Breast lift nipple complications. Any suggestions?

How common is nipple complications when getting a breast lift? i have heard nipples circulation issues could occur therefore the nipple could die and fall off.

Doctor Answers 7

Breast Lift Complications

Hello and thank you for this good question. Nipple complications can occur with any breast surgery but are more common when incisions are directly made around the nipple area, such as a breast lift or mastopexy. There are some risk factors that can contribute to this such as smoking. But if you are fairly healthy with no prior history of surgical healing complications and you are a non-smoker, then I feel that you are an otherwise good candidate for this procedure should your breasts require it. Please make sure you seek the advice of a board certified plastic surgeon for an in person consultation at your convenience. Good luck to you! 


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Breast lift nipple complications. Any suggestions?

Hello dear, thanks for your question and provided information as well..
The breasts may lose their elasticity and firmness which can be caused by different factors such as pregnancy, massive weight loss, lactation and aging. To reaffirm the breasts and restore the natural look your surgeon can perform a mastopexy or breast lift. A breast lift restores a firmer, perkier, and more aesthetically pleasing shape to sagging breasts. This not only can improve a patient’s appearance by restoring her youthful, feminine proportions, but  also help bras and swimsuits fit more comfortably and attractively. By removing excess, stretched out skin, reshaping the breast tissue, and raising the nipple & areola into a more forward position, a cosmetic surgeon can create a more youthful breast contour. Stretched, large areolae can also be reduced during breast lift surgery, creating an overall better proportioned, natural looking breast…

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 361 reviews

Breast lift nipple complications.

What you are describing is certainly a complication, but thankfully a rare one. Having had previous breast surgery, having very thin tissue, and being a smoker might increase your risks of having healing complications.

Stacey Folk, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

How to avoid nipple complications during a breast lift or mastopexy

A board certified plastic surgeon, will understand the anatomy of the breast and its blood supply.  Breast lift or mastopexy surgery is usually quite successful in retaining the blood supply.  It can get complicated if a patient has had prior breast surgery or has thin tissue over implants. Some of these revision surgeries can require staged surgery and a thoughtful preop analysis. 

Good luck.

Risk to the Nipple with a breast lift.

This complication is extremely rare.  An experienced Bd Certified plastic surgeon can assess your personal risk based on your medical condition (ie diabetes), smoking history and the needed distance of transfer of your nipple during the performance of your lift.  If you're a good candidate for the procedure the risks are quite quite small.  Good luck and best wishes.


Jon A Perlman MD FACS
Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Extreme Makeover Surgeon ABC TV
Beverly Hills, Ca



Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Nipple complications with a breast lift

Unfortunately, all surgeries have risks and certain complications. In a breast lift, the nipple can be lost because of poor blood flow. This is extremely rare and you can minimize this risk by seeing a board-certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in this type of surgery.

Ira H. Rex lll, MD
Fall River Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Nipple Complications after Breast Lift #breastlift

  • Nipple/areolar complications after breast lifts are exceedingly rare!
  • I've never had a nipple or areola die.  In the literature, this is reported as definitely less than 1%.
  • The key to preventing issues with the nipple/areola, is making sure that you don't use any nicotine products (cigarettes, gum, etc.) prior to the operation because this could definitely impact the circulation. 
  • Definitely meet with a board certified plastic surgeon (ASPS) to find out more.

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.