Inverted nipples and protruding nipples are embarrassing issues for many women. Many of my patients tell me that they cannot find much information about the treatment of these problems. This is a shame because they are actually fairly easy problems to correct. An inverted nipple is an “innie”. Most nipples will become erect with stimulation, however, a truly inverted nipple will not. These nipples are tethered down by bands which inhibit them from becoming erect. In the case of a truly inverted nipple, the solution is to make a small incision at the base of the nipple and use a knife or a small pair of scissors to cut through these tethering bands. This will release the nipple and allow it to evert. To maintain this eversion and keep the nipple from falling back down, a small dissolvable stitch is placed at the base of the nipple. The tissue at the base of the nipple heals together and prevents a recurrence of the nipple inversion. The procedure does not take very long to perform. The main drawback to this procedure is that the milk ducts are also cut along with the tethering bands. This will, in all likelihood, prevent the patient from being able to breast-feed from the involved breast. Nipples that are elongated or protruding may also be a problem to patients. The solution to this is to remover a strip of skin around the base of the nipple and then telescope the “cap” of the nipple downward to close the gap. The skin edges can be sewn together using an absorbable suture. The result is a shorter nipple and the scar is virtually invisible.
Here is a before picture from one of Dr. Pound’s patients:
Before Picture of a Protruding Nipple
And here is the after picture, two months post-op: