Can I Still Breastfeed After Inverted Nipple Repair?
While most women are primarily concerned with inadequate correction and/or loss of nipple sensation following inverted nipple repair, the principal concern I see for younger women who have not yet had children is the ability to breastfeed. During the consultation process, I counsel young women seeking inverted nipple repair about the function of the breast and the nipple, specifically the ability for breast milk to travel from the lactiferous glands, through the ducts, and out of the nipple during nursing.
By definition, inverted nipple repair requires dividing tight bands from the underlying breast to the undersurface of the nipple, causing retraction of the nipple surface and creating the inverted appearance. It is not possible to differentiate between bands and ducts within the base of the nipple. In dividing tight bands, some ducts are also cut and may not heal with the same connections, potentially interfering with future breastfeeding.
If a woman is planning on having kids or has the same concerns about losing the ability to nurse her children, I often recommend delaying surgery until after she has had all her children. If a woman cannot accept possible risks of inverted nipple repair, such as the potential for loss of nipple sensation, I recommend she not have surgery at all.
Although the risks are low, informed consent is paramount, and knowledge is power! By having all the information about a procedure such as inverted nipple correction, a woman is empowered to make the best decisions for her own body. As per my practice motto and philosophy, “My goal is to educate, inform and empower women.”
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For more information about any side effects that may be associated with inverted nipple correction, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Horton, please feel free to contact us today.