Inverted nipple, which is defined as a nipple located on a plane lower than the areola, presents both functional and cosmetic problems. It is a source of repeated irritation and inflammation, and interferes with nursing. In addition, its abnormal appearance may cause psychological distress. Inverted nipples are congenital or acquired, and are classified as the umbilicated and invaginated types or divided into 3 groups (grades 1, 2, and 3). With consideration of its underlying pathophysiologic components and severity, various surgical procedures have been proposed. For correcting the inverted nipple, the authors introduce an alternative, simple method using 2 triangular areolar dermal flaps. Compared with other methods using triangular areolar dermal flaps, each triangle is approximately 1 mm shorter than the diameter of the nipple, and the deepithelialized areolar dermal flaps are lodged at the slit in the bundle of the lactiferous ducts in the grade 2 inverted nipple. From August 2000 to December 2001, 11 patients (16 nipples) were treated. Five patients had bilateral inverted nipples. Patient age at operation ranged from 18 to 31 years (mean age, 27 years). All nipples were congenital and they had no previous operation. Thirteen nipples were grade 2 and 3 were grade 3 according to the classification of inverted nipple by Han and Hong. The mean follow-up period was 8.7 months (range, 3-12 months). Follow-up examinations revealed no evidence of recurrence of inversion. There was no complication associated with surgery, such as infection, hematoma, permanent sensory disturbance, or nipple necrosis. The resulting scars were minimal. All patients were satisfied with their results. The authors conclude that their procedure is reliable, preserves the lactiferous ducts in grade 2 inverted nipple, requires no special postoperative care, and leaves minimal scars and no recurrence of inversion. This technique can be applied to any type of inverted nipple as a primary surgical procedure.
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