Breast Reduction Went Well...Except My Nipple is Going to Fall OFF! - West Bloomfield, MI

I've had large breasts my entire adult life. Same...

I've had large breasts my entire adult life. Same story as most women; back problems, difficulty exercising, constantly uncomfortable. I researched surgeons and chose a well recommended, board certified plastic surgeon. I had the procedure done 3 weeks ago. The procedure itself was fine. Minimal pain, significant bruising and swelling, nothing too major except my nipple turned black and is in the process of FALLING RIGHT OFF!

Within 24 hours after surgery I noticed that my right nipple looked a bit purple. I called the surgeon and a nurse answered the call. She mentioned that the doctor had noticed a discoloration during the procedure (which no one told me or my husband about). I was told to place cold compresses on the right side (it was very swollen). That seemed to help with the swelling, but in the course of a few hours my nipple became even darker.

I called the surgeon back later in the evening and spoke directly to him. He mentioned that he removed a significant amount of tissue on my right side and that he "thought this might happen." Long story short, after several post ops the surgeon told me there is nothing that he can do. It basically looks like a big black scab that is going to peel off.
Also, there was a random cut on the left side of my breast. Up high, not near any incisions. No mention of this by the surgeon again. I'm frustrated and upset. I didn't realize that this was a possible side effect and it makes we wonder if my surgeon screwed up. :/
I don't smoke, I'm young, healthy, and exercise (I completed the Insanity workout a few weeks ago). The shape of my breasts is great and the reduced weight is wonderful. The procedure was still worth it, but I obviously wish my nipple was intact. I'm scared and nervous about what's going to happen and what it will look like when it does fall off.
I'm sorry to hear that your having a had time with your recovery hang in there it will get better... What doc did you go to here in michigan? My surgery is oct 10 and I have a Michigan doc...
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I am so sorry to read this. Through all the reading and research, this is the first I've seen or heard of such a thing happening. Sending prayers and good thoughts your way,
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I wish you all the best I hope everything turns out right for you
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Post-Op

I had a post op yesterday and the surgeon reiterated that the nipple will fall off. He stated that he didn't want to debride it because he didn't know how deep the wound is. So basically, I just have to deal with this until the scab falls off in 2-3 weeks. It's gross and annoying that the healing process is taking much longer, but it is what it is. My husband is sick of me talking about it, so I'll just come on here if I need support. :) Thanks everyone for your kind words. It really makes me feel better since this isn't something you can casually bring up in many conversations. Haha.
Hi there honey you hang in there if you want to talk I'm a very good listener men just don't get it really look my surgery has had problems I infection etc have been in and out of theatre 3 times I had my review surgery on the 19 th lol I have had this really bad pulling feeling like one that makes you grab and scream lol I'm like omg anyway I really cannot fault my Surgeon he's just so so wonderful he seem to think he's caught a nerve in a internal stitch and was going open up in the clinic and snip a few stitches lol it has got better and so I told him yesterday no it's ok now but I did a lot yesterday and this morning felt the pull again I've rang him he replied straight away I said I think it will settle he said yes thinks I did to much but he's ringing back tonight to see So we will see I have one more appointment next week if all goes well guess that it I'm really happy with everything he's been brilliant but this has been going on like since March I'm impressed with that also as he has nt rushed me out the door lol He did say he had been worried about my nipple cos in theatre it started to lose colour but I'm lucky nothing happened except I did have a clean out under the nipple last week bit if fat Nacroses blood etc. I knew the risks and was prepared for the worst I thought we'll always Tattoos I'm sorry for you though poor darl keep me updated and our very welcome to talk to me anytime Unless you have been though this I don't think anyone understands and I would do it again even knowing what can happen because I hated my large breasts life is better you will be fine thinking of you and sending hugs and xxxxx
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It is a tough situiation you are in with no support at home but if you can vent on here it is a good thing. I am sure your ps will ix the nipple when he feels the healing process is ready. Your breasts look great otherwise. A very nice size and shape. You said you are in good health so i am sure this will sort itself out in time. Patience is such a factor in the healing process. I wish you well. Please keep the faith.
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I wish you all the strength and luck. I suppose you are in no pain because of the nipple?
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Still Healing

I've had several post ops with my surgeon since my last post. He is confident that everything will heal within 2-3 months. After that, I plan on getting a tattoo on the nipple area. It doesn't hurt, but the affected area is getting larger. The doctor wasn't concerned about that at my last visit although it freaked me right out. It looks terrible right now and I'm having a lot of emotional distress about it, however, I know that in time it will be fine. Thank you everyone for your support. I'm planning on continuing to post throughout my healing post so that I can help anyone else who goes through this.
You have a beautiful shape to your new breasts and im really sorry to hear your having a complication which is upsetting you this way. You seem to be taking the initiative though by deciding to get a tattoo to soften the image and make yourself more comfortable. I think thats great of you finding solutions to sometime that others would just sit and be upset about. Also your left nipple is very small and dainty so i am sure a tattoo would blend right in with it! (Trust me, my nips are puffy and raised) so glad your health is otherwise ok and hope coming here has helped you like it has me. X
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Thank you so much for your honesty and courage. So often we hear of the perfect recovery and the best ps in the world but let's be honest, noone is perfect and everyone has some degree of difficulty. The human body is wonderful in its healing and I am sure you will continue to improve. I wish you the best and I am looking forward to your future posts. I hope your husband is being more understanding.
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Your size looks really nice, and I am sure the nipple is bothersome but I bet they can do a really good job with the tattoo cover. My husband is tired about me talking about boobs too, I thought men loved talking about boobs? men! Anyway I think you will be really happy next summer and your boobs will look amazing in a bikini. Keep your chin up, it's going to work out.
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Still going through a thoroughly disgusting healing process.

The healing process for losing a nipple is gross. And emotionally tough. It's hard to look at everyday. I know the end result will be fine, but right now it looks horrible. I'm including some additional photos so if anyone else goes through this they will know what to expect. That's been the hardest thing for me. Not knowing if what I"m going through is normal. My doctor has been very helpful in explaining things to me, but it's still scary and unsettling to see my body going through this And it was obviously not what I expected to happen going into this procedure. The surgeon says I have about 6 more weeks to heal completely.
hello ladies my daughter had a breast reduction august 14th on monday august 8th she went to see her plastic surgeon one of her breast was infected and some of her nipple has come off and flesh showing. we don't know how her breast got infected but she is now on antibiotics and when infection is gone she have to have surgery again to close up the wound. :( god bless you always
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sorry misprint September 8th
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LROhio - thank you for posting pictures. I too think that the not knowing if something is normal or if there is a problem is just the worst! I can completely understand your freaking out, it looks awful! (meant in a kind supportive way). Your other breast looks beautiful and I hope after your other breast heals and you get a tatoo you love them both. (Are you going wit a nipple looking tatoo or just go with flow and get something totally different?)
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1 year Later

It's a little over a year since I had my reduction. I no longer have back pain attributed to my large breasts, but am very unhappy with the aesthetics of them. I will post pictures later. I have also gained a lot of weight due to the emotional stress that I went through while recovering & being unhappy with the results. Sigh. My doctor has recommended doing a lift where he can reposition the scar tissue so that it is lower and does not show when I am wearing a bathing suit (which has been super annoying this summer) and then I will get a tattoo. Definitely not ideal, but just dealing the best that I can with the results of a crappy situation.
Dr.s should discuss the possibility of having to do a free nipple graft if they are taking a lot of tissue. If you are very large and want to get small your choices are - free nipple graft or don't go as small. This choice should be presented to you. It sounds like the original posters Dr. does not do FNG's. I have had 3 consultations. A 42I I would love to be at least a C. All Dr.s have told me that there is no way to take that much tissue without compromising the pedicle/nipple. It would take a free nipple graft (FNG) which 1 of the Dr.s refuses to do on anyone ever for some reason. The other Dr. said he would take as much tissue as possible and "if it looked bluish, like the blood supply had been compromised, switch to a FNG" sort of...on the fly. The third Dr. said if you want to go small find a Dr. that will do a FNG. I know for most of you losing a nipple is traumatic and I am compassionate about your feelings. But we are all different. I'm 58, not in a relationship, not looking to get in one. Don't miss sex at all. My nipples have always been flat, non sensitive. I do not want to go through all the pain and misery of the extra stitches and healing around the nipple during a FNG. I particularly do not want to go through it and then have to go through all the extra pain and suffering while 1 or both fail and fall off. Nor do I want a Dr. to try to take me as small as possible without a FNG and have happen what happened here - long recovery time, scary times watching and waiting for the nipple to die and wound to heal. But no Dr. will just...not put them back on which is sort of pissing me off. That sort of makes it all about them, not what I want. I'm not asking for anything like monster augmentations that may pop and compromise my health! and Drs do those.
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That's really horrid that none of you were told that may happen... I had my op in June and it was one of the first things I was told when I first had my meetings and had to sign disclaimers that I understood I might lose my nipple. Thankfully I haven't so far, but 2.5 months on, they're starting to flake quite a lot. Is that how yours started or was the colour the first thing you noticed?
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so sorry you had this rare but really unpleasant complication, i hope that the further surgery and tatooing process will improve things for you
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