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Inverted nipples occur when the milk ducts of the breast (the channels in the breast that bring milk from the milk glands to the nipple) are short. This leads to the nipple being ‘pulled in’ instead of protruding from the breast mound. Inverted nipples can occur after pregnancy as well. Many women feel self-conscious about this appearance and seek improvement. Performed by our plastic surgeon, Lawrence Tong, MD, nipple inversion surgery aims to remedy this appearance.

What Does Nipple Inversion Correction Do?

The procedure aims to correct the appearance of inverted nipples by releasing the short ducts and preventing inversion from re-occurring. Women with any severity of inverted nipple could benefit.

Issues to Consider With Nipple Inversion Surgery

In some cases, nipple inversion may be related to breast disease. Dr. Tong will perform a full evaluation to make certain that nipple inversion correction surgery is appropriate for you.

Undergoing this procedure will lead to the permanent inability to breast feed. This occurs because the ducts are transected (cut through) with the procedure. You should not assume that if you have inverted nipples, breast feeding is impossible; many women with inverted nipples report that breast feeding can still occur.

Incisions for Nipple Inversion Correction

Any surgical procedure will leave some type of scar. A plastic surgeon specializes in obtaining the least visible scars, and putting them in the least visible places. The incision for nipple inversion correction is made along the base of the nipple (not the edge of the areola). The incision spans approximately half the circumference of the base, from 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock. Wearing any type of clothing will cover any of these scars. Even in the nude, the scar tends to be almost invisible.

Nipple Inversion Surgery Procedure Details

The procedure can be performed under three types of anesthesia: local anesthesia, general anesthesia, or IV sedation. If no other procedures are being performed, Dr. Tong can treat nipple inversion while you are awake with local anesthesia. If you undergo IV sedation or general anesthesia, you will be asleep and completely unaware. The surgery occurs in the medical complex where Dr. Tong has his office, in downtown Yorkville at 199 Avenue Road, Toronto.

Dr. Tong carries out Inverted Nipple Correction by making a small incision at the base of the nipple and cutting through the shortened milk ducts. Once cut, the milk ducts are released from the nipple and can no longer pull the nipple inwards. Dr. Tong places special stitches in order to prevent the problem from re-occurring. After he places the last stitches, you will be placed in special protective nipple dressing, and then gently awakened from anesthesia.

Recovery after Nipple Inversion Correction in Toronto

If you have your procedure with only local anesthesia, you may drive yourself home. If you have any sedation, you will go home following surgery after the anesthesia has worn off, accompanied by a friend or family member.

At home, you may perform non-strenuous activities such as watching television, making meals, and reading. You should expect the nipple region to feel sore for 4-7 days. Pain medication will be prescribed and may be used during this time. You may have bruising in the first 1-2 weeks. The majority of patients return to (non-strenuous) work at 3-5 days.

At one week, you will see Dr. Tong to have stitches and the special protective dressing removed. You will likely be allowed to start light exercise (e.g. walking) at 1-2 weeks after surgery. Avoid strenuous activity until 4 weeks after surgery.

After the first post-operative visit, you will see Dr. Tong at 6 weeks and 6 months after surgery. Post-op photos will also be taken at these visits. One thing to keep in minds is that the nipple(s) will look overly protruding initially. This is entirely normal and it takes between 2-4 weeks for the swelling to fully settle. As the swelling subsides, you will notice that the nipple has a more natural look and shape.

Get Educated about Nipple Inversion Correction in Toronto

There is much information to digest during your initial consultation and Dr. Tong will make sure that you are informed at every step. Our goal is to educate you. We feel that the educated patient will make smart choices about their surgery and their surgeon. Your questions will be answered in detail, and you will never be rushed. We will never pressure you to make a decision.

To learn more about how Toronto plastic surgeon Lawrence Tong, MD can help you with inverted nipples, set up a consultation with Dr. Tong by giving us a call at (416) 972-0999. Alternatively, let us give you a call; just fill out our contact form and we will call you on the same or the next business day. No physician’s referral is needed.

Inverted Nipple Correction at a Glance

What the procedure does
Corrects inverted nipple to normal protruding nipple
Duration of the result
Usually permanent
Length of time to perform the procedure
45 minutes
Type of anesthetic most commonly used
Local only, IV sedation
Length of time off of work
3-5 days
Time to get back to exercise
2 weeks light exercise, 4-6 weeks heavy exercise
Pitfalls your Plastic Surgeon should avoid
  • Recurrence of nipple inversion