I have had breast augmentation surgery with saline implants a year ago, can I get a nipple piercing? If so, what are the risks?

I went from an A to a C almost exactly a year ago. I have read somewhere that if the nipple gets infected, I could lose the implant. Is this true? Or is it okay since its been a year and I'm fully healed?

Doctor Answers 8

Nipple piercing and implants

The deal with nipple piercings is that you will receive a different opinion from every doctor that you ask. Typically it is not safe to pierce your nipples up to 3 months after your operation. Before then there is a high risk of infection, and infection can indeed result in the loss of one or more implants if severe enough. A full year post-op you are fully healed, and I would say it is OK for you to get your nipples pierced if you wish, although I am hesitant because there is still always a low risk of infection with unsanitary piercing conditions. Be careful.

Best wishes

Traci Temmen, MD 
Tampa Plastic Surgeon

Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

I have had breast augmentation surgery with saline implants a year ago, can I get a nipple piercing? If so, what are the risks?

Thank you for your question and congratulations your surgery.  At a year out from your augmentation it should be safe to have your nipple pierced.  Though the risk of infection is always present, the likelihood of an implant infection developing is quite small due to the capsule of scar tissue that forms around them.   Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Piercing after breast augmentation?

Hi Emma,Congrats on your surgery! Since it has been a year it should be relatively safe to get your nipples pierced. The only concern is that breast tissue surrounds the implant and at any point bacteria can travel down the milk ducts and get to the implant. This can happen whether you pierce your nipple or not. Best of luck. 

Patrick L. Basile, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Nipple piercing and implants

It is probably ok to get nipple piercing as you desire. There is always a risk of infection with piercing.  Best to also touch base with your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Nipple piercing

As long as you wait a few months, the risks of infecting the implant are very low. Over time a capsule develops around the implant which should shield the implant form bacteria that may travel through the breast ducts.

Nipple piercing after breast augmentation surgery

I advise my patients that it would be okay for them to get a nipple piercing 6 weeks after breast augmentation  surgery. As far as risks, anything is possible and in my experience, but I have never had a patient develop any problems with their implants after piercing. Hope this info is helpful and reassuring. For more information on this and similar topics, I recommend a plastic surgery Q&A book like "The Scoop On Breasts: A Plastic Surgeon Busts the Myths."

Ted Eisenberg, DO, FACOS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Nipple piercing

At one year post surgery you should be able to get your nipples pierced.  There is still a level of risk involved as it could lead to an infection of the implant.  If this occurs it could result in needing to have the implant removed.  The risk level is relatively low, but it is good to understand what potentially could result.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews


Hello, I typically say its ok around the 3 months. Some will say sooner. The risk is that if you have an infection or stir up bacteria in the area, it could communicate the the implant and cause an infection or even if you didn't have an infection to the implant could potentially cause higher risk of capsular contracture. I think that risk is low overall. At a year out, I would think you are at very low risk for any significant issues. 

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.