Occurring in both men and women, nipple inversion refers to the retraction of the nipple into the breast rather than it pointing outward. Nipple inversion often creates emotional distress as well as breast-feeding problems. There are varying degrees of inversion: sometimes the nipple will resume a natural point only when stimulated, and in others it remains retracted regardless.
The level of correction needed will depend on the degree of retraction. Your surgeon will assess the degree of inversion as well as composition of your breast to select the best approach to the procedure. There are two possible ways of correction: one that involves partial preservation of the milk duct, and one that detaches it. In the first case, an incision is made at the base of the nipple, and using stitches, your surgeon will form it in a new projecting shape. The second procedure also involves an incision at the base of the nipple, but as the case of the inversion is a shortened milk duct, it must be detached to allow for a natural projection.
You can return to work within a day or two, and stitches will be removed after one or two weeks. Heavy activity should be avoided for about three weeks. Due to the surgery, breast-feeding may be difficult or impossible. You should discuss this with your surgeon prior to the procedure. Most patients experience some loss of sensation, but it gradually returns with time. While it is possible for inverted nipples to return, usually the result is normal projecting nipples that react normally to stimulation.
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