Inverted/protruding nipples

Plastic surgery can help reduce the height and width of a nipple or it can help evert nipples that are flat or sunken in.

Inverted nipples

Many women and men are born with inverted nipples and become self-conscious of this normal nipple variation. Of greater concern, is a previously projecting nipple that begins to invert over time, as this can be a sign of underlying breast cancer. Inverted nipples can cause embarrassment and also difficult with breast feeding.

There are various degrees of severity of nipple inversion, with each of these degrees requiring different surgical or non-surgical treatment. Dr Sanki and Dr Kotronakis have experience with each of these options and will determine which procedure will yield the best result for you.

In general, surgical correction of nipple inversion is a relatively simple and successful operation that can be performed as a day procedure. The operation will result in small scars on the areola that should fade into faint lines with time. You can watch Dr Sanki explain the causes and treatment options for inverted nipples on this excerpt from Embarrassing Bodies Down Under.

Private health insurance can be used in surgery for inverted nipple. This can cover all of your hospital and theatre fees.

Protruding nipples

Nipples that are overly large compared to the size of your breast can be problematic as they project through your underwear and clothing. This condition can affect women or men. Reshaping your nipple to match the size of your breast mound is a satisfying and relatively simple operation that our Sydney plastic surgeons, Dr Sanki and Dr Kotronakis can perform as day surgery. A padded dressing is worn over the reshaped nipple(s) for 7-14 days, and in most repairs, dissolving stitches are used. The scars that result fade into faint lines with time.

What to expect at your first consultation

The 30 minute consultation will address your concerns about the appearance of your nipples, and your goals for treatment. The consultation will be performed with sensitivity to your opinions and thoughtfulness to your concerns. It is important to determine if you have any medical conditions that could interfere with safe nipple surgery. Your surgeon will perform a general breast examination and check your family breast history.

We will then discuss the best course of action to address your concerns. Written information will be provided to you, so that you can consider your options. If nipple surgery is appropriate the benefits and risks of surgery will be discussed in detail. You should consider nipple inversion or reduction surgery carefully, and you will have the opportunity to see your surgeon in another consultation should new questions arise after your first visit.

What the procedure involves

Dr Sanki and Dr Kotronakis perform nipple corrective surgery in licensed hospital facilities to ensure that you are safe and comfortable during your surgery and recovery. It is possible to have corrective nipple surgery on either or both breasts. The goal is to achieve near symmetrical nipples. The incisions to reduce the size of the nipple are placed and concealed within the natural grooves of the nipple. Vertical and horizontal wedges of nipple tissue are removed so that the nipple size is reduced in all three of its dimensions. For nipple inversion surgery, Dr Sanki and Dr Kotronakis make small incisions in the areola so that they can tunnel beneath the nipple to release its tethering milk ducts. Sometimes flaps of skin or stitches are also used to help tighten the neck of the nipple so that it cannot fall back into the breast. In both inverted nipple or nipple reduction surgery, the wounds are closed with dissolving stitches.

After the surgery

You will wake from surgery feeling quite comfortable as the nipples will be numbed by local anaesthetic for up to 8 hours. An icepack is kept on your breasts in the recovery room to reduce bruising. A waterproof dressing is used so that you can shower the next day.

Can I have a breast augmentation, breast lift or reduction at the same time?

Many women chose to combine procedures on their breasts in order to minimise their downtime and also maximise their aesthetic result. It is usually possible and safe to perform nipple surgery at the same time as another breast operation.

How long will I stay in hospital after corrective nipple operation?

The surgery is performed as a day surgery procedure if only the nipples are attended to, or often as an overnight stay if done at the same time as a breast lift or reduction.

Is a nipple reduction or inverted nipple repair a painful operation?

Surprisingly, most or Dr Sanki and Dr Kotronakis’ patients describe corrective nipple surgery as not painful.  Most patients describe the sensation as numb, bruised or swollen. These feelings pass over the first one to three weeks after surgery

How long before I can drive after nipple corrective surgery?

Our Sydney patients are able to drive approximately one day after nipple surgery. It is important to be off strong pain relief and to be able to safely check your blind spots before driving a car.

How long will it be before I can return to work and exercise after nipple corrective surgery?

Most people having nipple surgery can return to work after a few days and can gently exercise after one week. You can perform stronger exercises eg heavy lifting, pilates after 4 weeks.

Which hospitals do Dr Sanki and Dr Kotronakis operate in?

Dr Sanki and Dr Kotronakis are Kogarah and Shire cosmetic breast surgery specialists, and perform surgery at major hospital facilities including St George, Hurstville, Bondi Junction and St Luke’s private hospitals. They select their hospitals based on their high standards of peri-operative care and their outstanding surgical equipment.

Is it possible to have an all female surgical team?

Dr Sanki has an all female surgical team available weekly. Surgery can be a vulnerable time for women, and having the security of an all female plastic surgery team can be comforting and reassuring. Dr Sanki’s team are not picked upon their gender, but are picked for their experience, dedication and skill.

Can private health insurance be used?

Nipple reduction is considered a cosmetic (elective) procedures and is not covered by Medicare or private health insurance. Nipple inversion surgery is covered by Medicare and private health insurance. You can call your health fund to see if your policy includes item number 31563.

Who should perform nipple corrective operations?

A nipple reduction or inverted nipple repair may sound simple but they are real surgery, and should be performed with sophisticated surgical technique for the safest and best results. These procedures carry real risks, and as such should be considered carefully. Fortunately, nipple surgery in Sydney is safely performed by our highly experienced surgeons, Dr Kotronakis and Dr Sanki.

We recommend that you carefully consider your choice of surgeon. Unfortunately doctors without surgical qualifications beyond their medical degree are allowed to perform surgery. Your plastic surgeon should be appropriately qualified with at least a Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Plastic surgery (FRACS plast), which means that they have specialist plastic surgical training. FRACS is the standard qualification required in Australia to perform surgery in private and public hospitals.

Members of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons have a FRACS and specialised training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, including breast surgery.

Our Sydney nipple correction surgeons, Dr Amira Sanki and Dr Ilias Kotronakis are fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeons. They are Australian University trained, and received honours from their medical schools. They are members of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons and Dr Sanki holds the Chair for Education for the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. They have extensive experience and training in eyelid surgery, including the most advanced and up to date techniques. They are committed to giving their patients the safest and best treatment available.

Where to get more information

A consultation with a qualified Plastic Surgeon is the best place to get the right advice. More information on breast surgery is available online at the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons and Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons websites.

Plastic surgery, like any other surgical procedure, carries certain risks and potential complications. It is important for individuals considering plastic surgery to be aware of these risks before making a decision. Your plastic surgeon will explain the specific risks of your procedure and your risk profile in the context of your general health and the complexity of your procedure. Here are some of the common risks associated with plastic surgery:

1. Infection: Any surgical procedure has the risk of infection. Surgeons take precautions to minimise this risk, such as sterile operating environments and proper wound care, but infections can still occur.

2. Scarring: Scarring is an inherent risk of plastic surgery. While surgeons strive to minimise visible scarring, some procedures may result in more noticeable or keloid scars.

3. Pain and discomfort: Plastic surgery involves incisions and tissue manipulation, which can lead to post-operative pain and discomfort. The level of pain varies depending on the procedure and the individual’s pain tolerance.

4. Hematoma and seroma: Hematomas are collections of blood that can form under the skin after surgery, while seromas are collections of fluid. These fluid collections may require drainage.

5. Nerve damage: Nerves can be damaged during surgery, leading to temporary or permanent numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in the affected area. Nerve damage can also cause muscle weakness or paralysis.

6. Blood clots: Surgical procedures carry a risk of blood clot formation, particularly in the legs. Blood clots can be serious if they travel to other parts of the body, causing complications like pulmonary embolism.

7. Anesthesia risks: Plastic surgery usually requires the use of anesthesia, which carries its own set of risks. These include adverse reactions to anesthesia, breathing difficulties, and, in rare cases, life-threatening complications.

8. Unsatisfactory results: Plastic surgery outcomes may not meet the patient’s expectations or desires. It’s important for individuals to have realistic expectations and to communicate clearly with their surgeon about their goals and desired outcomes.

9. Revision surgery: In some cases, additional surgery may be required to achieve the desired results or to correct any complications or unsatisfactory outcomes. This can increase the financial and emotional burden on the patient.

10. Psychological and emotional effects: Plastic surgery can have psychological and emotional impacts, both positive and negative. While many people experience improved self-esteem and body image after surgery, others may struggle with unrealistic expectations, body dysmorphia, or dissatisfaction with the results.

11. Inability to breast feed is a potential complication.

It’s crucial for individuals considering plastic surgery to consult with a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon who can thoroughly explain the risks and benefits specific to their desired procedure. Understanding and carefully weighing these risks against the potential benefits can help individuals make informed decisions about whether to proceed with plastic surgery.