Inverted Nipple Surgery

Inverted nipple surgery is a simple outpatient procedure that dramatically improves the look of your breasts.

Inverted nipples are a common occurrence. Affected women often feel self-conscious and emotionally uncomfortable in intimate settings. At Cosmetic Surgery Montreal, we understand that attractive, well-positioned, and proportionate nipples are an important goal for any woman looking to achieve a beautiful breast appearance. 

Inverted Nipple Surgery – The Essentials

For many women, their desire for breast enhancement begins with more beautiful nipples.


Woman has her hand concealing an inverted nipple of the breast.

An inverted nipple is a condition in which the nipple is pulled inward into the breast instead of pointing outward. Inverted nipples are also known as “shy” nipples. It is common and estimated to be present in 10-20% of women. Affect women who physically may not be able to breastfeed and often feel emotionally uncomfortable in intimate settings.

Most often, inverted nipples are inherited physical traits occurring in families. Affected women are born with short thickened milk (lactiferous) ducts preventing external nipple projection. 

The severity of nipple inversion varies widely.  In general, treatment is more effective for less severe degrees of nipple inversion. Plastic surgeons often use a 3 stage classification of nipple inversion severity to guide and predict its response to treatment. 

  • Stage I inverted nipple is inverted at rest but everts spontaneously to cold temperature or external stimulation.
  • Stage II inverted nipple is inverted at rest and everts only on manual traction of the nipple.
  • Stage III inverted nipples are always inverted, and never come out.

Nipple inversion may involve one (unilateral) or both (bilateral) breasts. The stage of nipple inversion can be equal (symmetric) or different (asymmetric) when compared across the two breasts.

Treatment & Techniques

Nurse posing in the operating room while surgery is taking place in the background.

Occasionally, inverted nipples can be corrected by nonsurgical means. This is often effective for Stage I nipple inversion. Anything that promotes traction on the nipples may bring them out; nursing a baby is the most natural method. The creation of the vacuum effect by a suckling infant may bring out the inverted nipples. Similarly, a device that creates a suction or negative pressure called a NippletteTM, has been shown to successfully correct inverted nipples in selected cases. Less severe grades of nipple inversion are more successfully managed by this nonsurgical method.

Surgery is usually necessary to correct Stage II & III inverted nipples. The varieties of surgery for inverted nipples are numerous. Historically, incisions have been made on the nipple area or areola, creating flaps of tissue to correct inverted nipples, or the areola has been opened and the nipple inversion corrected with tissue division and internal suturing.

More recently, minimally invasive and virtually scarless procedures for the correction of inverted nipples have been described. The techniques that most reliably fix inverted nipples involve the division of the main milk (lactiferous) ducts.

Before and After photos of inverted nipple surgery

Plastic surgery for inverted nipples is most often performed under local anesthesia. Compression should be avoided for one week.

Inverted nipple surgery most often requires the division of the milk ducts. The inability to breastfeed is the most pressing and ponderous consideration when deciding whether or not to undergo surgery to correct inverted nipples. Although there are rare reports of breastfeeding after inverted nipple corrective surgery, it must be assumed that you will not be able to do so should you choose to undergo inverted nipple surgery that divides the ducts.

The other potential downside of inverted nipple correction is the possibility of recurrence. In this scenario, which may occur in up to 25% of inverted nipple corrections, the solution is most often a very simple revision surgery performed under local anesthesia.

For many women, a simple, comfortable procedure under local anesthesia is an incredibly effective solution to the physical and emotional impact of inverted nipples.

Dr. Chen Lee is a board-certified plastic surgeon. He will perform a complete evaluation to determine if you are a candidate for surgical correction of inverted nipples. 

Financing & Convalescence

A smiling woman confident with her financing.

The initial office consultation for inverted nipple surgery is a wonderful opportunity to establish a healthy patient-surgeon relationship. During the consultation, the plastic surgeon will typically perform a breast exam, recommend a technique specific to your case, and discuss the nipple incision, and the expected outcome following the division of milk ducts. In addition, the risks associated with inverted nipple surgery will be explained and given in writing. For the patient, she should use this initial encounter to judge the professionalism and qualification of the doctor, as well as the quality of the information transmitted. With a comprehensive understanding of your goals, the plastic surgeon will be better able to achieve your objectives and make your aesthetic nipple surgery safe and satisfying.

The price of inverted nipple surgery in Montreal is quoted as a “global fee”. The price quote includes the costs of the surgeon and office visits during the first postoperative year. Revisions and touch-up surgeries are not included in the initial inverted nipple surgery quotation. If general anesthesia is necessary, you will have to pay for the substantial costs associated with a surgical revision. Minor touch-up surgery under local anesthesia can often be performed at minimal expense. The customary price of inverted nipple surgery in Montreal is $1,500 + taxes for a single inverted nipple (and $2,500 + taxes for both inverted nipples).

Surgeries are payable in cash, certified checks (bank drafts), or Interac. We also work with an independent credit company that offers financial payment plans for cosmetic surgery procedures. However, you should be aware that the interest rates and administration fees of this specialized company are higher than traditional financial institutions. It is often better to negotiate a loan through your personal bank or financial institution. We encourage you to do your homework and compare the true financial cost of these various financial options.

Inverted nipple surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. Post-operative care consists of protective dressings to prevent compression of the nipple for 2 weeks. The dressings are easily hidden under loose clothing.

We tailor our aftercare recommendations to every patient’s unique situation. In general, most patients employed in quiet nonphysical work environments do not need to stop work. Return to sports and intense physical activities is usually possible after 3 weeks.

Meet the plastic surgeon, Dr. Chen Lee at Cosmetic Surgery Montreal.

Cosmetic Surgery Montreal

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Breast Procedures

Inverted Nipple Surgery