Post mastectomy op - possible necrosis nipple which seemingly continues to fight - is this normal? (photo)

The purple coloured skin had materialised almost immediately after surgery, was swollen and numb...we thought I may have necrosis and could lose the nipple. However, 5 days later, the nipple is still purple, warm and the sensations have returned. Whilst this is all very positive... as it seemed my nipple would most likely die, we now seem to be defying all odds! Is this normal? Could this be icshemia? My breast's are small following my mastectomy, how long until the second procedure can happen?

Doctor Answers 1

Necrosis of nipple after mastectomy

It may be hard to tell from the photos as this does look like early necrosis... venous engorgement is one possible explanation for a living yet darkly colored nipple. If the tissue is left alone and is dead, it usually hardens and dries up as time goes on, forming a thick black scab. If dead tissue has moisture/ointments/active wound care, then the dead tissue melts away and leaves raw tissue (or whatever is underneath) visible. If it is alive, it should continue to heal and improve. If it is dead, your doctor will help with removing what needs to come away and work with what is left behind. Good luck! 

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.