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  • Inverted Nipples Correction is a quick and simple procedure which can be performed under local anaesthetic
  • Renowned Plastic Surgeons based in the UK
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Medically reviewed by Lorcan Sheppard BSc MBBS FRCA, Chief Medical Officer for The Private Clinic of Harley Street, London.
Last Reviewed November 16th 2023

Inverted & Flat Nipple Surgery

Many people feel embarrassed about their inverted nipples or flat nipples, which can also result in a lack of confidence, leaving them feeling self-conscious and insecure about their bodies.

Although it’s a subject that isn’t discussed as often as it should be, surgical nipple corrections are not at all uncommon. Correcting inverted and flat nipples is a quick and simple procedure which can be performed under local anaesthetic on women and men.

What causes a flat or inverted nipple?

Nipple inversion causes include:

  • When the breast ducts are too short.
  • Tightening of the duct’s tissue due to an imbalance in traction between them and the smooth muscle that keeps nipples erect.
  • Too much connective tissue in the nipple.

What are the three different grades of flat and inverted nipples?

  • Grade 1: The nipples occasionally become evert due to stimuli such as temperature or arousal. They can be made to protrude and stay that way, by manipulating them with your fingers. Breastfeeding is usually possible in this case.
  • Grade 2: Nipples can be made to protrude but won’t stay evert without finger pressure. Here breastfeeding can be problematic at times.
  • Grade 3: The nipples are completely retracted and flat. They can’t be pulled out even with physical manipulation. If the nipples are constricted, you may not be able to breastfeed.

Where can I correct inverted or flat nipples?

The Private Clinic and our expert breast surgeons have been carrying out nipple correction procedures for decades and giving confidence back to many. Inverted and Flat Nipple Correction Surgery consultations are offered at our London, Birmingham, Buckinghamshire (virtual consultation only), NorthamptonManchester, Liverpool and Leeds clinics.

Read Mr Adrian Richards, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at The Private Clinic’s comments on nipple correction surgery here.

Inverted Nipple Correction for Men

We are also able to perform inverted nipple correction for men who are experiencing flat or inverted nipple/s. The procedure is performed in the same way however no milk ducts are cut. In most cases, inverted nipples in men are caused by tethering, so whatever is holding the nipple in the inverted position will be cut.

We also have procedures for Enlarged Nipple Reduction.

How does inverted or flat nipple surgery work?

Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Mr Adrian Richards explains how an inverted nipple correction procedure works to release the inverted nipple.

Inverted Nipple Correction, Flat Nipple Surgery at a glance

Procedure Time
1 hour

Anaesthetic Type
Local Anaesthetic

Hospital Stay
Day case

Support Garments

1 week

24 – 48 hours

Up & Mobile

Sexual Activity
4 – 6 weeks

Back to work
2 – 3 days

6 weeks

2 – 3 weeks

Full Recovery Time
6 weeks

Sleeping elevated on back for 2 weeks

Final Results
6 – 12 months

For further information such as FAQs, before and after photos and our expert Plastic surgeons see below.

Inverted & Flat Nipple Correction Before & After Photos

Our Consultant Breast surgeons are experts in flat and inverted nipple correction procedures.
Take a look at the Before and After photos to see how we can help.

What to Expect

The Private Clinic has been treating patients for over 40 years with thousands of women placing their trust in us each year. We pride ourselves on being able to offer a personalised service. We have a team of friendly nurses and expert breast surgeons who understand the importance of this decision and will support you throughout your journey with us.

The Consultation

Inverted or Flat nipple correction consultations will take place with one of our expert plastic surgeons.
During this consultation, your surgeon will be able to assess your suitability for surgery and discuss the options available.
Your surgeon will then also:

  • Review your medical history
  • Discuss your expectations from surgery
  • Detail the risks and complications of Inverted Nipple surgery
  • Go through the aftercare and recovery process

You will then be allocated a dedicated patient coordinator who will be your point of contact should you wish to go ahead with the procedure.

Consultation Image 1

Pre-Operative Appointment

In the interests of patient safety all our patients are assessed against our patient selection criteria.

Following your inverted nipple consultation your medical history will be reviewed and the pre-operative nurse will choose which pre-operative tests you require.

They will also advise you of any precautions you need to take in the days or weeks leading up to your inverted nipple correction procedure and advise on any medication that you should stop taking ahead of your procedure.

Consultation Image 1

Inverted Nipple Correction Surgery

The procedure lasts approximately 30 minutes (15mins on each side) and is performed under local anaesthetic. Nipple Correction can also be performed in conjunction with other procedures such as Breast Augmentation or Breast Reduction.

You will be given an admission time to arrive at the hospital, this is usually an hour before your surgery start time.

Once admitted:

  • The nursing team will record your blood pressure and prep you for surgery.
  • You will meet with the surgeon who will go through the procedure again and answer any questions.
  • Pre-operative photos will be taken.

The Procedure:

  • Local anaesthetic will be administered to the areas being treated.
  • A small incision will be made at the base of the nipple.
  • If the inversion is mild to moderate, then the surgeon will look to stretch the milk ducts that are pulling the nipple inwards.
  • If your nipple inversion is more severe than your surgeon may choose to instead cut, or divide, the milk ducts.
  • Once the surgeon stretches or cuts the milk ducts, they will use stitches to secure the nipple in its new projected position
  • The incision is closed, and dressing applied to the nipple.
  • You will be taken to one of the recovery rooms.
  • Once the surgeon and nursing team are happy that you are safe you return home, you will be discharged and allowed to leave accompanied by a family member or friend.
Consultation Image 1

After your inverted nipple procedure

You will have been given details of how to contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week should you have any worries or concerns during your recovery time.

We recommend that patients allow 2-3 days before returning to work following an inverted nipple procedure to allow any initial discomfort to subside. You will have been provided with all the post-op medication and instructions on how to take by your surgeon.

You will need to avoid exercise and strenuous activities for 2 weeks.

You will be required to attend a series of follow-up appointments at The Private Clinic which include a 1-week check-up appointment with a nurse and then your 6-week post-operative appointment with your surgeon. At this stage you should be back to your everyday activities and your surgeon will be able to advise you on anything that you are unsure of or have questions about.

Consultation Image 1

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Are the results permanent after inverted nipple correction surgery?
The results of surgical procedures are permanent however factors such as weight gain and pregnancy can alter the results.
What surgery is available for the nipples?

There are 2 types of surgery that are performed on the nipple.

Inverted Nipple Surgery is for those who have an inversion of the nipple. Inverted nipple surgery is performed to release the inwards pull of the nipple.

Nipple Reduction is a procedure to reduce the width and / or height of the nipple for those who are unhappy with the size of their nipples.

What is the cause of Inverted Nipples?

Nipple inversion is often a congenital disorder that is present at birth. It is a common condition that is caused when tight bands (often shortened milk ducts) that run from the surface of the breast tissue, under the areola and outwards to the nipple pull the nipple inwards.

Can inverted nipples be a sign of cancer?

A newly inverted nipple can be a symptom of breast cancer as nipple retraction can occur when the tumor attacks the duct behind the nipple, pulling it in. If you have noticed a sudden change in your nipples then we recommend that you visit your GP surgery before seeking surgery to rule out any underlying health conditions.

If you have had nipple inversions for a long time then it is unlikely that it is a sign of breast cancer.

Is it possible to breastfeed before inverted nipple correction surgery?

It is possible to breastfeed if your nipples are inverted but it will depend on the grade of them.

Those who have Grade 1 or 2 inverted nipples then it if often possible to breastfeed but those with Grade 3 may find it very difficult or impossible to breastfeed.

What happens at an inverted nipple correction consultation?

A consultation with your surgeon is a great way to get an idea of what the best treatment plan is going to be for you. Your surgeon will be able to assess you and discuss what to realistically expect from surgery. It is also your chance to ask them questions about the procedure and what to expect post-op.

Is it possible for the consultation and procedure to be carried out on the same day?

In the majority of cases it is possible to be treated on a ‘see and treat’ purpose. This would often require you to send a photo to the surgeon for assessment prior to your appointment. You will then be given an appointment date where your procedure will be carried out on the same day.

Can inverted nipple surgery be combined with a breast enlargement?

It is common for inverted nipple procedures to take place at the same time as breast enlargement procedures.

How long does inverted nipple correction take?

Nipple correction surgery usually takes 1 hour or less under local anaesthetic.

Will I need to stay overnight after an inverted nipple correction procedure?

Inverted nipple corrected is performed as day case procedure and you will be able to return home shortly after.

What type of anaesthetic is required for inverted nipple correction surgery?

Inverted nipple procedures are performed under local anaesthetic but if being performed in combination with another procedure such as a breast augmentation then general anaesthetic will be used.

What happens during inverted nipple correction surgery?

There are different techniques to inverted nipple correction depending on the severity of the inversion. The most common way is that the surgeon will make an incision at the base of the nipple and the ducts are then separated leaving the nipple to be able to sit back in its new position.

What is the recovery period following inverted nipple correction surgery?

You will have some mild discomfort for the initial 24-48 hours after your procedure but this can be controlled by pain medication. You will need to avoid strenuous activities for the first couple of weeks to avoid chafing. You will be fully recovered after 6 weeks where your swelling should have settled and your nipple will be in its new position.

When can I return to work after inverted nipple correction surgery?

The majority of patients are able to return to work after 2-3 days.

Is it possible to breastfeed after inverted nipple correction surgery?

If you are still yet to complete your family then we recommend waiting until after this time as the milk ducts which often pull the nipples inwards are divided during surgery which can make breast feeding difficult. It is a good idea to discuss breastfeeding with your surgeon at your consultation to find out more.

Will I lose sensation after inverted nipple correction surgery?

Your nipple sensation may change slightly in the initial stages after surgery, but everything should return to normal once healed and the nipple will respond to touch and cold as normal.

When can I exercise again after my inverted nipple correction procedure?

We generally advise waiting 2-3 weeks before exercising again especially activities that involve friction to the nipple areas such as running.

Can I drive after inverted nipple correction surgery?

We recommend waiting a day or two to drive after surgery to allow the side effects from the local anaesthetic to pass. If you have had a general anaesthetic then we usually advise that you wait a week before driving again as it can take more time for general anaesthetic to be out of your system.

What is the scarring like after inverted nipple correction?

A very small incision is made at the base of the nipple which means any scar will be well concealed and hidden.

What are the risks involved with inverted nipple correction surgery?

As with any type of surgery there are risks associated with inverted nipple correction surgery although these are very rare and unlikely to occur. Inverted nipple surgery in particular does carry the risk of inability to breastfeed.

What does a free inverted nipple consultation mean?

Free inverted nipple phone or video consultations are available with one of our experienced patient coordinators who will able to provide information about the inverted nipple procedure and offer advice on the best surgeon to perform your inverted nipple procedure based on your requirements.

To secure your timed appointment we will ask you to pay a £25 refundable deposit. This is refunded once the consultation takes place. You are welcome to change your appointment time up to 48 hours before.

Book your free phone or video consultation here.

What do the grades of inverted nipples mean?

Grade is a term used to classify how severe your inverted nipples are. Your surgeon will assess your nipples and use the grading system to determine the best course of treatment.

Grade 1 – The mildest form of inverted nipples. The nipples will have a flat appearance but often still respond to touch or temperature changes and become everted for a short amount of time.

Grade 2 – A mild grade of inverted nipples that have a more inverted appearance. Grade 2 inverted nipples will often still become everted when stimulated however they will usually immediately return to their inverted position.

Grade 3 – The most severe grade of inverted nipples. Grade 3 inverted nipples will often not evert at all and remain in an inverted position at all times.

Do inverted nipples need to be treated?

There are no significant health issues associated with long-standing nipple inversion. It is often the aesthetic concern that causes patients to seek treatment.

Is there a non-surgical option to treat inverted nipples?

We would recommend that you try the Niplette suction device which can be purchased from any high street chemist to help correct the inversion before going ahead with surgery. The device is applied nightly and works to ‘pull out’ the ducts. The Niplette device has a good success rate on Grade 1 and sometimes Grade 2 inverted nipples but Grade 3 Inverted nipples may require surgery however.

How much does Inverted Nipples Correction cost?

The Private Clinic sees over 15,000 new patients every year and perform over 10,000 procedures, with one of the highest –patients’ satisfaction in the sector, Trustpilot 9.4, 5 star rating, 98% would recommend us to their friends and family. We are a multi award winning provider and have been voted the Aesthetic award for Best UK Clinic Group 2017.

The Private Clinic prides itself on its commitment to Medical Expertise, Patient Care and Satisfaction, Honest advice and most importantly Results. We are above all committed to Quality. Please feel free to contact us for any advice or to book a consultation with one of our expert Breast surgeons.

Inverted Nipple Correction Cost can be part of your decision to undergo a procedure but it should never be the deciding factor. For more information about The Private Clinic, our experience and medical expertise click here.

The cost of Bilateral Inverted Nipple Correction starts at £2,500.

We don’t follow a one-price-fits-all policy and prices are quoted on a case by case basis. You will be given an accurate quote for your requirements following your consultation.

Consultations with our breast surgeons are £100 at our clinics in London Harley StreetBirmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Northampton.

We offer consultations with our highly experienced Patient Coordinators which require a £25 refundable deposit to secure your place.

Patient coordinators are able to offer you all the information you require prior to meeting a surgeon.

Please note all consultations available at our Harley Street clinic are with a surgeon.

Are the results permanent after inverted nipple correction surgery?

The results of surgical procedures are permanent however factors such as weight gain and pregnancy can alter the results.

Things to Consider

Our advice on what to consider when deciding to have a nipple correction procedure:

1. When choosing a clinic, you should always do your research, and only go to an established, reputable clinic.

The Private Clinic has been in the cosmetic surgery industry for over 40 years. We are here to answer all of your questions and give you peace of mind.

2. When choosing a surgeon, make sure you know who you’ll be seeing. Their expertise, qualifications and patient satisfaction rate are important factors to take into consideration.

At The Private Clinic, we only source the most experienced and specialised surgeons. Find out more about our plastic surgeons here.

3. Price should never be the deciding factor when choosing where to have your treatment. Safety should be your number one priority and feeling confident that they will look after you – not only before, but also after your procedure

4. When it sounds too good to be true, it often is. Always find out what your clinic’s reputation is.

Our excellent reputation for patient safety and satisfaction, honest advice and outstanding care means your journey with The Private Clinic will be an exciting experience to a newfound shape.

Inverted & Flat Nipple Patient Stories

Outstanding care, patient satisfaction and results mean everything to The Private Clinic Team

“I didn’t want to waste any more of my life not being fully happy in myself.”

Why Choose The Private Clinic

  • Over 40 years’ experience in medical cosmetic procedures and advanced non surgical non invasive treatments.
  • Consultations with expert breast surgeons who have years of experience.
  • 24 hour patient helpline to ensure you are always in the best of hands.
  • Three years cover for all surgical, hospital and nursing care, in case of any medical issue giving you peace of mind.
  • Comprehensive Nipple surgery Patient Guide for all patients.
  • Outstanding hospital facilities.
  • Our experience and medical expertise makes your journey a reassuring one.
  • 5 Star Trustpilot Rating
  • Consultations available in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Northampton.
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Meet our Surgeons

We have a dedicated Plastic Surgeon and medical team who will be with you throughout your journey.

At The Private Clinic inverted nipple correction is performed by some of the UK’s top consultant plastic surgeons who have decades of experience.