‘What’s Up Doc’ is a health column in association with The Crawley Observer, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions regarding general health and wellbeing.
Answers are provided weekly from our specialist consultants at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, Surrey. If it’s a long-standing illness or simply a worry which you would like to get off your mind then we would like to help.
This question appeared in The Crawley Observer on Wednesday 17 July, to readers across Surrey and Sussex. The question and answer is below, as it appeared in the newspaper.
Read the response by Mr Khandwala, consultant plastic and hand surgeon:
Dear surgeon, I have one inverted nipple and have had it since puberty. It comes out for a small period of time and then goes back in. When they are hard, they like stick out like normal nipples but I think when they aren't, they are inverted. How can this be sorted? Would surgery make them normal? Are there any complications? Thanks S, Poundhill.
Dear reader, it looks like you have partially inverted nipple on one side. This may be caused by short ducts connecting the breast tissue to the nipple. Surgical treatment is simple and can be carried out under local anaesthetic. The precise operation for you will need to be determined by your surgeon and depends on how severe your inversion is and whether you are likely to breast feed in the future.
However there is an appliance called the nipplette available at pharmacies. You should use this for a period of six months. This suction device pulls the nipple out and must be worn for a few hours daily. Intermittent inversion like yours may be corrected by proper use of the device. Hope this helps!