I Had my Breast Reduction 5 Days Back, Nipple Partiall Black, Could This Be Necrosis?

On the 2nd day post op, the surgeon came to have a look at my breasts and did not observe anything unusual. Yesterday (4th day post op), I went to get my bandage changed and she told me that the nipple on my right side has turned partially black. Could this be a nipple necrosis? Is there any way to cure it? She told me that she would inject me with some homoepaethic meds? Have you ever heard of this? She did not mention necrosis yesterday but I remember her having it mentioned once. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 8

Nipple/Areola Necrosis after Breast Reduction?

Thank you for the question.

It is not possible to give you good advice without direct examination or pictures.

Partial or complete loss of nipple/areola blood supply is a potential complication of breast reduction surgery. Your plastic surgeon will be in the best position to diagnose and treat this issue if it is present.

Best wishes.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Nipple necrosis

The black coloration is of concern as your nipples could be necrotic. You should definitely return to your surgeon. It is possible to perform debridement procedures in an attempt to save the nipples. I have never, in my years of practice, prescribed a homeopathic remedy for a postoperative patient and heard of injection of such substances. If you have concerns, you may want to obtain a consultation from a board certified plastic surgeon. Nipple necrosis is an unfortunate but recognized complication of breast reduction surgery but it can be managed in many patients to avoid complete loss of the nippe. Best of luck in your recovery.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Breast Reduction

Color change to the nipple can be worrisome and you should be seen regularly 2-3x/week by your surgeon for the next couple of weeks.  A trained eye will diagnose necrosis and stay on top the treatment.  I fit is a necrosis complication careful management can help lessen the adverse end result.  I hope this info helps.

Ronald H. Stefani Jr, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Tissue necrosis

Blistering of the skin, as well as dark color turning to black are indicators of poor blood flow and could lead to necrosis.  There are few cures and the earlier the better. Tension on the tissue can contribute so releasing tension can help.  Hyperbaric oxygen can help if instituted early in some cases.  Most medicines by mouth or topically are only placebos.  Talk to your surgeon.  The good news is most are limited to small areas and heal better than you might think.

Randy Proffitt, MD
Mobile Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Breast Reduction - I Had my Breast Reduction 5 Days Back, Nipple Partiall Black, Could This Be Necrosis?

Hi Vmen,

You need to be seen in person by a plastic surgeon.

Necrosis of tissues - whether nipple, areola, flap or any other - is a justifiably feared complication of surgery.  When noticed early on (ie withing a day or so) various methods of treatment may provide relief and abatement of the problem.  The longer it goes unattended the less the likelihood that any of the process is reversible.

If, in fact, it turns into more florid tissue necrosis you will need to undergo wound care until the wound is healed and then, if necessary, subsequent procedures or tattooing for the best aesthetic result.  Hopefully none of this will occur, but you may have to wait a bit to find out.  In the meantime, you should be under the care of a competent plastic surgeon.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Consultation needed

This is concerning. Contact your plastic surgeon and schedule an examination. Upon examination, your board certified plastic surgeon will be able to explain what is happening and why. Best of luck.

Christine Sullivan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

I Had my Breast Reduction 5 Days Back, Nipple Partiall Black, Could This Be Necrosis?

Sounds very serious and maybe TOO late to save your N?A complex. You did not post a photo. And time in these situations is of the essence. I fear after 3 days your chance on saving the black areas is gone, sorry. Seek in person discussions for care and plans for correction or a second opinion. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Recovery After Breast Reduction Surgery

Nipple necrosis does present as a darkening of the nipple areolar area.  If you have an area that is black it likely represents a significant vascular injury and you may lose some of the overlying skin.   The black area will become hard like a scab and over several weeks it will separate from the underlying tissue.   If the area is only several millimeters wide, then the edges will likely heal over time although you may have some loss of pigment.

Carlin Vickery, MD (retired)
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

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.