With so many cosmetic procedures focusing on the size and shape of the breast, it’s no small wonder that the nipples have also become a focal point for corrective surgery.

Both men and women seeking to repair or enhance the aesthetic value of their chests might be interested in nipple correction surgery.


Nipple correction surgery can accomplish a number of benefits, including:

  • Everting flat or inverted nipples
  • Nipple reconstruction after mastectomy
  • Nipple lift for ptosis
  • Nipple reduction or enlargement

The Gillian Institute for Plastic, Aesthetic and Laser Surgery has two convenient locations serving the Indianapolis, IN, metro area. We make our patients the center of our attention so we can attend to their most sensitive issues. Schedule a consultation with us to learn more about your nipple correction options in a warm and supportive environment.

Inverted Nipples

Inverted, flat or “shy” nipples are a concern for men and a common issue that affects 10% of women. Retracted nipples may be observed in varying degrees of severity in one or both nipples.

There are three grades of severity in nipple inversion:

  • Grade 1: The nipple can be pulled out via manual stimulation. The nipple remains erect for some time.
  • Grade 2: The nipple is asserted with more difficulty. Once out, the nipple will soon retract.
  • Grade 3: The nipple cannot be pulled out at all. Or, once pulled out, the nipple immediately retracts.

It is important to note that nipple inversion is a congenital abnormality, meaning that those who deal with it have experienced the issue most of their lives. It is a harmless anomaly, though it can be a significant source of insecurity in the individual.


There may be cause for concern if you have recently experienced nipple inversion, especially for people whose age and other demographics put them in a high-risk category for breast cancer.  A newly inverted nipple can signify swelling and changes in the mammary glands that may be indicative of breast cancer. Schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately if you observe a newly inverted nipple or any other warning signs.


Some women may experience difficulty breastfeeding their child, depending on the severity of her inverted nipples. This is because retracted nipples are caused by unusually tight or inflexible lactiferous ducts. These ducts are responsible for channeling a mother’s milk from mammary glands deep within the breast to its tip at the surface. Babies also have difficulty latching onto severely retracted nipples and small areolas.

There are a number of techniques, both surgical and non-surgical, for treating inverted nipples. Surgical techniques are proven to be the most effective for treating grade 2 and 3 inverted nipples.

However, since the surgery involves cutting many of the milk ducts responsible for the retraction, there’s a high risk the surgery will disable a woman’s ability to breastfeed.

If you are in the Indianapolis area and you are concerned about the extent to which nipple correction surgery will affect your ability to lactate, schedule a consultation at the Gillian Institute. Dr. Kimberly Short is  an expert in all manners of aesthetic breast procedures. She is renowned in the region as one of the best breast surgeons in the Midwest, having completed a rigorous six-month fellowship in Aesthetic Breast Surgery to supplement her medical training.

Inverted Nipple Correction Surgery

Individuals with grades 2 and 3 nipple inversion are considered good candidates for inverted nipple correction surgery. Inverted nipple correction surgery is a relatively simple procedure. It can be performed under a local anesthetic at the doctor’s office in two hours or less. Common sense preparation and precautions are advised. Because you will undergo anesthesia, you will not be able to drive immediately following the procedure. In fact, you may not be able to drive for a week or two as your body heals. Preparations with friends, family and your employer will likely be necessary. You will need to be under the supervision of another adult for first 24 hours while you rest and recuperate after the operation. Dr. Short recommends delegating household responsibilities—especially care for children and pets—to your friends and loved ones as much as possible. It is advised that you adhere to a healthy diet and avoid consuming recreational drugs and alcohol in the days leading up to your surgery. This will shorten your recovery time.

Surgery Information


A small incision is made in the areola. This will help to minimize the risk of scarring, as the natural contours of the areola serve to camouflage the scar.


The tight connective tissue that anchors the nipple to its base is severed. Dr. Short will cut the necessary lactiferous ducts to achieve normal nipple assertion.


Finally, so that nipple eversion is maintained, a small suture is snuggly wrapped about the nipple to maintain its new shape as it heals. In some instances, your doctor may also insert a dermal filler into the treated nipple as an added measure to prevent future retraction. Although, in some rare instances, further corrective surgery may be necessary.


As it is an outpatient procedure, you will  be permitted to recover at home the same day as your inverted nipple correction surgery. But you will be scheduled for aftercare appointments over the following  weeks . Your nipples and breasts will be examined to assess their progress and check for complications.  Intense physical activity should be avoided for up to three weeks following your surgery. If you have a physical job, it may be necessary for you to take some time off from work, as well. However, do not remain bed-bound. Get up and take occasional walks to stimulate blood flow and healing.

After the incision has completely healed, gently massage the area. The regular application of silicone-based gels and creams is also recommended to reduce scarring. Use sunscreen and keep your incision area out of direct UV light. Do not compress your nipple as it heals. It may take up to six weeks to appreciate the full cosmetic results.

Non-Surgical Treatments

Grade 1 inverted nipples are considered the mildest cases and may be treated without surgery. Non-surgical treatments for nipple inversion employ a variety of methods to stretch and loosen tight tissue.


The Hoffman Technique is one that employs regular manipulation of the nipple by the thumb and forefinger to stretch and lengthen tight tissue. Perform the Hoffman Technique daily to achieve the best results.


Many women find it more helpful (and more enjoyable) to enlist the cooperation of a sexual partner to stimulate the nipple, thereby loosening tight tissue and causing it to protrude more often.


There are a variety of suction devices available on the market that are designed (or can be easily modified) to engage tender nipple tissue with gentle pressure.

  • Breast shell
  • Nipple shield
  • Breast pump
  • Inverted syringe
  • Niplette
  • Supple cups

Grade 2 and 3 inverted nipples are the most severe cases and respond best to surgical techniques. If you live in the Indianapolis, IN, area and would like a full picture of all the options available to you, schedule a consultation at the Gillian Institute. Dr. Kimberly Short is a leading authority in the Midwest for aesthetic procedures involving the breast area.

Nipple Reduction and Enlargement

As cosmetic surgery has gone mainstream, many people aim to achieve the look they see popularized in magazines and on the red carpet. Interest in “designer nipples,” as some media outlets have described them, has spiked in the wake of recent social media trends and a growing sense of agency among consumers to go out and achieve the look they desire.


Nipples can become puffy and stretched-out with age or after prolonged periods of breastfeeding. In areola reduction surgery, the circumference of the areola (the soft tissue surrounding the nipples) can be reduced with a simple outpatient procedure. And, like most types of nipple correction surgery, it can also be performed in conjunction with a breast lift, breast augmentation or breast reduction.  Common sense pre and postoperative protocol is advised to avoid complications and hasten recovery time. Most importantly, follow the specific advice of your doctor.


Some people desire a fuller nipple. Nipple enhancement can be easily accomplished with injectable dermal fillers. Dermal fillers are deployed nonsurgically via syringe in a medically controlled environment. This procedure can enhance the size, symmetry and texture of the nipples.

Nipple Reconstruction Surgery

Breast cancer survivors will often go through several reconstructive surgeries following a mastectomy, or the surgical removal of one or both breasts. After the breasts themselves have been reconstructed, involving either an implant surgery or an autologous reconstruction procedure, the patient may also elect to undergo nipple reconstruction surgery.

Nipple reconstruction surgery is a procedure that involves making small incisions on the tip of the breast so that surrounding skin may be drawn in and elevated to mimic the appearance of the lost nipple.

If there is not enough skin to achieve the desired effect, skin from other areas of the body may be grafted on to the reconstructed nipple, although skin grafts do have higher rates of complications after surgery. Patients should adhere to the pre-op and post-op aftercare regimen described above, as well as any additional instructions Dr. Short has given to them..

Non-surgical options for nipple reconstruction:

Nipple Lift

Some people are not satisfied with the position of their nipples. The clinical term for low nipples is ptosis. It is a big concern for many women, especially those who have already undergone or are considering undergoing a breast lift or breast reduction procedure—procedures also intended to address low or sagging breasts.  A nipple lift is a simple outpatient procedure with a pre and postoperative regimen very similar to inverted nipple correction surgery. Similar care should be applied to avoid scarring. The procedure will improve symmetry and elevate the aesthetic appeal of the breasts.

Free the Nipple

It is the details that matter most, afterall. They show you’ve been paying attention.

Dr. Short and the caring staff at Gillian Institute want you to look and feel your best. Breast augmentation and aesthetics are our specialty at both of our Indianapolis locations.