Is there a time window post breast reconstruction surgery that a patient is in the clear for skin necrosis?

I have had a nipple saving double mastectomy and immediate reconstruction following breast cancer treatment - just chemo, no radiation. On one of my breasts I have a red area (size of a golf ball) just under the suture line that formed a few days post surgery. I'm on antibiotics now. My question is - how long would I know if this is just an infection or the beginnings of necrosis? And, does necrosis immediately turn black, or does it gradually change the skin color?

Doctor Answers 1

Compromised skin

has a different, more dark color as if bruised.  It is cool to touch and doesn't blanch when pushed on.  If you have blanching and its warm to touch, it is anticipated to heal fine.  And compromised skin progressively turns darker and darker until black... hopefully yours is better than that.

Redding Plastic Surgeon
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