A Breast Procedure You’ve Never Heard of Before Is Surprisingly Common
Breast augmentation has been a super popular surgery since implants were first introduced to the world more than 50 years ago. But, times have changed, and plastic surgeons aren’t just receiving the same old requests from patients to increase or decrease their chest size. Other types of breast surgeries are on the map now—nipple reduction surgery is trending this year—and now we’re hearing about another procedure in demand: inverted nipple correction.
As reported on by DailyMail, a plastic surgery practice in the UK has experienced a huge spike in requests for the procedure (the number of requests doubled in June and have steadily increased since), which they think could somewhat be attributed to current fashion trends, especially the rise in celebrities wearing sheer tops with no bra underneath.
Dr. Adrian Richards, medical director and consultant plastic surgeon at The Private Clinic, says inverted nipples (they retract instead of pointing outward) can occur for a number of reasons. “The breast ducts could be too short or there could be some tightening of the duct’s tissue, which can be triggered by an imbalance in traction between the tissue and the smooth muscle, which keeps nipples erect. In other cases, it could be as simple as there being too much connective tissue in the nipple.”
Studies have shown that millions of women have inverted nipples (Dr. Richards says it affects nearly one in 10 women), and aside from aesthetic concerns, Newport Beach, CA, plastic surgeon Sanjay Grover, MD, tells us they can also hinder breastfeeding, which can be a major issue for new mothers. (Note: Whether you’re undergoing the procedure for breastfeeding or cosmetic reasons, the surgery is generally the same.)
“Women seeking surgery to correct inverted nipples is not uncommon,” says Dr. Grover. “There are both cosmetic concerns and functional concerns, as inverted nipples can make breastfeeding prohibitive. Multiple surgical techniques exist to release the restrictive milk ducts with either one or two small incisions, or even incision-less techniques, and the procedure is performed in 30–60 minutes under local anesthesia. Depending on the degree of contraction, the ability to nurse following this procedure varies. Patients with less restriction have a much better chance to be able to nurse.”