Areola Skin Graft on an Implant Due to Mastectomy

Is it normal for a skin grafted areola (tissue used from the other breast) to open up in spots, but heal over? Does this mean the graft didn't take? My surgery was 3 months ago and since then have had no issues.

Doctor Answers 6

Breast reconstruction

It is not normal for the skin to open up 3 months after surgery. This would be particularly concerning if the breast was radiated. I would see your surgeon frequently to make sure that this does not become a more significant problem

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Nipple reconstruction

Sometimes a skin graft is used as an areola reconstruction instead of tattooing.  It can have healing issues and open up in spots as it heals.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Skin grafting for areolar reconstruction

yes, it is not uncommon to have a small portion of a skin graft have delayed healing due to lack of blood supply.   Overtime, this will fill in and heal.   Followup with your reconstructive surgeon will determine if future scar revision is necessary.   


Paul S. Gill, M.D.

Gill Plastic Surgery

Houston Double Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Areola skin graft for nipple reconstruction

A skin graft may demonstrate "spotty" take with irregular pigmentation which is fairly normal.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Areolar skin grafts

Areolar skin grafts "take" like all other skin grafts in that they can have partial losses that then heal over secondarily.  This is normal.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Nipple Areolar Reconstruction with Skin Grafts

The use of skin grafts for areola reconstruction as a part of nipple areolar reconstruction for breast reconstruction relies on the skin graft receiving the in-growth of capillary blood vessels from the graft bed (raw surface) of the breast skin.

Sometimes not all of the skin graft develops this blood supply, and you may have areas as you described, which as in your case usually heal over time.

Fredrick A. Valauri, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

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.