Inverted Nipple Repair





Plastic surgery of the breast constitutes millions of surgical procedures around the world every year. While this includes popular procedures such as breast augmentation, breast lifts, and breast reduction, some smaller breast surgeries also see a significant number of patients every year. One of these procedures is inverted nipple repair. Dr. Craig Jonov at The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery provides the best inverted nipple repair Bellevue and Kirkland can offer.


Inverted nipples, sometimes called retracted nipples, are nipples that point inward or lie flat. It can occur in both men and women, though may cause more issue or cause for concern in women. Generally, the condition is not dangerous or painful. However, it is sometimes associated with breast cancer or infections. If you’ve had inverted nipples all your life, this is likely not the case.

Causes Of Inverted Nipples

There are many medical conditions and circumstances that can cause inverted nipples. Most inverted nipples–in both men and women–have no concerning underlying cause. They can occur later in life though, which may warrant visiting a doctor. Some of the causes of inverted nipples are:

  • Genetics/Congenital (born with inverted nipples)
  • Aging
  • Mastitis
  • Breastfeeding
  • Recent Breast Surgery
  • Duct Ectasia
  • Infections (most frequently caused by nipple piercings, diabetes, or smoking)
  • Paget’s Disease
  • Breast cancer

Roughly 10% of the entire world’s population has inverted nipples. Therefore, they are common and normally something that a person is born with. This makes genetics the largest cause of inverted nipples.

Before & After Inverted Nipple Surgery

A Before Photo of a Breast Augmentation Plastic Surgery by Dr. Craig Jonov in Bellevue, Kirkland, and Lynnwood


An After Photo of a Breast Augmentation Plastic Surgery by Dr. Craig Jonov in Bellevue, Kirkland, and Lynnwood


Grades Of Inversion

Inverted nipples come in different scales of severity called grades. This is largely in reference to whether the nipple can emerge and the possibility of breastfeeding. The grade also tends to correlate to the recommended treatment option. The grades of nipple inversion are as follows:

  • Grade I: Nipple can be pulled out and may respond to cold or stimulation. Breastfeeding is usually not hindered. This may also include nipples that only become inverted in certain situations or environments. Treatment often not necessary.
  • Grade II: Nipple can be pulled out, but will quickly return to an inverted position. Likely will not respond to stimulation. Breastfeeding possibly difficult. Treatment is sometimes recommended.
  • Grade III: May be difficult or not possible to pull the nipple out. Breastfeeding is likely hindered or impossible. Treatment is usually recommended if bothersome.

Problems They Cause

Inverted nipples–for the most part–are a completely normal and benign condition. However, for some people, they can cause problems, especially in women trying to breastfeed. This is sometimes when women find out they have inverted nipples or become bothered by them.

Typically, major breastfeeding issues only occur with Grades II and III. While it may be more difficult or troublesome with Grade I inverted nipples, patients can often pull out their nipples via stimulation or various medical devices to breastfeed successfully. If a woman is unable to breastfeed due to their inverted nipples, this may lead to a need for treatment.

Otherwise, nipple inversion should not cause any other symptoms unless due to another condition such as an infection. However, inverted nipples can also cause emotional and mental distress because patients may feel insecure. Depending on the circumstances, this mental anguish can be severe.


Usually, there is no immediate need to treat inverted nipples. Unless your nipples suddenly become inverted or other symptoms exist such as abnormal or bloody discharge, pain, lumps, or tenderness, inverted nipples do not need addressed. However, if a patient has had issues breastfeeding in the past, or is concerned they will in the future, or simply want to repair their inverted nipples permanently, surgery is the most effective solution.


Inverted nipple surgery involves correcting nipple inversion and creating a protruding nipple. There are varying techniques–some of which allow for breastfeeding after surgery and some which do not. Surgical nipple inversion correction is the only permanent solution to correct inverted nipples. However, there are other methods that can work to temporarily draw out the nipples or correct more mild cases that do not require surgery. Some of these at-home or non-surgical treatments for inverted nipples can include:

  • Hoffman technique
  • Suction devices
  • Breast shields
  • Piercings
  • Breastfeeding
  • Treatment of underlying conditions

Contact Us

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Jonov or with questions Breast Augmentation at The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery serving Kirkland, Bellevue & Lynnwood, WA.

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    If you are interested in inverted nipple surgery in Bellevue and Kirkland, it is time to schedule a consultation with Dr. Craig Jonov. At a consultation, Dr. Jonov would like to understand your concerns about nipple inversion and what you want to achieve with surgery. He will then review your medical history and examine your nipples. He can determine the grade of inversion and what is necessary for a good result during the physical examination.

    Based on the consultation, Dr. Jonov will then determine if you are a good candidate for inverted nipple surgery. If you are a good candidate, he will describe the procedure in detail and the options you have. You will then receive a price quote and financing information. If Dr. Jonov believes you are not a good candidate or would not benefit from surgery, he will provide possible alternatives.

    Additionally, because inverted nipple repair is a quick procedure, many patients combine it with other breast procedures such as breast augmentation. Dr. Jonov can talk about these possibilities during your consultation.

    Inverted Nipple Repair Surgery

    There are two commonly performed techniques for inverted nipple surgery. One that is more likely to maintain breastfeeding ability and one which does not. The right technique will depend on the severity of inversion and patient goals. This is best discussed during a consultation with Dr. Jonov. 

    The inverted nipple correction surgery technique that partially preserves the milk ducts involves lifting the nipple and areola partially from the breast. Neither is completely removed. The nipple and areola are then sewn back into a protruding shape. In most cases, this technique allows for breastfeeding afterward. However, any breast surgery comes with the risk of disrupting future breastfeeding ability.

    The second–and arguably more popular technique–does not allow for breastfeeding after surgery. This method detaches or removes the milk ducts through a small incision at the base of the nipple. In turn, this causes the nipple to protrude.

    Both methods come with small, minimal incisions and take around an hour to complete. As mentioned earlier, either technique is easy to combine with other breast surgeries such as breast augmentation or areola reduction.


    When performed alone, inverted nipple repair consists of a fairly quick and easy recovery for many patients. Dr. Jonov sometimes performs it under local anesthetic which can further reduce the necessary recovery. Patients tend to return to work within one week, sometimes in as little as one to two days after surgery. 

    Dr. Jonov will likely advise you to keep your nipples bandaged and covered. You will also need to avoid strenuous forms of exercise and activities for one to two weeks. Some side effects can occur such as tenderness, pain, swelling, and loss of sensation. Bruising can happen, though is fairly rare.

    Patients usually heal completely within four to six weeks. Dr. Jonov will continue to monitor your healing and results for several weeks after surgery. Recovery time will vary from patient to patient based on genetics, lifestyle, and their specific procedure.

    Dr. Jonov and his staff far exceeded my expectations in patient care and expertise. My goals and concerns were quickly and thoughtfully addressed throughout the entire process...


    If you are looking for top notch service this where you need to go. Doctor Jonov and his team were hands on and provided the best service. Highly recommend!



    Is The Surgery Permanent?

    Surgery is the only permanent solution for inverted nipples. While there is a chance you could redevelop inverted nipples in your lifetime, this is a fairly slim chance. Inverted nipple surgery is nearly always permanent.

    Can I Breastfeed After Inverted Nipple Surgery?

    It depends on the technique used. If the ability to breastfeed is important to you, you should discuss this with Dr. Jonov during your consultation. Even using techniques that keep milk ducts intact, a chance of damaging the milk ducts exists. This risk is similar to that of other breast surgeries as well.

    In many cases, it is entirely possible for a patient who previously underwent inverted nipple surgery to breastfeed once they heal. Dr. Jonov can further discuss breastfeeding after inverted nipple surgery in more detail once he understands your unique situation and anatomy.

    Will I Lose Nipple Sensation?

    After surgery, it is normal to temporarily lose nipple sensation. Usually, nipple sensation returns within a few weeks. There is a risk of permanently losing nipple sensation following inverted nipple surgery, though this is exceptionally rare. Nipple sensation is typically maintained after you recover from inverted nipple surgery.

    Can Inverted Nipples Be Corrected Without Surgery?

    Yes, though options are generally limited. If you have Grade I inversion, you may be able to use certain techniques or devices to bring the nipples out. Some devices can also lead to longer lasting correction, especially if inversion is mild or temporary. 

    For Grades II or II, though, some at-home or non-surgical remedies may help. However, the only permanent correction will come from surgery. Bellevue inverted nipple surgery is largely considered the best and most effective treatment for nipple inversion.

    How Much Is Inverted Nipple Surgery In Bellevue?

    Inverted nipple correction at The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery starts at $3,995. This cost can fluctuate depending on what is necessary for a good result. You will receive a personalized price quote following your consultation with Dr. Jonov. We do also provide financing information during your consultation and on our financing page.


    Dr. Craig Jonov is an accomplished plastic surgeon with decades of experience performing cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. As one of Bellevue’s foremost breast surgeons, Dr. Jonov routinely performed inverted nipple repair surgery. This includes in combination with breast augmentation surgery. Dr. Jonov offers the best inverted nipple correction Bellevue and Kirkland provides.

    The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery has served the Eastside and surrounding area with surgical and non-surgical procedures for several years. Specializing in breast surgery, The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery is your top destination for the correction of inverted nipples in Bellevue and Kirkland.

    To learn more and schedule a consultation, call us at 425-775-3561. You can also reach us online through Price Simulator™, chat, or contact form.

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