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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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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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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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Hello. Omg I had my surgery 5 weeks ago and was told to take a shower the second week. Well when I did I noticed my nipples started coming up and peeling away until my flesh appeared. Now for 3 weeks I have had to put antibiotic cream on the wound and just wear shorts bra and feel helpless until further notice. This looks totally gross and although I love the shape of my breast I can't enjoy them because of my areolas falling off. How long do I have to wait on complete healing? Also in now feeling itching and burning sensations in that area...It's this normal?
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Hello janaesanay I'm goin through the same thing you goin through it is so stressing for me...did your doctor say he or she can fix it
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Hi. He just said we have to let the skin come back then depending how it looks we can tattoo my areola around the nipple to make it look natural. I am convinced it is nothing he can do. How long ago have you had your surgery?
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I jus had it on May 22 and my doctor was telling me that he going to redo my nipple but I don't see how from the looks of it it might be artificial and I don't want that be he said it's not goin to be artificial if I would of knew this was goin to happen I would have never done it everyday I have to put cream on it and have a bandage over it
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He also told me that my nipple is under the scalp but I don't believe it
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Yes! Omg I was told to let it run its course! Have you showered any further and let any water hit it? I'm so scared that I just wrote around it and clean it that way. I'm so afraid to have to start the process again.
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Ya I started showering like 3 days after the surgery he gave me some silvadene cream to out on it but it's not working I jus want him to fix this and stop giving me the run around
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I am using that same cream. Girl how long have you been going thru this now?
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I noticed my nipple looked purple the second day of my surgery I asked the doctor do it supposed to look like that he said ya everything ok but like on the 28th of may a piece of my areola came off and I started using that cream
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So now it look real bad he jus keep telling me that he want the scalp to fall off I'm like hell shit jus take it off and fix it
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Yup same thing happened to me. So I have been going to my doctor for the past 4 weeks and using the cream everyday and changing my dressings on the nipple area. My nipples are still attached....it's the areolas around it that have my flesh just out. It looks so gross I have been so depressed. He seems to think it all started from an allergic reaction from the tape that was around the nipple when I came out of surgery. It's so sad. I just want to see real progress because it's moving slowly and I feel so help less
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I probably still have my nipple but I can't tell cus it a piece of sore that's in the way he told me I'm not goin to loose my nipple so I'm goin by his word ya its the areola that look bad it's like a big hole on one side and it's so irritating cus it itch so bad
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He told me that the reason it's like that is because he had to take out more tissue
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Under my breast it's open flesh to u can see the white meat I'm like what the hell
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Yup on my right breast I'm having that too! It started from being a blister then it peeled off and exposed my flesh. So I can't even enjoy my new nicely shaped breast smh
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I'm jus tired of wearing this bandage I have to sleep with a surgical bra they gave me to hold it in place and it's irritating he was telling me not to b around smoke cus it will slow the healing process
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Hi, so sorry! Going through what I believe you did... but my surgeon is calling it a superficial loss...what the heck....same thing right? I'm not mad at him, I realized its a risk, but same as with you no one mentioned lost circulation post op until day two! ?! He says its a partial loss... meaning what...I'm sure your mind was rinning with these questions too.. my nipple is not black black there's still pink but its kinda rubbing off... I just want an answer. Beating around the bush for two weeks is killing me!! Any new pics?
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Hi. Thanks for sharing! I am going through this same thing right now. It's scary! How are you doing now? What does it look like now? Thanks!!
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It looks ok now. Lots of scar tissue, but overall I would say my results are ok. I think I'll be getting a tattoo to cover some of the scarring. It was really hard to go through the whole healing process and not know what to expect. Feel free to ask me any questions!
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