Roughly 10-20% of individuals live with inverted nipples, also referred to as retracted nipples.1 Both men and women experience this condition, which can lead to self-consciousness and discomfort. While inverted nipples typically don’t pose health risks, they can affect breastfeeding and impact confidence in intimate or public settings. Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Samuel Sohn, understands his patients’ concerns in Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg, Florida, and offers advanced techniques for correction. If inverted nipples bother you, our team is here to help.

Understanding Inverted Nipples

An inverted nipple is characterized by its flat appearance, either flush with the surrounding skin or set deeper into the areola, rather than protruding outward. While some inversions are occasional and reversible with stimulation, others remain persistently inverted, causing potential issues with breastfeeding and affecting self-esteem.

Grading Inverted Nipples

Inverted nipples are classified into three grades based on severity and potential impact on breastfeeding:2

  • Grade 1:

    The nipple can be extracted with stimulation to the surrounding breast tissue.

  • Grade 2:

    Nipple extraction is more difficult but difficult to maintain, and typically the nipple returns to its inverted position.

  • Grade 3:

    The nipple is difficult or impossible to pull forward.

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What Causes Inverted Nipples?

Most cases of inverted nipples are congenital and present from birth due to some degree of fibrotic (thick) tissue under the nipple. However, factors such as trauma, scarring, infections, or gynecomastia in men can also contribute. Pregnancy can cause temporary inversion in some women, but this typically resolves postpartum. In rare cases, breast cancer may also lead to nipple inversion.

woman being treated for nipple surgeryTreatment Options For Inverted Nipples

Non-surgical methods like suction devices or breast pumps may be ineffective for severe inversions. Inverted nipple repair involves separating the fibrotic bands from the nipple and milk ducts to facilitate protrusion. This procedure, while effective, may impact breastfeeding ability and requires careful consideration, especially for women planning future pregnancies.3

woman with corrected inverted nipples

How Is Breast Surgery to Treat Inverted Nipples Performed?

Inverted nipple correction is a plastic surgery procedure, performed under local anesthesia or general anesthesia, and entails making a small incisions at the nipple base to release constricted tissue. The nipple is then repositioned and secured with sutures. Recovery typically spans one to two weeks, with full results visible as incisions heal over several months.

Why Choose Samuel Sohn for Inverted Nipple Correction?

dr sohn

Samuel Sohn, MD

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Samuel M. Sohn has extensive experience and training in plastic surgery. His personalized approach to Inverted Nipple Correction procedures is designed to meet your unique cosmetic goals.

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FAQs About Inverted Nipple Treatment

A good candidate for correction of inverted nipples through cosmetic surgery is someone bothered by persistent nipple inversion, and seeking to enhance the appearance of their breasts. Individuals experiencing self-consciousness, difficulty breastfeeding, or dissatisfaction with the aesthetic appearance of inverted nipples are generally suitable candidates. During a consultation, Dr. Sohn will assess the severity of inversion, your overall health, as well as your cosmetic goals to determine your candidacy for the procedure.

Results are generally long-lasting, though rare instances of reversion may occur.

It is common to experience some discomfort and swelling post-surgery, however, these side effects are temporary and are manageable with pain medication.

Expect a one to two-week recovery period, with complete healing over subsequent months. You’ll receive detailed post-op instructions from Dr. Sohn on how to promote optimal healing. 

While rare, inverted nipple repair does have risks as with any surgical procedure. These include bleeding, infection, scarring, and changes in nipple sensitivity.4

Surgical correction may impact breastfeeding; it’s important to discuss your options with Dr. Sohn during consultation.

Combining inverted nipple treatment with other cosmetic breast procedures like breast augmentation, breast lift, or breast reduction is possible and offers comprehensive results. Whether you desire enhanced breast size, improved breast shape, and symmetry, or relief from the discomfort associated with large breasts, integrating inverted nipple correction with additional procedures addresses various aesthetic concerns in a single surgical session. During your consultation, Dr. Sohn will assess your unique anatomy and aesthetic goals to create a personalized treatment plan that achieves your desired outcomes.

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Schedule Your Consultation

Ready to explore inverted nipple treatment options? Contact us today for a private consultation. Whether you’re considering inverted nipple correction or other breast surgeries like augmentation, lift, or reduction, our team is here to guide patients in Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg, FL toward an optimal treatment plan for inverted nipples designed to achieve their cosmetic goals.

1ASPS. What you need to know about breast augmentation revision. Available: Accessed March 13, 2023.
2ASPS. What are the risks of breast implant revision? Accessed March 13, 2023.
3ASPS. Will your breast implants last a lifetime? Available: Accessed March 13, 2023.

4StatPearls. Inverted Nipple. Available: Accessed April 4, 2024.

5Cleveland Clinic. Breastfeeding After Breast or Nipple Surgery. Available:  Accessed April 4, 2024.

Dr. Samuel Sohn has reviewed and approved this content.

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