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Nipple / Areola surgery

  Duration: 1 hr

If you are someone who has inverted or flat nipples, it may be affecting your self-confidence. In severe cases, it can even affect the ability to breastfeed. Flat or inverted nipples can affect both men and women and usually becomes apparent during breast development. However, some people notice that their nipples become inverted at a later age.

If you are noticing flattened or inverted nipples are appearing suddenly, or if you are encountering nipple discharge on top of this, you should always consult with your GP, as this can be a sign of breast cancer (both male and female) and therefore, you will need to be seen by a gynaecologist.

If you have had inverted nipples for many years however, it is very unlikely that this is due to malignancy and you could be an excellent candidate for nipple/areola surgery.

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Time off work
A few days )if needed)
Hospital stay
1 - 2 hours
After 1 day
Sleeping position
Sleep on back for 1 week
Bras & garments
Full recovery
1 week
A few days
Physical activity
2 - 4 weeks

Having worked in major breast units Dr. Rotsaert will tell you all about certain risks and complications involved with this procedure.

This procedure starts with the consultation and proper assessment of your breasts.

Then we decide on the desired result and discuss the goals together.

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Frequently asked questions

What causes nipple inversion?

Nipple inversion is caused by an exaggerated inward traction on the milk ducts or an imbalance of the muscle that usually pulls the nipple outwards. When the inward tethering force of the milk ducts becomes greater than the outward pulling force of the muscle, this leads to a flattened or inverted nipple. We classify the severity of inverted nipples by categorising in to three grades, the third grade being the most severe. Many people feel self-conscious about their inverted or misshapen nipples. Having a quick and simple surgical procedure can correct the nipples with minimal downtime and little scarring.

Am I suitable for nipple/areola surgery?

If you are in good health, are over the age of 18 and are seeking to correct or re-shape your nipples, you may be suitable for this surgical procedure. However, before any treatment can commence with Dr Rotsaert, we will ask that you attend a no obligation consultation, to discuss your concerns about your nipples, the details of the procedure and to check your medical history, so that we can ensure that the surgery will be both safe and suitable for you and will meet your goals. It is at this meeting that you can ask all those questions that you wish, and to gather all the information you need, in order to make an informed and educated decision, on whether to proceed.

What happens during a nipple/areola surgery?

The procedure is usually performed under a local anaesthetic and the nature of the surgery is dependent upon the severity of the inverted or misshapen nipples. Various surgical methods and techniques will be used by Dr Rotsaert and this will depend on what is being achieved, whether to correct an inverted nipple, reduce the size of the nipples or to correct asymmetry. With nipple inversion correction, small scar is placed at the base of the nipple in order to release the tissues and encourage the nipple out. Some, stubborn inverted nipples can be difficult to correct, fully and if this is the case, a second procedure might be required, but this is unlikely.

Will I get scarring with my nipple/areola surgery?

As with all surgical procedures which involve cutting and suturing the skin, there is some minor visible scarring with this surgery. However, with areola surgery, the scarring is minimal and will fade considerably, with time.

What is the downtime, following my nipple/areola surgery?

Your nipples may feel sensitive and sore after your areola surgery. However, recovery is fairly quick, following this procedure. There can be however, some complications following nipple surgery and these include a potential inability to breastfeed as the milk ducts in the breast tissue may have been divided, as part of the procedure. Recurrence of the inversion is uncommon in milder cases of nipple inversion, but more likely in severely inverted nipples. In extremely rare cases, the blood supply to the nipple can be compromised during the procedure. However, this is very unlikely and Dr Rotsaert will discuss with you, the potential risks of the surgery during your pre-treatment consultation. Dressings will need to be worn for a week or so, following the procedure and you will be asked to return to the clinic for a follow-up check, to ensure you are healing well and the results are as expected.

When will I see the results of my nipple/areola surgery?

You will be able to experience your results immediately after the procedure. However, you will need to consider that your nipples will be sore and possibly swollen for a week or so, following the procedure and this will affect the initial results. If you avoid hot baths, saunas, steam rooms, excessive exercise and clothing which could rub the area, your healing time will be accelerated.

Additional Information

The cause of nipple inversion is an exaggerated inward traction on the milk ducts. The balance with the muscle that usually pulls the nipple outwards is gone. When the inward tethering force of the milk ducts becomes greater than the outward pulling force of the muscle this leads to an inverted or flat nipple depending on the severity of the pulling force. There are three grades of severity of inverted nipples with grade three being the most severe one.

Many people don’t like the appearance of their nipples. Having a nipple that is too large or having asymmetrical or droopy nipples can be very disturbing. This can be easily corrected with minimal downtime and little scarring.

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