Minimally Invasive Correction of Inverted Nipples: A Safe and Simple Technique for Reliable, Sustainable Projection

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Numerous techniques have been described for the correction of inverted nipples; their diversity supports the lack of a consistently reliable method. Dermoglandular flaps, open suture, and suction techniques have all been described to combat the “corrected” nipple's propensity to collapse. We present a minimally invasive parenchymal release and percutaneous suture technique that provides sustainable long-term correction of inverted nipples. Thirty-one patients with 58 inverted nipples were treated. The technique, performed under local anesthesia, employs lysis of the foreshortened subareolar fibro-ductal tissue to achieve resting eversion of the nipple using an 18-gauge needle. Through the same needle-access site, a purse-string suture is then placed, exiting the areolar skin and re-entering through the same stitch point every 3 to 5 mm around the circumference of the new nipple-base. An absorbable suture closes the access site over the knot, and 2 crossed absorbable mattress sutures are placed beneath the nipple to complete the correction. Of 27 patients with bilateral and 4 with unilateral, nipple inversion, durable correction was achieved in 1 procedure in 45 of 58 nipples (78%). There were 13 recurrences, of which 11 (19%) were successfully treated under local anesthesia with a second purse-string suture, and 2 (3%) required a third procedure under local anesthesia. There were no late reinversions. There were no cases of infection, nipple ischemia, or other complications. Occasional recurrences are corrected very simply under local anesthesia. Percutaneous release of nipple inversion followed by purse-string suture support performed through “needle-only” access points is a simple, safe, and reliable technique, and should be considered for the correction of inverted nipples.

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