RECOMMENDED ARTICLES ABOUT PLASTIC SURGERY

 
 

INVERTED NIPPLES

INVERSOTELIA

 
 

HUGO CORTES, M.D.

Plastic Surgeon

BOARD CERTIFIED MEMBER OF THE COLOMBIAN SOCIETY OF PLASTIC SURGERY

     
   
     

_____________________________________________________________________________

     
 

Approximately, 7% to 10% of women have an Inversotelia  (Inverted nipples).

Flat nipples do not stand out in relation to the areola (darker skin surrounding the nipple), and do not move forward when stimulated. Inverted nipples may look normal, somewhat retracted or very retracted, but do move backward ( looking like a navel), when stimulated. 

Medical Treatment 

Nipples do not play a direct role in the suction mechanism; their function only consists on stimulating the search reflexes of babies, when grubbing the cheeks.

Therefore, their shape should not be important. But babies’ abilities to properly suck is determined by the easiness of suction of tissue around the nipple

Traditional techniques, like Hoffman’s consist on stimulating nipples by rotating movements of the fingers, trying to stretch nipples (outwards) for a few seconds.

This technique is prescribed twice a day, and more frequently afterwards. Medical literature is plenty of warnings about the risk of stimulating nipples: The amounts of Oxitocine being produced this way produce a threat of a premature childbirth in pregnant women. Besides, these exercises can cause damage to the areola. A mastitis during pregnancy may also occur. 

Many mothers decided not to do a normal lactation, because they were convinced of the impossibility of maternal lactation without doing a long program of exercises previously. Protective rings, designed in many different styles, which stimulate and make suction easier, and prevent skin maceration, too, did not mean a real difference. A study published in Brit Med, 1990, among women with flat or Inverted nipples, showed that rates of success were practically the same for women who used these tools and women who did not do anything. There was, however an important finding: More women using the devices did not really start lactation, or decided to quit, ending lactation before six weeks, than women who did not do anything. Complaints included general discomfort, excess sweat, skin irritation, milk dropping or a very noticeable look. 

Another study, published in 1994 in the U.K. (Midwefery Magazine) indicated that exercise programs like Hoffman’s or special devices like protective rings were really useless. 

Surgical Treatment:

Inverted nipples must be treated before pregnancy so that there is enough time to cicatrisation. There are several procedures to break the bridles that cause the inversion, without altering their function, and placing the nipple in its new position.

Choice of procedure depends on each particular case, and results are generally good.

 
       
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