Inverted nipples

What is surgery for inverted nipples?

An inverted nipple means a nipple that is turned in on itself. This can be caused by trauma, breastfeeding, breast infections, breast cancer or in some cases patients may be born with the condition.

Inverted nipple correction surgery is a minor procedure, usually performed under a local anaesthetic. Patients should be aware that a potential side effect may be the inability to breastfeed following the procedure. Patients may be considered for this procedure if the patient has had breast cancer and this is part of the original treatment plan of reconstruction surgery on the breast that has been affected.

Not normally funded treatment or procedure:

Cosmetic surgery for inverted nipples is not normally funded by the NHS for non-breast cancer patients. This is because the treatment performed by doctors to reverse inverted nipples is classed as being a low clinical priority.

The clinician in charge of the care of the patient’s specific condition, usually a hospital doctor, can assist the application, if there is exceptional clinical need for the treatment to be funded. The patient’s clinician must evidence clinical exceptionality and must be supported by the patient’s local NHS commissioning organisation. See separate leaflet for more information on Individual Funding Requests (IFRs).

Advice and further guidance:

  • For more information search ‘inverted nipple’ at www.nhs.uk
  • Choosing Wisely UK is part of a global initiative aimed at improving conversations between patients and their doctors and nurses.

Treatment policy for patients covered by NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG

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