More and more women suffer from having inverted nipples breast. Most of them are born this way and the rest just feel the effects of breastfeeding for the first time in their lives. None of them should worry. Not only that inverted nipples present no health risk, but they are perfectly repairable. This article will explain what exactly are inverted nipples, how can they be corrected and how does that influence future breastfeeding.
What are the inverted nipples?
Inverted nipples are those nipples that are retracted into the breast. There are three different grades of inversion, depending on their severity: the 1st grade which allows the woman to protract the nipple with a soft pressure applied on the areola; this kind of retraction has minimal fibrosis and no soft-tissue deficiency. The 2nd grade is little more complicated, as the nipple is not that easy to draw out as in the first case and tend to come back to its initial position. The majority of inverted nipples are part of this category. In the last grade, the nipples are seriously retracted and it’s almost impossible to pull them out manually. There is a large quantity of fibrosis and the lactiferous ducts are very short and retracted. The good news is that all the three grades are repairable, by different techniques.
What does the inverted nipple correction consist of?
There are several methods by which women can repair their inverted nipples. Trying breast pumps or shields could be a solution, even if the last one is not so recommended anymore after some studies have shown that it might affect breastfeeding. The breast pump puts some pressure on the areola zone and eventually breaks the connective tissues that hold the nipple retracted to release it forever.
Another type of inverted nipple correction is plastic surgery. Inverted nipple surgery mainly consists of the extraction of the nipples and their recovery. The patient is the one who chooses between local or general anesthesia and, along with the doctor, between the various surgical techniques existing at the moment.
How does inverted nipple surgery work?
There are three main procedures, according to each grade of inversion. For the first one is not necessary an incision or a true operation; the doctor uses a pure-string suture technique. The nipple is manually drawn out and a nylon string is placed around its neck and hidden under the skin.
The 2nd grade requires a similar intervention only that this time the connective tissues are released and the lactiferous ducts are preserved. The fibrosis is also released a little, in order to enable the normal position of the nipple.
The most severe grade requires a complicated surgery that completely releases the fibrosis and often cuts the milk ducts. If generally speaking, breastfeeding with inverted nipples is hard, but not impossible, after an intervention similar to this one, it definitely becomes impracticable.
Are there any risks?
The most common risks are the infections, the re-inversion, some bleedings or tissue damage. However, before deciding what to do, women should ask their doctor advice and find out if breastfeeding with inverted nipples breast is possible or not.