The most prevalent reason for nipple correction surgery is inverted nipples. This is a relatively common issue, usually present at birth, that occurs when the milk ducts retract or remain shortened during breast growth, pulling the nipple inwards. Nipple inversion can also be caused by a number of non-congenital factors including physical trauma, disease, and breastfeeding and can cause functional problems such as irritation, rash and discomfort.
The aim of nipple correction surgery (also known as nipple reshaping surgery) is to increase the projection of one or both nipples. Depending on the severity of the inversion, the procedure may require transection of milk ducts, which could potentially preclude future breastfeeding.
Other people feel conscious of having larger or asymmetrical nipples and/or areolas. Nipple correction surgery can reshape the size of the nipples and areolas to reduce their size and make them look more symmetrical.
At Avery, we welcome the opportunity to have an open conversation with you to understand the changes you are looking for with surgery. Our patients’ stories matter a great deal to us. You can discover some of our wonderful patient journeys here.
Wherever you are on your personal journey, we would like to assist you. Dr Avery will listen to your concerns and what you want to achieve with surgery. Dr Avery will assess your health and medical history to ensure any surgical procedure you are considering is a safe and appropriate choice for you.
There are many different surgical techniques used to correct inverted nipples, with varying degrees of success. Dr Avery uses a technique which involves making a small incision around the base of the nipple and releasing the tension on the milk ducts, which allows the nipple to sit more naturally.
Depending on the severity of the original condition of the nipples, nipple correction surgery generally takes between 30 minutes to an hour and it is performed under a local or general anaesthetic.
Nipple correction surgery alone can be performed as a day surgery procedure, it may also be combined with other surgical procedures.
There are two main pathways to a consultation with a Specialist Plastic Surgeon. Your GP or another health practitioner can make a referral to Dr Avery. Alternatively, it is possible to refer yourself for a consultation. This decision may be made after talking with family or friends or following your own research into plastic surgery and Dr Avery.
The purpose of your initial consultation with Dr Avery is to discuss both your concerns and your goals. It is an opportunity to openly communicate what you want to change, alleviate, improve, restore, enhance, or remove. We will discuss any concerns you may have about your potential surgery and its outcome. We will also collect information that is specific and tailored to you, to add to the knowledge you acquired through your research outside of the consultation process.
When you arrive at Avery, you will check in with our front-desk team and complete a medical history form, if not already completed. We encourage you to bring a supportive family member or friend who can remain with you throughout the consultation if you like, and be a sounding board during your decision-making process following the consultation.
The consultation with Dr Avery will include an examination of the area of your body that you are concerned with and considering changing. Our aim will be to determine if plastic surgery can achieve what you hope it will, and if so, what specific plastic surgery procedures will address your concerns and meet your expectations in a realistic way.
Plastic surgery procedures generally impact both physical appearance and your psychological response to the new changes in your body. Besides all the advantages of having plastic surgery, it is important to be fully aware of any potential limitations of the operation and how they apply to your unique situation. This includes possible complications and what can be done if these occur.
We will discuss what the surgery involves, how it relates to you specifically given your uniqueness and current state of health, what the possible risks of the surgery are, and then decide if having the surgery is a safe and appropriate choice for you as an individual.
After your consultation, our support team will be there to talk through any further questions you have, including the cost of the surgery.
At Avery, our goal is to ensure you are equipped with the knowledge needed for you to feel empowered throughout the decision-making process, surgery and post-surgery.
Nipple correction surgery is usually performed as a day surgery procedure. A specialised dressing will be in place to avoid excess pressure on the nipple following surgery and it is recommended to limit physical activity while you are recovering.
There may be some bruising, swelling and discomfort, which generally subsides within a few weeks after the operation. Avoiding excessive pressure on the nipple is required for 6 weeks following surgery.
A customised pain relief program will be created for you and issued before you leave the hospital. If circumstances change at any stage during the recovery period, pain medication can be adjusted accordingly.
A dressing or wound ointment will be applied to the wound in the first few weeks following surgery. Generally, scars following surgery to the nipple and areola will heal in a satisfactory manner and will be minimally visible.
The financial aspects of your surgery are as important as the medical elements when planning for surgery. At Avery, the surgeries we offer fall into three different financial categories: Self-funded – aesthetic surgery; self-funded – plastic and reconstructive surgery; and health insured – plastic and reconstructive surgery.
To make sense of these three financial categories, we have created a detailed price guide to help you understand what may or may not be covered by your health insurer/Medicare and your out of pocket expenses.
For more information or to book a consultation, please contact our team on 02 4002 4150.
Nipple Correction Surgery FAQs
The nipple is pulled into the breast instead of pointing outward. Some nipples can be pulled out but fall back into the breast. For some, it may not be possible to pull the nipple out at all.
Inverted nipples can be a congenital condition with no particular reason or cause identified, or it may arise as a result of disease or trauma. Most often the inversion will occur with no obvious cause and at any stage. Whatever the cause, an attempt can usually be made to correct nipple inversion.
An incision is made at the base of the nipple and the breast ducts that are often responsible for pulling the nipple in towards the breast. Dr Avery then lifts the nipple and areola from the breast, stretching them and then suturing the nipples into their new position. The procedure is typically completed as a day stay procedure and takes less than one hour.
Recovery usually involves only mild discomfort and 1-2 days before returning to work. Strenuous exercise should be avoided for 2-3 weeks.
There may be some swelling and discomfort following surgery. The incision areas will be protected with dressings and a foam pad will be used inside a bra to prevent excessive pressure on the nipple during the recovery period. It is usually best to avoid exercise or activity that causes perspiration for one to two weeks to reduce the risk of wound healing problems.
As with any surgery, there are a number of possible issues following surgery to the nipple. Pain and infection are possible early complications. Other potential complications in the long-term include re-inversion of the nipple, which may need to be corrected. It is also possible that sensation in the nipple is different following surgery.
As with all surgical procedures the scarring will depend on skin type. For most people the scar at the base of the nipple on the areola is well-concealed.
Pain following surgery will vary depending on the extent of surgery. Pain immediately after surgery may be reduced by the use of local anaesthetic at the surgical site given during the surgery. The pain will also be managed with tablets or injections as required. Physical measures such as the dressings and supportive garments as well as limited movement and possibly ice packs will all help minimise any pain. Pain is usually well tolerated within a few days after surgery with all these measures. If your pain is increasing following surgery this is usually a sign that you may need a review to ensure your recovery is proceeding as expected.
Dressings and supportive garments will offer support to the wounds and the areas of your body that are still recovering. You will be also be advised to restrict excessive movement of the surgical area in the first two weeks after surgery. A good general rule throughout your recovery is if an increase in movement or activity does not increase any discomfort or swelling, then it is probably safe and this gradual progression back to ‘normal’ will be encouraged.
Please allow an hour for your time with Avery. This will include meeting with Dr Avery and the Avery care team.
Dr Avery operates at the accredited Lingard Private Hospital. This is to ensure your operation takes place in an environment governed by the guiding principle of safety to ensure your surgical experience is the best it can be.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. Dr Avery is a member of the two leading professional associations for plastic surgeons in Australia, ASAPS and ASPS. Their websites provide additional information regarding plastic surgery in Australia that you might find useful, please visit ASAPS and ASPS.