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Breastfeeding After Inverted Nipple Surgery

“Nipple surgery” is an umbrella term for a wide spectrum of treatments. Nipple lifts involve creating small flaps around the actual nipple, which will push them up and out, and asymmetrical nipples can be evened out. The areola (the pigmented part around the nipple area) can be tattooed if you are not happy with the colour of your nipple.

The most common procedure when it comes to nipple repair surgery is the correction of inverted nipples. They can cause functional problems for women and can affect self-esteem.

Anybody can get inverted nipples. In fact, approximately 10% of the population has them in some shape or form! There is a hereditary aspect to the condition, so we do find that the issue can run in families. Luckily, they can be quickly and easily corrected under local anesthetic.

There are three grades used to measure the severity of inverted nipples:

Grade One – These nipples are occasionally inverted but will spontaneously become erect. Nipple repair surgery is not required.

Grade Two – Nipples will not become erect spontaneously but may be manually pulled out. Surgery can benefit patients.

Grade Three – This is the most severe category. The nipples cannot be manually pulled out and therefore surgery is the only option available to patients who want to have them corrected.

So can you breastfeed with inverted nipples, and can you breastfeed after having inverted nipple surgery?

This is something we are commonly asked here at Refine Clinic.

With Grade 1 and 2 inverted nipples you may be able to breastfeed. However, with Grade 3 nipples it will be highly unlikely you will be able to breastfeed.

As for breastfeeding after surgery, it will depend on the technique used. For this reason, it is very important that you find out from your nipple repair surgeon exactly what technique is going to be used and whether this will affect your milk ducts.

There are two common techniques used for nipple repair surgery; a stretching technique and a dividing technique. With the stretching technique, your milk ducts will still be in tact so you will most likely be able to breastfeed.

For women with Grade 3 nipples, most surgeons will use the dividing technique. This means the ducts are divided and you won’t be able to breastfeed.

Inverted nipple surgery can reduce the amount of milk a mother can make, but it’s important for you to know that there are many ways in which you can increase your milk production.

Many mothers can successfully breastfeed without a full milk supply. There are ways to increase milk production by using a mixture of techniques such as pumping, breast compression and galactogogues. There are products available on the market to supplement your natural milk supply.

If you want to speak to someone about this procedure, contact Refine Clinic and make an appointment for a free consultation. Call us on 1300 116 492 if you need any more information. 

By Manuela Matt

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