How Can My Inverted Nipples From My Gynecomastia Surgery Be Fixed?

Q:  Hi, I need your help. Three months ago I had a gynecomastia operation done and now I have a problem. The problem is that my nipples are folded in now and going inside. My skin is also very dry around nipples and my nipples have become cracked. This looks like a serious problem. How can I fix my nipples?

A:  Gynecomastia reduction procedures can be done two fundamental ways; liposuction or open excision (removal) of excess breast tissue. Sometimes the two techniques are done together to get the best result. With the open excision technique, breast tissue is removed through an incision on the underside of the nipple. (technically the areola) Removal of this breast tissue is largely an art form. How much to remove and how to shape what is left behind is more of matter of experience than an exact science.

One of the known complications of open gynecomastia removal is over-resection, removing too much breast tissue. This make look alright in the very beginning (or not) but as the swelling subsides and scarring sets in, the nipple gets pulled into the over-resected space where breast tissue once was. This is called nipple inversion or a retracted nipple. It most commonly appears underneath the nipple since this is closest to the incision but it can appear outside the diameter of the areola if the over-resection goes beyond just that area.

Correction of the inverted nipple after gynecomastia reduction requires replacement of the missing tissue to support the projection of the nipple. This is best done by a fat graft or a dermal-fat graft using the patient’s own tissues. This requires a donor site and a scar elsewhere on the body to do it.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana