Does the nipple get cut off during a mastectomy if it dies?
Doctor Answers 4
I am so sorry to hear of your post mastectomy nipple issue. If the blood supply is compromised the nipple may completely die or only a portion may necrose. If the nipple is not completely dead, but ischemic (lacking adequate blood supply), it may be salvageable. Applying blood vessel dilating creams and antibiotics, keeping the breast warm and time may improve things. Hyperbaric oxygen is controversial, but may improve blood supply to a compromised nipple which is not completely dead. If the nipple is partially dead, that tissue must be removed to prevent infection, but if part of the nipple is viable (alive) it should be preserved and watched carefully. It may be preserved. IF the nipple dies and cannot be saved, it must be removed. Once the wound heals, an new nipple can be reconstructed using adjacent skin to make it 3 dimensional then tattooed an appropriate color. Some tattoo artists are so good that the tattoo alone looks 3 dimensional and very natural.
Nipple necrosis after nipple sparing mastectomies
You might also like...
Thanks for your question.
It is best to follow up with your surgeon. If you feel that a second opinion is required, please consult with a board certified plastic surgeon experienced in breast reconstruction. Best of luck to you.
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.