This problem is developmental (develops during breast development) and doesn’t have associated symptoms. Newly developed nipple inversion or symptoms such as nipple discharge are important symptoms that require investigation to exclude a more sinister problem.
Developmental nipple inversion is due to short ducts in the breast that attach to the nipple pulling the nipple in to the breast. This will be corrected for many women when the nipple hardens and exerts enough counter tension to correct the problem. These women don’t usually require treatment.
Developmental nipple inversion is not dangerous and doesn’t require treatment. Newly developed nipple inversion or changing symptoms such as nipple discharge or a lump are important symptoms that require investigation to exclude a more sinister problem.
Often developmental nipple inversion spontaneously corrects after pregnancy and lactation as the breast tissues stretch relieving the tension that is pulling the nipple into the breast. This will frequently prevent the need for treatment.
Other women are considered for treatment.
Some women with milder problems consider nipple piercing to correct the problem by using the weight of the jewelry to combat the tension created by the short ducts.
There are several different operations that can be considered. For all surgical options an incomplete correction or recurrence is possible however with more complex types involving the division of the ducts and flaps to support the nipple have greatest success. Unfortunately this type of procedure interferes with breast feeding and is not usually undertaken before completing a family.
Management of inverted nipples is an individualised process. Dr Magnusson will discuss the options and contrast the procedures, likelihood of success, levels of interference and the effect on breast function.
The treatment of inverted nipples attracts a benefit from Medicare and health funds. You will need a referral for treatment to obtain this benefit.