Are Inverted Nipples Normal?
People and their parts come in all shapes and sizes—we all know that. But that doesn’t stop us from asking ourselves “am I normal?” when some aspect of our appearance varies from what we see on others or what’s portrayed as “normal” in media. This is especially true when it comes to parts of the body that are typically hidden from public view.
As a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in breast enhancement, a common question I am asked by patients is “are my nipples normal?” Many patients have nipples that appear to be flat or inverted, retreating into the breast rather than protruding outward, as we see in the “typical” breast.
Before we get too far, I’ll go ahead and tell you that if your nipples are inverted, this is quite normal. It’s also usually not medically necessary to correct inverted nipples—however, many patients choose to correct them to match personal preferences or for aesthetic reasons.
What are inverted nipples?
Inverted nipples are pretty much what they sound like—the nipples appear to go inward into the areola skin rather than protrude outward. Typically a genetic trait, inverted nipples are thought to be caused by excess or unusually tight tissue just beneath the nipple, which pulls the nipple inward. In mild cases, the nipple may just appear flat when not erect, while more severely inverted nipples will appear to have a hole or slit where the nipple usually sticks out, much like an “innie” belly button. In some cases, inverted nipples will release outward with stimulation, cold temperatures, or manually pinching the area on either side of the nipple. In other cases, the nipples stay inverted no matter what.
Any and all of these situations are perfectly normal, and if you’ve had inverted nipples as long as you can remember, there is no need to worry for your health. However, if you normally have outwardly protruding (everted) nipples and have noticed a sudden inversion, see your doctor. New, unexplained changes to your breast shape or appearance should be evaluated to rule out breast cancer or other concerns.
Can I fix inverted nipples?
Just because inverted nipples are normal doesn’t mean you should feel “stuck” with them if their appearance bothers you. A simple inverted nipple repair surgery is actually quite straightforward, and often can be done as an in-office procedure using local anesthesia. Your surgeon will make a tiny incision, hidden at the edge of the nipple, and release the tissue beneath to help the nipple move outward.
Inverted nipple repair can also be done quite easily during breast augmentation, breast lift, or other cosmetic breast procedures. We will usually perform the above surgery after placing breast implants and/or reshaping the breast tissue, also reducing the areola if desired.
Breastfeeding after inverted nipple repair: what you need to know
There is a slight risk that milk ducts may be affected by any breast surgery; this risk increases when correcting severely inverted nipples. That said, severely inverted nipples in and of themselves can make it difficult or impossible to breastfeed. An experienced cosmetic surgeon can help you carefully weigh your options and decide whether or not to wait on surgery.
Learn more about Las Vegas inverted nipple repair
I hope this post has eased some of your concerns and answered a few questions about what’s normal and what’s not with inverted nipples. If you are interested in inverted nipple repair in Las Vegas, I invite you to contact my office to schedule a personal consultation. I offer several options for corrective nipple surgery and will be happy to explain the steps, recovery, and results you can expect.