Ask a doctor

What Are my Options After Nipple Necrosis or Loss? Non Smoker, Healthy Life Style: How Did This Happen? (photo)

I had a breast reduction 3 weeks ago. The nipple turned dark within 24 hours. The surgeon told me that nothing could be done. It's completely scabbed & has been oozing a dark colored blood for 10 days. I'm very disappointed & am not sure what my options are & what the remaining tissue will look like. Also, I feel like my surgeon screwed up. He didn't mention the issue immediately after the surgery although he knew about it as he told me later that the nipple had issues during the procedure.

Doctor Answers (2)

Nipple necrosis

+1

I am sorry you are having trouble after your breast reduction.  

Happily, I have never had a patient of my own have nipple necrosis, but I do counsel all my patients that it is a risk of the operation.

 I have taken care of a couple of patients from other surgeons who have had nipple necrosis and it is a long process.  This will likely take 4-6 months of care to get to heal fully, and you may need a surgery or two to remove dead tissue.   The good news is that once it does heal, the end result is not nearly as bad as you are thinking it will be. It is just going to take a while to get there. Sorry.

Richmond Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Nipple loss after reduction

+1

Unfortunately it does occur, though quite infrequently.  Now that its water under the bridge, your options will include reconstruction (which I am not a fan of), tattooing, or use of prosthetics (amoena.com is one place to check).  But first you must heal and your necrotic tissue debrided when it starts separating and liquifying.  It will take some time but it should heal with good wound care.  You have to be patient and heal.

Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.