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What Are Inverted Nipples?

Posted March 24, 2020 in Breast Augmentation

3 Minute Read:

A woman’s bustline should be a source of confidence and identity since it is not only an expression of femininity but a reminder of motherhood.

Every woman’s breasts are unique with a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Although sometimes overlooked, a woman’s nipples are just as unique as the breasts from which they project. And, while most nipples are well-projected, centered, and evenly-sized, some women experience dissatisfaction with the appearance of their nipples.

Some of these concerns involve inverted (or retracted) nipples. Inverted nipples are a condition in which the nipples turn inward instead of outward. Retracted nipples lie flush with a woman’s areola and cannot be seen through clothing.

Nearly 20 percent of women have flat or inverted nipples

A woman after her breast augmentation surgery to enhance her breast size and correct inverted nipples.

What Causes Inverted Nipples?

This condition can develop as a result of shortened milk ducts or ligaments, which can restrain the projection of the nipples.

Alternatively, nipples can involute after a woman finishes breastfeeding if the milk ducts have been scarred.

Other causes of inverted nipples include:

  • Breast cancer
  • Fibrocystic breast disease
  • Tuberculosis
  • Duct ectasia

Men and women can be born with inverted nipples or develop them later on in life. 

Are Inverted Nipples a Medical Concern?

If a woman was born with inverted nipples, there is no medical threat, and the ability to breastfeed is still an option.

If inverted nipples develop out of the blue, she should visit her primary care physician. 

Some patients with congenitally retracted nipples are inclined to undergo plastic surgery procedures to restore an attractive appearance in which the nipples naturally become erect upon temperature changes and sensory stimulation. They want to achieve what they perceive as their natural sexuality.

How Can I Correct Inverted Nipples?

A board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Boyd can correct inverted nipples either during breast augmentation surgery or as an isolated procedure.

He will make a small incision within your nipple-areola complex (NAC), near the nipple base, to turn the nipple outward.

Combining breast augmentation surgery with breast lift surgery can alter the size and shape of the areola.

In some cases, the change in nipple projection after breast augmentation is due to bottoming out. This condition causes the nipples and areolae to point upwards. Breast revision surgery can correct bottoming out and alter the direction of nipple projection.

Filler for Nipple Projection

Surgery may not be necessary for those looking to enhance the appearance of protruding nipples. Nipple injectable fillers like Restylane® and JUVÉDERM® can add extensive volume to the nipple to help them protrude at least on a temporary basis.

Your Nipples After Surgery

After breast surgery, whether it be cosmetic, functional (eg. to relieve backache) or for the treatment of breast cancer, the nipples may end up too high or too low on the chest. It is easy to elevate the nipples surgically, but very hard to lower them without visible scarring in the decollage. For this reason, surgeons should error on placing the nipples on the low side, rather than the opposite. Dr. Boyd is happy to advise you should your nipples become displaced or asymmetrical as a result of any kind of breast surgery.

Have More Questions?

If you would like to learn more about correcting inverted nipples, call our Palos Verdes office at (310) 597-4734 or fill out our online contact form.

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Our Location

Dr. Boyd's office is located in Palos Verdes (Rolling Hills Estates)

550 Deep Valley Drive, Suite 283
Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274