Inverted nipples, or retraction of nipples, is a condition in which the nipple has the appearance of being tethered or pulled inwards.
- An inverted nipple can be a source of self-consciousness
- It can also cause trouble during breastfeeding
- There are different degrees of nipple inversion
- Inverted nipples can occur on one or both breasts
What is an inverted nipple?
An inverted nipple (also known as “retraction of the nipple”) is a condition where the nipple ducts are shorter than normal. An inverted nipple may “pull” inwards so that it sits flat against the breast.
Remember that for some women, their nipples may be inverted only some of the time, and project upon stimulation, for example, sexually, or due to colder weather.
Inverted nipples are a common breast variation for women of all ages.
Surgery is designed to increase the projection of flat nipples by releasing the scar tissue that is stopping the nipple from projecting normally.
Problems associated with inverted nipples
If you are a new mother, you might experience some trouble breastfeeding as your baby may struggle to latch onto an inverted nipple.
If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant in the near future, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor or midwife about any inverted nipple and breastfeeding concerns. They will be able to recommend some exercises or techniques to stimulate the nipple or even loosen the tissue that is stopping the nipple from protruding.
As you might know, nipples are one of a woman’s biggest erogenous zones. Sexually, inverted nipples should not impact sensation, however in many cases, inverted nipples are a cause of embarrassment or shame. Being comfortable in your own skin is critical to a good sexual experience, and inverted nipple repair could help restore your confidence.
Sometimes an inverted nipple may cause a woman to look older than she is. An inverted nipple can give an aged appearance, affecting a woman’s confidence and esteem.
Protruding nipples can help make a woman feel more desirable, sexy, and younger.
Nipple correction surgery
Inverted nipple correction involves a surgical procedure to release the duct system tethering the nipple.
An individual assessment by Dr Hertess can establish the degree of inversion and therefore the most appropriate treatment.
Outcomes, scarring and complications can be discussed within the clinic at your complimentary nurse appointment.
Can inverted nipples be treated without surgery?
In some cases, yes, women’s inverted nipples can be drawn out with physical stimulation.
This occurs either sexually or for breastfeeding purposes, however it generally only works for mildly inverted nipples, and the outcome is not permanent.
The Hoffman Technique
One well-known exercise is called the Hoffman Technique. It is commonly used by women who are preparing to breastfeed, by stimulating the nipple and maximising protrusion.
The manual exercise involves placing the thumbs of each hand on either side of the nipple, just at the base. From there, press firmly into the nipple and at the same time, gently pull your thumbs away from the nipple, horizontally.
You should also try the technique by placing the thumbs above and below the nipple and moving the thumbs vertically away from the nipple.
The gentle stimulation and massage is designed to loosen tissue and essentially “release” your nipple, allowing it to protrude further.
Many women who experience this problem usually wear bras or clothing which do not emphasise the problem.
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 breastfeed, infection or irritation of the nipple when natural secretions become trapped.
Inverted nipple repair cost
For more information on the cost of inverted nipple repair, we invite you to book a complimentary information session with one of our nurses.
During this confidential, no-strings chat, we can talk about your concerns and find out if nipple repair surgery is for you.
Inverted nipple repair before and after
View more “Before and Afters” to see what our patients have achieved after breast reduction surgery at Cairns Plastic Surgery