Hi. I've recently had a double mastectomy. I'm FTM transgender. I'm three weeks post op. The doctor cut 3cm wide nipples and put them into 2cm wide 'holes', as they were 'supposed to shrink'. Left one did, but right one only shrunk a little and then got 'droopy'. It'd bleed a little from the underside and some from around the actual nipple (brownish). Now, the upper part cracked and I think I can see my flesh underneath. I'm freaking out big time. My doctor is not seeing me until Monday. Help.
Is my Free Nipple Graft Failing? (photo)
Doctor Answers 10
Free nipple grafts
Nipple loss after FNG
It is hard to tell from your photo but is looks like some part of the graft didn't take. I would let your doctor know immediately so that they can make specific recommendations regarding care of the site. Even if you loose the nipple a new one can be made.
Nipple loss after FTM surgery with free nipple graft
From your photo, it does appear that you are losing most of your nipple graft. However, you may still retain enough tissue for a nipple areola. Right now, the important thing is to keep the area clean, and to use an antibiotic ointment. Please let your doctor know what is happening. If you do lose the nipple, a new one can be reconstructed much the way we create nipples for cancer reconstruction
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Concerned Nipple Graft is Failing Following Top Surgery
If you recently underwent Top Surgery,then it is still very soon into your #healing. Therefore, your incisions and #nipples will go through a maturation #process. For the first few months they will be red and possibly raised and/or firm. As the scar matures, after 6-12 months, it becomes soft, pale, flat, and much less noticeable. You may experience numbness, tingling, burning, “crawling”, or other peculiar sensations around the surgical area. This is a result of the #healing of tiny fibers which are trapped in the incision site. These symptoms will disappear. Some people are prone to keloids, which is an abnormal scar that becomes prominent. If you or a blood relative has a tendency to keloid formation, please inform the doctor.
Bruising and #swelling are normal and usually increase slightly after the removal of any tape or foam. The bruising will decrease over 3-4 weeks, but may last as long as 6 weeks. The majority of the swelling will be gone within the first 3-4 weeks. However, it may take 6-9 weeks to disappear completely.
Also, as you heal, the area may feel “lumpy” and irregular. This, too, decreases with time, and massaging these areas will help soften the scar tissue. The #compression garment helps reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly you will #heal. It can also assist in the retraction of the skin. If you have any concerns about #healing, its best to ask questions of your surgeon or their nursing staff.
Please follow up with your PS
The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.
Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative breast surgery.
best of luck!
Failed free nipple grafts
Hopefully, considering the date of your inquiry, you have already completed your reconstruction. My response may be of help to others looking at this question.
Free nipple grafts
Nipple Graft Viability
Thanks for the post and photo. It appears that you are having some compromise to your nipple and areola. The black area will eventually separate and you will either have an open wound or new formed skin. Either way, the results should not be affected too much and down the line, medical tattooing can restore the color to the areola as need be. I recommend that you follow your doctor's advice as far as any creams or wound care that needs to be done.
Nipple graft failing
It is difficult to say. However, even if it failed partially or completely, you can always get medical pigment tattooing, so don't worry. See your doctor. There is nothing to do at this time anyway.