6 mo post op from chest masculinization double mastectomy w/ free nipple grafts. Normal nerve regeneration or infection?

A few days ago, I started experiencing a burning sensation undernegth my left nipple and the skin surrounding the nipple on the right side of the pec is sore to the touch and feels like a sunburn. My right nipple also experiencing the burning sensation but the skin feels normal. Is this just the nerves regenerating or an infection as someone has suggested?

Doctor Answers 7

Burning Sensation 6 Months After Chest Masculinization Double Mastectomy

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It is not uncommon to experience numbness, tingling, #burning, “crawling”, or other peculiar #sensations around the surgical area following any breast procedure, FTM #Top Surgery. This is a result of the healing of tiny fibers which are trapped in the incision site and these #symptoms will disappear. If these sensations cause pain, repeated, local self #massage per your surgeon's permission may help.  You must have patience, but if this causes concern, speak to or schedule a visit with your surgeon.


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

FTM top surgery

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You seem to be healing well.  It doesn't look like any type of abnormal healing or infection but this is best determined by your surgeon.  Be sure to see him/her for a follow up with any questions or concerns.

Postop Infection?

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The photos do not look like there are signs of infection. Give it a few weeks and if it persists, discuss with your surgeon. Dr Steve Merten, Sydney, Australia

Burning sensation after top surgery

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Regeneration of the nerves to the nipple following mastectomy is an unusual, yet not unheard of occurrence. This may continue for several months and then fade away. You will still have some areas of numbness of the nipples. If the sensation is too uncomfortable, you can ask your plastic surgeon to discuss numbing medicines to be applied to the skin.
I hope that this helps you.

Sheldon Lincenberg, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Nipple sensation after double mastectomy

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Based on your photographs it does not appear as though the nipples are infected.  However, if you have any concerns you should see your plastic surgeon.  The burning sensation might be an indication that the nerves are regenerating.  

Josef Hadeed, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Not infected

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Everything looks good! Your surgeon did a nice job! There are no signs of infection. It is too early for nerve regeneration so you might be experiencing sensation from the surrounding skin.

Michael S. Beckenstein, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Burning sensation after nipple grafts

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Thank you for your question and photos. You look to have gotten an excellent result. Your photos do not show any signs of infection. Obviously, this is difficult to say for certain without the physical examination. That being said, the sensations that you are describing could certainly represent reinnervation. If there is any question, a visit to your plastic surgeon should set your mind at ease. Best regards

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.