Nipple death can occur after several types of breast surgery namely: Breast Lift, Breast Reduction, Subcutaneous Mastectomy, Lumpectomies, and vary rarely even from a Breast Augmentation. The reason is usually because of compromise of the blood supply or infection. This is a very unusual event for a Plastic Surgeon that is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
The Nipples and Areola, the nipple surrounding pigmented skin, rely on blood flow both arterial and venous) from surrounding tissues. During breast surgery that prevents blood flow from too tight of a closure around the nipple/areaola or separates this structure from its arterial or venous blood flow it may not survive..Smokers (nicotine constricts the micro-vasculature to the skin, nipple and areola) and patients prone to infection have dramatically higher rates of this complication.