin that can retract (shrink) depending on the temperature or sexual excitation.
The nipple, in the centre of the areola, can also contract and stick out depending on the temperature, mechanical stimulation and sexual excitation.
Due to the absence of erection even when stimulated (hand, cold, etc.), inverted nipples are a pathology preventing normal breastfeeding. The surgery aimed at correcting this defect is covered by the health insurance.
Inverted nipples can be unilateral (with a nipple that points out normally on one side) or bilateral. Inverted nipple surgery is only considered if the nipple remains permanently inverted.
Before the procedure
Two mandatory consultations will take place. If the nipple was modified recently (recent inversion, unilateral), a radiological check-up with mammography and ultrasound will be performed in order to detect a possible underlying lesion.
Inverted nipple surgery is done in the day care department. The anesthesia is local and may be combined with a neuroleptanalgesy for greater comfort. The scar is very discreet, practically invisible, across the areola.
After the procedure
The stitches are dissolvable and disappear about 3 weeks after the surgery. A waterproof bandage is put on after the surgery and it will be removed after 3 days. After removal of the bandage, Vaseline should be applied every day. Recurrence of nipple inversion is possible after surgery. There is always the possibility of a recurrence of the inversion. If so, the inversion generally appears within 2 months following the procedure and a new surgery may be considered.
The operation is painless and usual activities can be resumed the day after surgery. The first shower is permitted the day after the surgery but baths should be avoided during the first month. The scars need to be protected from the sun during first year following the surgery!
After inverted nipple surgery, breastfeeding should be possible, except in the case of a considerable decrease in sensitivity.
It should be noted that sometimes in patients with inverted nipples, a breast augmentation can push out inverted nipples.
This is why, if you have inverted nipples and wish to undergo breast augmentation, it is recommended that you wait a few months after the breast augmentation before undergoing inverted nipple surgery to see if the inverted nipples have been pushed out.