Inverted Nipple Surgery


  • Length: as short as 20 minutes
  • Anesthesia: local
  • In/Outpatient: outpatient
  • Side Effects: swelling, bruising, temporary loss of nipple sensation or numbness
  • Risks: asymmetry, recurrence of nipple inversion, probable inability to breastfeed, permanent loss of sensation, tissue loss, visible scars
  • Recovery:

    Return to work: 1-2 days
    Light exercise: several days
    Swelling completely resolves: several weeks

As many as one in 10 women have inverted nipples, which can look flat or similar to a slit-like depression or a hole in the normal nipple location. Inverted nipples may be caused by scar tissue that develops after breastfeeding, or it may simply be genetic. Are you embarrassed by the appearance of inverted nipples? Consider having them corrected during a quick procedure with esteemed Montreal plastic surgeon Arie Benchetrit, an experienced plastic surgeon specializing in surgery of the breasts.

The Consultation

During your consultation with Dr. Benchetrit, he will examine your nipples to ascertain the degree of inversion. Inverted nipples are graded on a scale of 1 to 3 – “1” being simple to manually pull out; “2” being not as simple to pull out, with a tendency to invert again; and “3” being severely retracted, inverted and difficult to force out and hold in their new position. After evaluating your nipples, Dr. Benchetrit will ask you questions about your general health, medical history and any medications you take. These questions help him decide whether you are a good candidate for surgery.

The consultation is also a great opportunity for Dr. Benchetrit to explain how he plans to approach your case, and describe what you can expect. He will also go over the possible complications to help you make informed decisions about your care. Dr. Benchetrit will also show you “before and after” photos of previous patients on whom he has performed the same procedure so you can have an idea of what to expect. If you have any questions about the surgery, you are welcome to ask them at this time.

Surgical Techniques

Depending on the degree of inversion, surgery can last as little as 20 minutes. Dr. Benchetrit will make a tiny incision at the inverted nipple-areola junction to lift the nipple and areola tissue and stitch it into its new position.

While it is sometimes possible to preserve the ability to breastfeed, this is improbable in most cases as the milk ducts are often affected by the surgery and the healing process. Also, once repaired, the nipple will no longer flatten as in a normal nipple (i.e., it will always stay everted). The goal of nipple repair is to reshape the nipple and areola so the nipple projects out from the breast, and to preserve sensitivity.

Nipple inversion correction can be combined with another breast procedure such as breast lift or the placement of breast implants. If you would like your breasts lifted or augmented, please discuss this with Dr. Benchetrit during your initial consultation.

Day of Surgery

Inverted nipple surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. This relatively simple 20 – 30 minute procedure is usually performed right in our clinic, under local anesthesia. After the procedure, you will be able to go home. While many patients can leave on their own, it is always better to be accompanied if possible in case of post-surgical anxiety.

Recovering from Surgery

You should have some swelling and bruising after nipple inversion correction, but these side effects are temporary. It’s also possible that your nipples will lose sensation or feel numb for a short period of time. Dr. Benchetrit and our team will provide detailed instructions for surgical aftercare. He will also follow up with you in person several times to ensure your breasts are healing correctly, and to advise when it is safe to return to work, exercise and other activities.

Why Choose Dr. Benchetrit For Your Surgery?

Dr. Benchetrit is an experienced plastic surgeon who has performed over 1500 breast surgeries. He has used all of the different corrective techniques and has obtained a very high degree of satisfaction for his patients. Dr. Benchetrit spends a lot of time in the consultation process explaining the different options and helping the patient select the right procedure for her desired result.

Schedule a Consultation 

Are inverted nipples causing you embarrassment? Have them surgically corrected with Dr. Benchetrit; contact our practice today at 514-695-7450 for more information about the procedure, and to schedule a personal consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions about Inverted Nipples

Q: Why do I have inverted nipples?
A:Most cases of inverted nipples are congenital – some people are just born that way. However, some nipples become inverted after breastfeeding when scar tissue builds in the milk ducts. Nipples that become inverted after birth are usually caused by one of three things: not enough skin at the base of the nipple, constricted milk ducts, or scarring of the milk ducts due to breastfeeding.

Q: What are the benefits of having the nipple repair surgery?
A: Surgical procedures to correct the inverted nipple can be divided into two types: those that leave the milk ducts intact and those that do not. In either case, the objective is to reshape the nipple and areola so that the nipple projects out from the breast, enhancing the appearance of the breast while preserving sensitivity of the nipple. The technique that leaves the milk ducts intact can also help preserve a woman’s ability to breastfeed.

Q: How long will it take me to recover from my nipple repair?
A: Most often, swelling is mild to moderate, peaks two or three days after the procedure, and then disappears rapidly over the following three weeks. Most patients report little or no bruising. Sutures (stitches) are usually removed about four days after surgery. You will probably be able to return to work within the 24 – 48 hours, unless your work involves strenuous activity.

Q: What happens after the surgery?
A: Your nipples will be covered with medicated gauze. Under the gauze will be tiny, stitched incisions. You may feel a little groggy, which is a side effect of surgery and your body’s efforts to heal. Because of the localized nature of the procedure, this grogginess should subside in a day or so. Most likely, you will be allowed to leave the hospital within a few hours after the surgery, but you should have someone else drive you home. You will probably be able to shower the next day.