How Is An Inverted Nipple Repair Done?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in inverted nipple repair. However I don’t know anything about the procedure and how it is done. Can you help me with that information.

A: I believe you are inquiring about correction of inverted nipples. They are several types of inverted nipples based on the degree of fibrosis/tethering that is causing the inversion. The degree/type of nipple inversion cabe be determined by several factors including its presence since breast development or only developing after pregnancies/breast feeling and whether the nipple can be temporarily everted by gently squeezing it between one’s fingers or not. While all inverted nipple repairs are done by making an incision at the base of the nipple and the tether released, those inverted nipples with the greatest degree of firm inversion may require a small graft, usually fat, to fill the space that is caused by the nipple moving outward. Suturing the space beneath the nipple to hold it outward is a common technique but I have found that to be unreliable long-term at preventing relapse and recurrent nipple inversion. Thus the use of a fat or dermal graft can be very beneficial. In many cases an inverted nipple repair can be done under local anesthesia or conscious sedation.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana